These much ignored pieces of rural and urban furniture finally have a website of their own.
This is not the site to visit for technical information pertaining to telegraph poles. You'll find nothing about 10KVa transformers, digital telephone networking or even so much as a single volt.
This is a website celebrating the glorious everyday mundanitude of these simple silent sentinels the world over.
|from the simple...||through the interesting...||to the hieroglyphics||and the alluring|
|click the thumbnails above to view the gallerys.||more poles...|
We don't care what the wires contain either. They all carry electricity in some way be it the sparky stuff which boils your kettle, or the thinner stuff with your voice in it when you're on the phone.
Professor of Telegraphpoleology, Jake Rideout, has been out with his camera around his home town of Frome. As well as being one of the UK's foremost telegraph pole academics, he has an awe-inspiring collection of insulators and is every bit the ceramic addict. He tells us:
This pole is unusual in construction as it is a double pole and carries six 33,000v lines which split apart into two separate pole routes about a mile up the line. The first image shows the pole in all its glory, the second a close up of the top section. I am unsure what the mesh is for between the two poles.
As well as terminating six high voltage lines, the pole also contains a total of 48 insulators, including the common porcelain discs, lightning arrestors, strain insulators on the stays and lead-in insulators, in both polymeric rubber and brown porcelain.
It is also interesting to note that each of the three large brown lead-in insulators on the right hand side of the pole are all supported by four smaller insulators. I own one of these smaller insulators which was retrieved from a substation near Gloucester by another insulator-fanatic. I have shown this in the third image. It measures 3.5" tall and 5.25" wide and is quite heavy, probably because of the two metal caps cemented onto each end. It was made by the London based company Bullers Ltd some time in the '60s.
There are several poles similar to this one located in Frome, which all terminate at the substation near to this one. This one is located some distance from the same substation but I expect it is still linked to it somehow.
A wonderful pole Jake, excellent info and a worthy P.O.T.M. Though strictly speaking it's Pole of the Whenever we remember to do one. But that would be P.O.T.W.W.R.T.D.O.
Look, I know our esprit de corps is "tall, wooden, sticky-uppy and with wires out the top", but sometimes, metal just floats that boat, ticks that box, flickers that flame.
Old friend and honorary memberof these sage pages, John Brunsden (#0469H), sent us these pics of this finialed metal job on the corner of Wood Street & Greenbrook Terrace, Taunton, Zummerzet. He suggests we Google* street map it and pretend we are there. Have done already John. Many thanks.
Our most acutely reminiscient readers may remember our article Pointing the Way Toward London. Where we espoused and then propagated the notion that the crossarms on a telegraph pole will always align towards London.
Well, Phil from Occamhome over there in Aol wrote in with further proof if it were needed.
Re " Pointing the Way Toward London"....
Further proof (if required) is given when John Mills & Will Hay are being chased in a car in the film "The Black Sheep of Whitehall" 1942. John Mills notices the cross arms are on the London side so it must be true.....
And so now, indeed, it IS true.
This week I have had an extended discourse and exchange of photographs with Geoff Hood. Geoff keeps bees, and likes to tend to them wearing just his battered, wrinkly and ageing set of Emperor's new clothes. Like swimming in the arctic ocean, I imagine meithering a load of bees whilst wearing the sheerest of invisible fabrics can make one feel fully alive. We are similar, Geoff and I, in our pursuit of naturist activities. I have been known to remove all my clothing shortly before taking a bath. I also have a penchant for nude arc-welding.
Anyway, our exchange was in three parts :
1. Geoff is a fan of LPTB Trollybus poles. Of the 1938 variety. And he found us through his research into sticky-uppy things - there we are with the naturism again!*1 He tells me there are only two left - in Ferry Lane, Tottenham. These poles meet all our appreciating criteria in that they are tall, sticky-uppy and wooden, except that they carry no wires. But 3 out of 4 is good enough for me, and the fact that there're only these two left means they need appreciating all the more.
Here we have different views of the same two poles. Geoff says they were used up until 1960 as 600A DC, later 240V DC trolleybus poles. He points out the light shield for train drivers in the 3rd photo. Apologies to that famous, non tax-paying search engine company whose photos we have purloined for educational purposes.
And so to next part of our exchange:
2. A collection of photos of various track-side poles in Sri Lanka. Now some of these are a bit out of focus. This is either because Geoff was in a fast-moving train at the time, or because his hands were shaking following an extended session of bee-keeping whilst nude. You decide. In no particular order of telegraphic scrumminess. Enjoy.
3. Our final exchange was a set of photos with a question: "What's the purpose of the finials on the older poles like the one I am talking to you now? Did they hold cables for the old ceramic pots see photo or just rain protection? It is an quite old GPO pole 1950 36ft but still has a green climeable inspection plate 2013, the rest of the street were replaced in 2000."
Well, as far as I know, wooden finials were a 1930s fashion thing - from a time when form actually over-ruled function. The good old days, I think they're often referred to. But this being a 1950 pole, our readers may know different.