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.
Society member #0620, John Cranston, was gifted membership of our elite group for Christmas last year. This, he found, was a life-changing present. Now, John is a regular correspondent to these pages and has as recently as 10 months ago sent me these pictures and the accompanying text. It is late on a Wednesday night and I feel I may be quicker to the pub if I just post John's words here almost verbatim. Besides, I couldn't explain what this is all about any better than he.
Dear Telegrafenmastdirektor (as they might say in Germany but probably don't *1),
This appears to be an old label from a distribution pole. I've only seen one other like this, on a pole dating from 1909. Later poles seemed to have metal numbers hammered into them so, what do you reckon, pre-WW1?
Then what's it doing on a wall up St Clement's alley in the middle of Norwich with no pole in sight - especially as it's on a building dating from 1938?
Well, it's next to a piece of metal ducting which clearly once carried a telephone cable (there's a BT inspection chamber near its base).
And, hey, old photos show a distribution pole once stood nearby. This picture shows it in 1933.. to the right of the streetlamp.. poking up above the rooftops.
I like to think that when it was removed - possibly in the late 30s - the engineers simply nicked the label off the pole and bashed it into the wall to mark the replacement distribution point.
It's amazing how being given a membership to the TPAS for Christmas suddenly makes you so much more observant.
And just to let you know my TPAS mug is breaking in nicely. A few more hundred cups of Lidl Knightsbridge Red (the FINEST builders' tea on the market) and it'll have just the patina I want.
Feel free to ignore this email in its entirety. *2
Hash 0620 (I don't know where to find the hash key).
Brilliant sleuthing J. C. #0620. Keep up the good work.
*1 They do actually.
*2 We managed for a full 10 months.
Sincere apologies to Malcolm Hindes who probably*1 checks back here on a weekly basis to see if I did anything with the photos he sent me back in August*2. Yes, of course I did, they're right here.
Poles of the month?
I spotted these three poles alongside a minor road near Harlaw Hill, east of Alnwick in Northumberland. Perfectly ordinary dropwire is replaced with individual, insulated conductors where it passes under a power line (probably 33kV judging by the insulators). It's the use of individual brackets and a seemingly random mix of plain and "jam-pot" insulators that makes them so striking. It was a warm day but not so hot as to account for the low hanging wires.
That's all very well and technical Malcolm, but from the connoisseur telegraphpoleographer's point of view - they're simply gorgeous and well deserving this special Yuletide Telegraph Pole of the Month. Cheers Malcolm, love TPAS.
*1 He probably doesn't.
*2 This is something I seem to say a lot.
Our telegraph pole surveillance network runs wide and deep. Disturbing images just in from our agent in the field, codename "Ectoplasm" show power companies experimenting with laminated, square poles.
We hope you'll excuse the relative low resolution of these photographs. Agent Ectoplasm used a camera concealed within his butty* box to sneak this latest intelligence back to Telegraph Pole Appreciating HQ. Ecto (as he's known to his pals) needs to find a better place for his camera, because surely they're going to get suspicious with him waving his butty box around like that to get these pictures.
We'll be passing these photos higher up our chain of telegraphular command to see what our boffins make of it. Should we be worried? A quirky anomaly in pole land or the start of something more sinister?
Good work Ectoplasm, we'll carve your name with pride.
*lunch/snappin'/sandwich depending on where you're from
We're side-stepping our remit a little here: tall, wooden, sticky-uppy, got wires coming out the top. But here is a subject we've touched on before and seems to fascinate our listeners. You will in no way remember these articles from 2012 on GPO Street furniture and More street furniture.
Well, Chris Payne, was digging around the internet, as you do, after he found this street marker set into a wall in Tring. He found our pages, but also this one from the Secret Scotland blog. Now, he says this G.R. marker is on the B4635 roughly where the Western Road changes to Western Road. But then Western road is already called Western road and I wonder did he mean to say it changes to something else. But I'm too polite to write back and ask him and I certainly hate to correct someone. It's this anxiousness to please, to not offend, to be all things to all people that means I drink a bottle and a half of Gaviscon a day. Anyway, so it's on the B4635 in Tring. And it's got G.R. on it and I'd like one in my garden. Thank you Chris.