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.
Where's this pole been all my life?; Tom Grimes - whose address at any one time can best be written as “A Canal, Somewhere, UK” - submitted this latest Pole of the Month. Tom chugs his way around the waterways of Britain pausing only to read The Telegraph Pole" by W.H. Brent, B.Sc. (Hons.) A.M.I.E.E.
This iconic bridge/pole hybrid can be found where the A519 crosses the Shropshire Union Canal near Norbury, Staffs. High Bridge No. 39, aka Telegraph Bridge carries probably one of the most photographed poles in the country – at least by canal boatsfolk.
With this bridge and incorporated pole having been declared a listed building by Historic England it ought to be preserved as a museum piece for all time. Here's what the Listing document has to say about it:
“High Bridge (Bridge No. 39) was erected between 1832 and 1833 to carry the road from Newcastle-under-Lyme to Newport. Shortly after its construction, however, the pressure being exerted onto the bridge from the cutting walls required the insertion of a strainer arch. In 1861 the United Kingdom Electric Telegraph Company installed telegraph cables along the entire length of the canal and the strainer arch was subsequently used for the siting of a telegraph pole. The telegraph wires were replaced with telephone wires in 1870...”
First 2 pics courtesy of ye olde Sea Dog Tom Grimes (presume that's him and that's his vessel) Close up (c) Peter Evans, off Geograph.org.uk
Aaron, from Hull, two post ago, tells us he feels privileged to be on our website. And that strangely, other than the pole recognition previously discussed he received no interest from his eBay listing. This in its way is a good thing because now he has made this wonderful hanging basket hanger thingy for the remaining and significant 51% of his household. In the finest traditions of Blue Peter - here's what he did:
(1) Removed the bottom 2 cross-arms.
(2) Jet washed all the moss off.
(3) Attached a GR "no throwing stones" sign.
(4) Carefully banked the brownie points gained for future use.
We have recently received two submissions to our various and eternal "most-somethingy telegraph pole" competitions. First up is Paul Kirkup's (#0654) stab at our popular shortest telegraph pole section. Now, I have a fair album of poles used as sheep fencing posts, and I've seen a good number of gardenly ornaments comprising short telegraph poles. But this one actually seems to be a genuine short pole photographed out in the wild. It's got the little hat on it, and the black connection box thingy whose name escapes me for always - and it's also not actually part of the fence it's in front of. So thanks Paul, a definite contender. Paul, by the way, having the words "london" and "midland" in his email address we presume is something of a railway fan.
Next up is Geoff Bovingdon's entry for our newly created "Most Southerly" telegraph pole competition. So new is this competition that being the only entrant so far, Geoff's chances of winning any prizes off us are still close to zero. This rather low-resolution photo is an olde power pole in the grounds of a redundant gold mine in Central Otago in New Zealand. Geoff is also a contender for the longest ever wait between sending us a photo and it actually appearing on here.
Thanks for for your entries folks.
Hull, the city, not the underneath part of a boat – is unique in telephone lore insomuch as it has its own independent telephone network. This came about largely due to endless patent and rights squabbling and the attempted breakup of the NTC (National Telephone Company) monopoly. I would only be summarising someone else's history work were I to publish it here - and I'd also have to work that bit harder too – so I'll just give you the link <here>
Anyway, Hullovian Aaron Bailey sent us in these photos of this 30ft Medium telegraph pole he has acquired (as you do) and answers his own question in identifying the HTC lettering as Hull City Telephone. He also asks about the insulators and what they're made of. So off I went on a little surf. HTC took me to Hull City Transport and the many complaints about them - what's public transport for if it's not for complaining about. Whereas Hull City took me to a fascinating page about becoming a mascot for the forthcoming Hull vs Stoke City game – sounds fantastic and my application is in the post.
An extended week-long surf later I think I have the answer. I think it is a proprietary resin called “Telenduron” which sounds like something that would stop eggs sticking to your frying pan - little known or remembered it fell out of favour with telegraph pole types as it became degraded and pitted.
Aaron worked on the power lines for 7 years and managed to collect a few pole signs over this time and the last photo shows us his rather nifty display pole. I can't help but feel that to be truly authentic though he should have left room for a missing cat poster.
Aaron wrote back to tell us that all the more recent poles in Hull now have KC or KCL (Kingston Communications) cut into them instead of HCT. He says he tried to sell the pole on eBay hoping for some interest in the insulators - someone sent him a message asking if the pole was the one removed from a street in Hull. Sure enough, Aaron searched on Google maps and there it was. I think it is this fact - that someone recognised this very pole - that has impressed me more than anything anywhere in the world so far this year.