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.
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.
Surprising isn't it that I never start any of these posts with the letter "i". Truth is, the fancy dropped-capital letter thing what I do looks crap with letter i's. So anyway, what I wanted to say is "It may just be that we never really imagine Iceland - the Björkish north atlantic country - not the British supermarket chain - ever having poles. Well they do and our Icelandic correspondent, Hâfi Martinsdottir*1, has just reported back from there with these magnificent photos. These are from near Vik*2 in Southern Iceland. And whilst more power than telegraphic in nature, they still have that aesthetic enchantment that keeps people like me fixated upon them. Njóta
*1Our correspondents are so poorly paid that Miss Martinsdottir spent 14 days sleeping in the back of a Skoda Fabia in the middle of winter in order to acquire these pics for our voracious readership. Dedication indeed.
*2 The Sinex Nasal Spray and the stuff you rub on your chest has a "c" in it : Vick.
Alex Latham's eye was taken by this olde pole in the small town of Shildon*1 Co. Durham:
I thought it quite remarkable for it to have survived for so long in an urban area.
Judging by the large amount of wires streaming away from it in all directions, it seems to be keeping busy in its old age, unlike most of its peers that will now have been retired or replaced. I say long may it survive and continue to do its duty!
Can't tell the vintage of distribution pole #44 from this angle, but it certainly looks long in tooth and there is something pleasing about the wires in the second sky picture. (Click the pictures to enlarge. Oh, you know this by now!) Thanks Alex for keeping your eyes so peeled :-)
*1 Never flippin' heard of it.
Now, I have one amazing claim to fame: On 17th May 1985 somewhere on the M6 near Walsall I overtook a dark blue estate car. At the wheel of that car was none other than Duncan Goodhew. Yes this famously dyslexic motivational-speaker who has twice appeared on the Sooty Show glanced across at me knowingly - I could just see in his eyes he was trying to say "For Christ's sake, come on then, overtake if you're going to." Duncan, by this time, tiring of his squeaky puppet celebrity, discovered that his low-friction scalp gave him an advantage in the swimming pool. He never looked back and won all medals and stuff and then did other stuff, probably. The final Sooty Show aired in 1992.
Anyway, now it's time for your very own CLAIM TO FAME. It's WIN A TPAS MUG COMPETITION TIME - Yes, enthrall your grandchildren as they beg you again and again to tell them the story of the day you won a Telegraph Pole mug off the chap who overtook Duncan Goodhew on the M6.
It's one of those caption sort of competions. Think up a caption or indeed anything at all to say about the picture you see below. Not the mug picture, the other one. Look up the rules on someone else's caption competition and send us your caption/observations. Look, we tried to come up with a caption ourselves and realised how hard it is - so we'll accept pretty much anything so long as it's related to the picture below. We'll choose a winner from one of my wife's*1 ones by next Saturday (ish). The picture was sent in to us by Dave Bennett (#0666) and somebody else sent it to him - the photo was taken at 16 megapixels apparently, but somehow shrank in the wash so I had to photoshop it back up again. Anyway, here it flippin' is. See below picture for where to send your ideas.
*1 Only kidding - she's the judge actually.
Send your thoughts/caption/anything about this picture to us at:
FACEBOOK: In the comments section on the related post on our facebook page
Look what you win: (not that exact mug - you won't want that one - it forms part of our in-house tea-stain ring-growing competition.)
We reserve the right to change the rules to suit ourselves - cos there's always someone who tries it on. No more than 2 captions per fake email address please.