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.
I'm trying really hard to resist the obvious "hotline" pun for this story. The Daily Mail didn't. Thanks to John Brunsden (#0469H) for bringing it to my attention, and hence to the wider world of telegraph pole appreciators. These photos (on loan from the Daily Mail website and also a well known search engine's street view) show after and before photos of a telegraph pole from a street in Paignton, Devon which seemed to spontaneously combust. Read about it all here.
Brilliant, we've had levitating poles before, smashed ones, crashed ones, short ones, fat ones, but never a burning one. There are no reports that the pole was consumed in the fire so I may take this as a sign from on high, that I should henceforth forge a new religion based around telegraph poles.
Reader Willi Montgomery Stack, brother-in-law to Doreen Bracegirdle, (she of the Norwich TPAS sect) has submitted a small essay on the subject of telegraph pole appreciation. Mr Stack began preparing said essay some years ago whilst chair of the East Dorset TPAS - an unhappy time he says, given the police enquiry and all those wasteful and inconclusive proesecutions. Nontheless said essay aims to examine the origins of appreciating, some of the leading figures in the field, its growing importance in both scientific and artistic terms and its gradual evolution right up to the formation of TPAS itself.
Clicking the read more button will take you to Mr Stack's opening paragraphs. He threatens more in the fullness of time, and by publication here we could be seen to be encouraging its production. However, despite the occasional robust terminology, it does make an interesting read.
That said, I normally like to punctuate my posts on here with a picture of a telegraph pole. So the one on the right is a sister pole to our very own TPAS pole. This one is from the midlands of Ireland somewhere, possibly Co. Cavan. We were running late and I had the words "What the hell are you doing stopping to take a picture of a bloody telegraph pole for we'll miss our boat" ringing in my ears.
Proof positive if ever 'twere needed that the machinations for keeping this website updated are ponderous at the least. We move in geological timescales here at Telegraph Towers. This next urgent bit of information came in last August. David P. Salt wrote to us to tell us about the new labels BT are employing on their poles. In his words:
Don't know if you've noticed but BT poles now have a new label at the base of the pole (started in the last couple of years. It's a white label the information is written in pen, it's an engineers pre-climb test label. The engineer has to do a hammer test around at least three quarters of the base of the pole this involves hitting the pole and listening for a solid sound which indicates no decay at the base then a label has to be applied approx 4 inchs from base with the date and an ID.
What David didn't mention is that to apply this label, 4 inches from the base of the pole, BT's Health & Safety (gone mad) regime insists that the engineer must don safety harness, hi-viz, helmet, goggles, tipped boots AND get mummy or daddy to help him (or her) when using the hammer or any scissors or pointy things. You couldn't make it up!
The poet laureate of Lacoste, Finn Mac Eoin, has been in touch again. Firstly with another rather champion, laureate-worthy poem about telegraph poles and then a story about the picture you see below. Go on, you tell them Finn...
I was not aware that my affection for pole spotting had always existed, not until discovering that a Telegraph Pole Appreciation Society actually existed. Thank you for bring it to my attention, ( I thought I had latent polarity syndrome )
In the forest they grew up
together side by side,
branches touching, all
resisting the Atlantic winds.
But now, they don't even
want to know each other,
totally individual and the
way they are cropped;
No foliage, not even a
limb for a bird to perch
on, anaemic looking, as
if they were anorexic.
It's all about the look, bare
legs and those porcelain
earrings that look hideous,
homogenous, no character.
In my day we all knew each
other, helped our neighbors.
Now, they're too weak to stand,
but for the wires! We're poles apart.
Some twenty or more years ago after I had purchased this print in Akaroa, South Is. New Zealand I had occasion to go to Auckland where the subject resides. I made a special detour to go and see if the painter poetically licensed the Pole in order to accommodate the Bushell's Fresco, or did it grow like this naturally?
To my delight, I discovered that the Pole is as is and had not been tampered with on the easel by a Churchill's Hiccup brush stroke.
And so we don’t get into trouble for including the image, <here is a link> so that you can buy a copy of this fine print, off the website we nicked the picture from.