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.
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.
Lacoste in the Provence region in the south of France is famous for two things. One being its once notorious resident, Donatien Alphonse Francois comte de Sade aka the Marquis de Sade who had, shall we say, a peculiar attitude to familial relationships. The second thing Lacoste is famous for is its resident poet laureate – an Irish born poet-gardener by the name of Finnbar Mac Eoin. Finn, the author of “Two suitcases and a dog” has had a few run-ins himself with the rather parochial villagers. A quick search of his name using a famous search engine should lead you to the full story. But if you can’t find it, then here’s a film all about it:
Anyway, poet that he is, Finn found himself inspired by the telegraph pole you see here - wherein the pole and the tree do, genuinely, seem pleased to see one-another. Finn submitted his poem to the only place he could or indeed should. And he kindly allowed us to pubish it. The poem is best read in a Co. Cork accent. Trust me.
An Irish Pine.
Telegraph pole hugged
by a leafy evergreen
An expression of a mothers
pride at her wee cone who
was taken away in the storm.
Now, would you be looking
at him, a fine upright lad who
didn't forget where he came
from and well connected
too, by the looks of him.
Firstly, please accept my apologies for the dearth of posts on here of late. Excuses #1, #1b and #14 apply. We haven't even tweeted much of late either. Goodness me, what sort of appreciation society is this?
Luckily for us, our hyper-active Norwich Branch of The Society have been on their annual peregrination. Their Honorary Secretary, Doreen Bracegirdle (Mrs) has just filed her report and photographs. I'm sure you can work out which image is which from the report. The question is begged however, of what Mrs Bracegirdle was doing with her camera in the gentleman's water closet.
Members of the Norwich branch of the Telegraph Pole Appreciation Society recently returned from their annual Spring charabanc outing. This year the destination was the western highlands of Scotland. Much haggis was enjoyed, a little whisky taken.
Members were saddened to see that many poles which once had us leaping excitedly from our transport and snapping away with our cameras have since vanished. But there still remained previously unrecorded treasures to be discovered.
Imagine our delight when, passing beneath the Shin Railway Viaduct near Bonar Bridge, one of our members spotted its two original metal telegraph poles extant. Metal poles were once a common sight on the rooftops of our great cities. Few of any sort must survive!
And what whoops of joy we let out when we encountered, on the Assynt peninsula to the north of Ullapool, a run of nearly three miles of (mainly) traditional poles along the B869 ....
running eastwards from the village of Clashnessie (pop: 38; telephone kiosks: 1). This switchback of a road is not one to be tackled by anyone who is faint-hearted or, as was sadly the case with our driver, drunk.
The Clashnessie poles happily survived the storms of this last winter, which is more than can be said for the phone box at Shegra, further up towards Cape Wrath. The locals told our members that, two months after the gust which took out this box, BT have only just reconnected all the phones in the village. Except this one of course, which has now been adapted for temporary storage by a neighbouring crofter.
After all our excitement, it was back to Norfolk and a quick pint at our local railway preservation centre, which does a good line in real ale. So disappointing, then, that someone had seen fit to deface a sign in the gentlemen's "convenience". Some people's idea of humour.