Electricity versus Telephone Poles

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Restoration Project


Da-da! I think that's how you spell it.  Mission accomplished; fait accomplis; job done.  The head of my pet telegraph pole has now been restored.   


Restored telegraph pole head.

The arms dismantled, sanded, polished and then oiled. The metalwork sanded and rubbed and re-painted and a set of new insulators located. And doesn't it look splendid. (Ok, please try to ignore that our porch needs a lick of paint)

Restored telegraph pole fitted to my pole barn

Pole barn - becomes telegraph pole barn

I pondered for ages where now to keep it.  My long-suffering wife even indicated there was an outside chance she mightn't go completely bonkers if she came home to find it fixed up in the office.  But I remember how much the wood stank once it got warm and thought better.  Then another da-da! moment - my large 3 bay barn out in the field is a (telegraph) pole barn.  The obvious place for it.

More on my barn in a future episode dear reader, and some of the other uses to which I put retired telegraph poles around here.

By the way, Jake of jajainsulators.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/ wrote and told me that the unusual layout of this particular arms wood is to avoid the fouling of trees and other objects within the hedge line.   

I've almost finished my other "arms wood" project too.  That's just a single arm with four insulators - two brown and two white. Another serendipitous hedgerow find that one. Hedgerow beachcombing is not quite so well known, and even less practised than sandy beachcombing, and whilst you do still find the odd useful item and plenty of old wood, you can end up with a lot of empty lucozade bottles too.

Other restoration projects in hand :  my "Welcome to Cerrigydrudion" road sign, and a 20+ ft length of rope. Coming to a telegraph pole website near you - soon.  You'll just have to be patient.

Here we go again!

Temporary traffic lights on the B5105

Place: The B5105, about 3 miles from Ruthin
Time: 09:47am, 19th May 2011

Just on our way back up from town after a shopping trip to stock up on Wham bars, Island Organic biscuits and Welsh tea when we came across these extemporaneous traffic lights.

(A bit) like someone out of an Andy McNab novel, I fair leapt out of our still moving car as the lights turned back to red. I knew what these guys were doing, and I knew what I had to do. They were about to take away the remains of the crashed pole I blogged about 4 posts ago. Time for a rescue mission...

Okay, Andy McNab might have had me machine-gunning Taliban henchmen as I abseiled out of a helicopter before making good an escape with my booty. My reality was almost the same except that I sauntered up and asked the workmen if I could have the bits that were lying splintered on the floor, and they said yes.

A collection of broken telegraph pole bitsBut I did have their incredulity to contend with. That someone would want to collect bits of knackered ancient telegraph pole and then go away and do something useful with it meant I must surely need certifying. That's correct gentlemen, totally barking. And they certainly didn't believe me when I said I was from The Telegraph Pole Appreciation Society. They do now.

Anyway, cheers Ged and co.

Here's a photo of what I recovered. And I've still got my eyes on the rest of those poles. More about this particular restoration shortly. Meanwhile, I have some Wham bars to wreck my filings on.

Restoration Progress

Ceramics off the lastest restoration project The finished arms wood with ceramics

Coming across a sick, broken or otherwise ailing telegraph pole always brings out the Samaritan in me.  This latest pole (see previous post) was no different.  Into my workshop for a bit of TLC wherein the application of a modicum of sawing, wire-brushing, hammering and swearing noises means they're all better now. 

I have to say though, I haven't got many of these brown ceramics and they're a bit of a bugger* to remove from their pegs.  Despite my inventiveness with some sticky roofing felt which I used to supplement my grip together with a plumber's wrench tool.  These had to be cleaned up in situ.

Anyway, when you can take your eyes off my amazing lawn in the bottom photograph (no chemicals added) you can see the finished arms wood replete with shiny telegraphic furniture.  I have a cunning plan for making a desk ornament out of this one.  Watch this space.

* for want of a better word  

Church of Telegraphpoleology

Reader's Telegraph Pole ProjectReader's Telegraph Pole Project

We readers of these pages are already of one mind that Telegraph Poles are things of beauty and provide an aesthetic punctuation to our roads, railways and verges.  Some, and I include myself in this list, take the next logical step in bringing these functional ferriferous forms closer to home.

Member and friend of this society G.D. (#0513) recently sent us these photos of his own project.  An eclectic collection of ceramic if ever there was atop a "D"efective shortened pole with the clever idea of using iron steps as feet for his display rather than planting it as I did mine. 

G.D. also told us of his tip of using a strap-type oil filter remover for removing stubborn ceramic pots from their metalwork mounts.  As a delinquent teenager I had no such trouble and used to just shoot them off with my dad's air-rifle.  That was, of course, before I was struck by lightning, saw the light, and founded this church of Latter Day Telegraphpoleology. Amen.

An oil filter remover, probably lifted from some online catalogue