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.
When Current Archaeology magazine published an article about our sagiest of societies back in 2015 poet Margaret Seymour found true inspiration. Her poem, reproduced here by kind permission, won first prize at the Sheringham poetry competition. So thanks to our ramblings, a myriad insulators, and the intrinsic beauty that is telegraph poles, these 152 words were selected out of all the thousands that are available and were assembled into the beautiful and unique, prize-lifting order that you see below. Congratulations and special thanks to Margaret. I've illustrated the whole occasion with a photo of a line of poles in Donegal. And some gorse. And Slieve Snaght in the background.
knows poetry when it sees it - the epic
march of metre, neat crossbar rhyme-schemes
embellished with ceramic references
to fungi, daleks, Chinese lanterns;
long lilting lines punctuated by swallows.
It's fond of folklore such as crossbars
are always on the side facing London.
It loves the drama of the telegram,
whistle and crackle of the human voice.
urgent pitter-pat of Morse,
the arcane doings of Openreach.
Its totems are the trunks of trees -
wayside gods inscribed with tribal marks
BT or GPO, plus date of last libation
of creosote. She of the high and shaky
brackets orders DO NOT CLIMB.
He of the yellow skull warns DANGER OF DEATH.
Happy the members of TPAS! For them
a road or railway is a procession
of curiosities, a document, a refuge
where ivy flourishes and kestrels perch,
a photographic pilgrimage where finally
lines of posts are enshrined as posts online.
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.