Calling all insulator collectors

Now here’s a subject close to my heart – tricuspid valves.  No, not those… Telegraph poles, that’s it.  I’m always getting those two things mixed up.
Heritage railway telegraph poles them’s what I meant.
Stuart Duddy from Isle of Wight Steam Railway has written to us relating their project to reinstate the telegraph pole route alongside five miles of their standard gauge line between Wootton and Smallbrook Junction.  
You can see their early progress via this link.
Now, erecting “proper” telegraph poles is a noble enough cause as it is.  But they’re running into a bit of a problem – sourcing 780 Cordeau pin insulators – 130 poles x 2 arms (4 wires top & 2 on bottom) = more insulators than they can get their hands on.  Stuart tells us that although insulators are technically unnecessary as they won’t be running open wires, the installation just wouldn’t look right without them. Quite right too.

Mantec Technical Ceramics, who acquired Bullers, are unable to help as their focus is now on high voltage insulators, and so a source for new insulators would otherwise have to be in India or China.  So that’s where we come in.

Many of the people that frequent this site are avid collectors and appreciators of fine porcelain lumps called insulators.  Do you have a decent sized stash in your garage, bedroom or mantlepiece that you could help IW Steam Railway out? You may not have quite so many as they’re looking for, but a few smaller stashes = one big stash = problem sorted.

Here’s what Stuart tells me they’re looking for.

A telegraph pole ceramic insulator with double grooves

As you can see it has a double groove, but whether they have one or two grooves is probably not too important.  It is approximately 98 mm tall x 63 mm diameter at the base.  Inside, of course, is the threaded hole which receives the fixing bolt.
 I am aware that the glazed porcelain insulators came in various colours including rusty brown and red. We also have a few in a very dark grey, matt finish.  Ideally, however, we would like to adopt a uniform colour and go with the glazed white/cream finish.

So, think Blue Peter appeal, and if you think you can help in some way do get in touch with us here at Britain’s premier telegraph pole appreciating society, or email IW Railway direct.

Finally, here is an update on their Project Telegraph Pole.