Telegraph Pole Appreciation Day

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Due to the recent Red giant super moon, Telegraph Pole Appreciation Day is late this year and is on October 1st.

A Telegraph Pole on a postcard

 October 1st



get outside and….

hug a telegraph pole
take a photgraph of one
climb one 
write a poem about one
admire one

print off the postcard on the left
and stick it to your wall 

mark this date in your calendar

(normally 21st September

and no, we didn’t forget)

Pole on fire

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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.

A telegraph pole on fire The same telegraph pole on fire A telegraph pole covered in ivy

Norwich TPAS branch spring outing.

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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.


New Year’s Honours

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The Telegraph Pole Appreciation Society’s new year’s honours list is strongly recognised by the British establishment*1. These awards are for persons deemed to have striven towards excellence in the appreciation and preservation of telegraph poles during the preceding twelve months.

The most prestigious of the awards has to be Dame Commander given to Nottinghamshire based patron of telegraph pole scrapyards, Claire Pendrous.  The full list is below.  A few honorary memberships are also handed out. There are no medals as such*2 for honorary awards, but members are herewith entitled to write the word “honorary” in felt-pen onto their certificate. 

The Telegraph Pole Appreciation Society – New Year’s Honours 2015

Dame Commander of the Order of the Telegraph Pole :  Claire Pendrous
Telegraph Pole Medal

Commander of the Northern Poles, with Oak Leaves : Kev Currie
  This as a decoration addition to his self-titled “Lord of the Northern Poles”
Kev can now call himself Lord or Commander or Lord-Commander (of the Northern Poles) whichever he prefers.
Commander of the Northern Poles Medal

Commander of the Telegraph Pole Preservation Order :Keith S****
Keith is already Honorary Technical Adviser (H.T.A.T.P.A.S.)
Commander of the Telegraph Pole Preservation Order Medal

Honorary Memberships:
David Kendrick (#0609)
John Brunsden (#0469)
Adrian Trainsett Esq. (#0484)


Well, that was exciting wasn’t it?  Meanwhile my previous post about the cut-down Cobra 1957 has elicited an excited response from our H.T.A.T.P.A.S. Commander Keith S****.  He writes:
A badge off a telegraph pole which says Cobra 1957

David Kendrick’s Cobra treated pole is quite a find. In my 13 years of being a Post Office poles inspector I never came across one. Cobra treatment was a method of prolonging a pole’s life by injecting preservative under pressure by means of a syringe, at the vulnerable ground level point (where moisture and oxygen encourage the growth of rot). This 1957 pole was 10 years before my pole inspecting life and I wonder was it a telephone pole or electric cable carrier, was it near a railway line? It would be interesting to know more.
Keith S****. H.T.A.

Well, over to you David Kendrick (#0609H).

Finally, Commander/Lord of the Northern Poles, Kev Currie wrote in to say “long may yer lums reek!”  Aye, Kev, my lums do fairly reek, but missus TPAS is trying out some new washing powder so we hope to have that sorted soon 😉

*1 We checked and nobody actually says that it isn’t.
*2 Nor for anyone else really unless you print and cut them out off here.

Readers writes

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You might be amazed*1 at just how much correspondence this society receives.  Actual letters and emails asking about telegraph poles, I mean, not the endless automated drivel offering potions to enhance my, ahem, standing in the community etc. 

One question I get asked all the time is just how do you age a telegraph pole.  These correspondees have checked our FAQ page and still need to know just when a pole was planted.  Possibly they have some boundary dispute with their tiresome neighbour – you know, the one with the endless barking dog who throws their rubbish over your hedge and who slams their car door at all hours of the night.  Or perhaps they just like to know the age of things, like the universe, Helen Mirren or that pack of sausages in the fridge.  Truth is, other than the “Doby” mark which says the year it was creosoted, I don’t know of any way to tell when it was planted.  Presumably a list in the local BT office.  I hope now to be advised of a sure-fire way by our many telegraph pole employed readers.

Question two, I suspect, stems from the treasure hunting fraternity…

‘For DP 3081 you must search, the answer then lies in marbled church’ 

…that sort of thing.  Basically, given a DP number for a pole.  How do we locate it other than randomly wandering the countryside? I hope now to be advised of a sure-fire way by our many telegraph pole employed readers.

Anyway, here’s some pretty pictures to illustrate all of the above.  These were sent in by Andrew Chapman who whilst trying to age a telegraph pole, told me about an elderly pole at a crossing of wires onto Ash Island in the Thames, west London.  I imagine if I were to trade my house in I could probably afford the carport of one of these houses.  Or part of a carport maybe.  Anyway, Andrew told me that the local squirrels use the wire-span as a bridge onto the island.  The rifle sights were my addition – I have an issue with the little bleeders.

Telegraph Pole #DP606 The Thames, nr Hampton Court, London

a bloody squirrel

*1 If you’re the sort who is easily amazed.

Website Upgrade

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v3Mrs TPAS has never seen me sweat quite like I did tonight – when I flicked the switch to delete the old website, install the new version, and the damn thing refused to work.  A quick pot of rhubarb yoghurt and a glass of Big Nev’s from the fridge and I soon got it together again though.  This is version 3 of whatever it is and promises to be a bit more hacker-proof than the old, almost identical website.   Those pesky jihadist hackers !

Not everything is working quite right just yet.  But a bit more of that fruity hop flavour and refreshing dry finish and we’ll soon be ship-shape once more.

Hack Attack

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The Welsh Space AgencyYou may have been wondering*1 what ever has happened to some of our other websites – those found under our “Further Whimsy” link below left. And why have they disappeared?

The sad truth is that they all got hacked, and defaced recently by some middle-eastern Jihad organisation.  Why they felt that World of Pallets, or the Welsh Space Agency website such a severe threat requiring annihilation is anyone’s guess.

The truth is that year’s of whimsical work has been undone and will take many painstaking hours to replace.  Alas they were constructed using an unsafe version of web technology that will require serious updating to keep the hackers out in future.

Rest assured though that the sites will come back online as soon as possible.  Just in time for nobody to read them anyway.


*1 You might not have been.


Blue sky, wherefore art thou

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photo by Adrian Trainsett Esq. photo by Peter Hawkey





Gazing out of my window at my severe, shivering, sleety surroundings here at T.P.A.S.’s Svalbard H.Q. I got to trying to remember what a blue sky looks like.  Or the colour green.  Then up pops*1 an email from friend of this very society, Adrian Trainsett Esq. – whose certificate bears the number 0484, adorning the wall of his drawing room as it does. 

Contained within this popped-up email was this first photo, taken by his good-self, of an azure sky background to a new-ish telegraph pole on the railway line near Oakworth on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway. A gorgeous, busy pole with a full complement of 8 dropwires.  It could however have proven more gorgeous, scrumptious even, had it’s erectors deemed fit to equip it with some ceramic insulators.  Yes, I know they don’t tie them off on insulators any more, but they wouldn’t half look the part and can be had for a handful of beans off eBay.

Mr Trainsett also clearly frequents various photograph repository websites such as Flickr and sent us a link to this next beauty.  Another insulator-less blue sky pole.  This disused pole on a disused railway bridge across the river Ythan. My research of Chinese water courses turned up a blank though.  That’s because the Ythan is in Aberdeenshire not Zhejiang province.  This photo is from the collection of one chairman_pete who describes himself as a flute-playing, photograph-taking engineer from Aberdeen.  His is an eclectic photostream and this photo is now in my unofficial all-time top 5 telegraph poles.



*1  Yes, Adrian’s email really did pop up out of my computer like a piece of toast and even required the burnt bits to be scraped off before I could read it.

Abergavenny on a winter’s day

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Our African correspondent, Martyn Fielder (#0486), is back home in Wales, presumably for Christmas.  And after many months absent from the aesthetics not just of our native telegraph poles, but our gorgeous landscape he sent us these two photos with the following note attached…

A pole near Abergavenny, WalesA pole near Abergavenny, Wales


There’s no place like home and there is always a welcome in the hillsides when you come home again to Wales. Taking a welcome break from the relentless Summer of Senegal I am making the most of the cold and damp in the dark shadow of the Black Mountains.

Before you open the attached files, make yourself a nice TPAS mug of tea, sit yourself down somewhere comfortable and assume a calm, reflective frame of mind in order to appreciate these photos. Purity, simplicity and understated elegance on a hillside near Abergavenny.



We couldn’t agree more.  Not least the bit about TPAS tea.  Last few days to get a Telegraph Pole Appreciation Society Mug before Dec 25th.  There’ll be another 365 days after that, mind you.


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