Competition Time

Now, I have one amazing claim to fame:  On 17th May 1985 somewhere on the M6 near Walsall I overtook a dark blue estate car.  At the wheel of that car was none other than Duncan Goodhew.  Yes this famously dyslexic motivational-speaker who has twice appeared on the Sooty Show glanced across at me knowingly – I could just see in his eyes he was trying to say “For Christ’s sake, come on then, overtake if you’re going to.”  Duncan, by this time, tiring of his squeaky puppet celebrity, discovered that his low-friction scalp gave him an advantage in the swimming pool.  He never looked back and won all medals and stuff and then did other stuff, probably. The final Sooty Show aired in 1992. 

Anyway, now it’s time for your very own CLAIM TO FAME.  It’s WIN A TPAS MUG COMPETITION TIME – Yes, enthrall your grandchildren as they beg you again and again to tell them the story of the day you won a Telegraph Pole mug off the chap who overtook Duncan Goodhew on the M6.

It’s one of those caption sort of competions.  Think up a caption or indeed anything at all to say about the picture you see below.  Not the mug picture, the other one.  Look up the rules on someone else’s caption competition and send us your caption/observations.  Look, we tried to come up with a caption ourselves and realised how hard it is – so we’ll accept pretty much anything so long as it’s related to the picture below.  We’ll choose a winner from one of my wife’s*1 ones by next Saturday (ish).  The picture was sent in to us by Dave Bennett (#0666) and somebody else sent it to him – the photo was taken at 16 megapixels apparently, but somehow shrank in the wash so I had to photoshop it back up again.  Anyway, here it flippin’ is.  See below picture for where to send your ideas.

 3 different sized power poles and pylons in a field

*1 Only kidding – she’s the judge actually.

A Telegraph Pole Appreciation Society MugSend your thoughts/caption/anything about this picture to us at:

FACEBOOK: In the comments section on the related post on our facebook page

Look what you win: (not that exact mug – you won’t want that one – it forms part of our in-house tea-stain ring-growing competition.)

We reserve the right to change the rules to suit ourselves – cos there’s always someone who tries it on.  No more than 2 captions per fake email address please.


TPAS Norwich Branch Spring Outing

This letter and accompanying telegraph pole related fascinators was sent on behalf of Mrs Doreen Bracegirdle – an occasional correspondent to these pages and who really is one of “those” aunties – if you get my drift.  Anyway, apologies to all of mankind for the delay in publishing – particularly to Auntie Doreen and young Gary m’lad.

A letter from Mrs Doreen Bracegirdle


Members of the TPAS Norwich and District branch recently visited the delightful Suffolk resort of Southwold.

Like many a coastal town, it has long been a magnet for senior citizens. But now it has become a noted retirement destination … for telegraph poles.

After decades of loyal service these grand old troupers had found their wire-carrying careers at an end. However, rather than spend their remaining years using their free passes to take up all the seats on the buses or holding up queues in the Co-op by counting out £1.93 entirely in coppers or volunteering to work in a charity shop but failing entirely to get to grips with the till, many have taken on useful new jobs.

In Southwold they are to be found each day at the harbour, marking out parking spaces, helping shore up the harbour wall, offering a mooring or two and even warning of the presence of underwater cables. That said, a few ‘oldies’ are still on active BT duty in Southwold (we saw a nice example up an alleyway near a church) and nearby Walberswick (where a 91-year-old pole outside the chapel proudly bears the original DP label). But it’s nice to know that, when their time comes, they can look forward to a retirement which doesn’t just consist of reading the Daily Mail and tutting.

Gary Snipe, N&D district branch treasurer.


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.


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