Visual Treats

Yes, Visual Treats - that was the subject of an email that landed on our metaphorical doormat recently.  Rick Howell from Exeter tells us that he has long been interested in those marvellous bits of British engineering - Cornish beam engines, gasworks, scraps of railway metallica, Austin Allegro.  And he says there's a small but subversive cell among his circle of friends who are interested in telegraph poles - or actually, anything that harks back to a time when we did things properly in this country.  He writes:

" ...having spotted a couple of TPs with insulators in my area of Devon still in use - kind of - I thought I'd check out whether a website existed for the delectation of those people who admire these things. And there is! So, since I have taken one or two pics pics of some examples I've have attached same. They're in a sort of order so here goes:

1, 2, 3. This is on the mine footpath that leads from the Warren House inn on Dartmoor to Vitifer Mine; probably last worked in the early part of the 20th century. OS 191.680809 if you like that sort of thing.

4, 5. A road that has been truncated by the '70s-built A361 North Devon link road at Knowstone Inner Moor. The road once connected Knowstone to Rackenford and since abandonment the poles have been left, wires attached to insulators. The poles are on a very exposed site and some are leaning with the prevailing wind. The bike is a Matchless G80 500 from 1948. OS 181.836218

6, 7, 8, 9. Shillingford Abbot, just outside Exeter; 2 poles connected to each other. A new run of poles heads uphill towards Exeter; the b&w picture was taken in about 1965 at the top of the hill looking the other way towards Haldon with it's Belvedere in the background and shows the original pole line. The sound of the recent gales through the wires really prodded my memory of those wires across the hilly Devon lanes. It may be that the pole in pic 6 and 9 was once on the other side of the road with it's strainer but sad to say that (I think?) 2 lads were killed in the late '60s when their Hillman Imp failed to take the corner at the bottom of the hill and hit the pole. OS192.911890"

Rick's final question is "Am I taking this too seriously?"  Nope.

Soar-y-Mynydd

A painting of the chapel at Soar-y-Mynydd by Ogwyn DaviesIn a previous life I was a Gong Farmer  - during the reign of the first Queen Elizabeth.  A miserable time it was too eking out an existence collecting the "night soil" but it did mean that in the interests of fairness I got a great deal this time around.  Proof of my blessed reincarnation is that I get to live in deepest middest Wales.

Here I can gaze up at poles of glorious loveliness along lonely lanes like those you see here.  These en route to Capel Soar-y-Mynydd.  Arguably the most isolated chapel in the whole of Wales.  It's a fabulous journey just getting there - and if you're a keen hiker of empty hills (like me) then this is approaching heaven.  These poles never had any cross-arms because there were so few inhabitants to connect to.

Soar is not uncommon name in Calvinistic parts of Wales.  It comes from the Holy lands story of Lot and the destruction of the wicked cities including Sodom and Gomorrah and Barnsley. Zoar was spared as it was only, as its name implies, a little city.*1

The chapel itself is the favoured subject of many artists - including the painting, left, by the late Ogwyn Davies.

Lastly, the photo of the phone box and associated pole, I included to remind readers of my previous visit here - this photo extracted from the truly remarkable tome "Telegraph Pole Appreciation for Beginners (Key Stages 1-4)"

*1 Officially the first proper fact ever shared on this website.