The poles of Islay…

And Colonsay, and Jura and Arran.  Yes, The Telegraph Pole Appreciation Society is back from its annual pole festival - and just in time for Appreciation Day too (September 21st).  Turns out it's unimaginable that anyone would visit Islay for anything but the distillery tours (9 and counting).  When I said that we were there just to look at telegraph poles they suggested I must already have been at an extended malt tasting session.  Honest, that island and its visitors are whisky bonkers.  Mostly male visitors from Japan, Scandinavia and (inevitably) USA formed queues to strip to their trunks and dive into the huge copper vats of peated malt whisky then talk bollocks about top notes of butterscotch and salted lemon peel.  Then they complained of kidney pain and passed out.

Anyway, while they were doing all that, they missed out on the terrific lines of olde poles that can be found on this Hebridean gem.  We found further, albeit fewer, interesting poles on neighbouring islands. Here is a splendid photo gallery of edited highlights for you.  I haven't put captions on any of them because I have a banging headache still.

West Somerset Poles

Keeping the railway theme going, had a letter this week from recent member Andy York who definitely gets the society “jizz” and writes:

“As a new member I thought I’d send a pic of something different over to you. Although they are poles and stick up and probably were used for their intended purposes in a previous life their existential purpose is stopping something falling down rather than holding it up.

Taken on the West Somerset Railway in April 2016 (between Williton and Stogumber – two fine names) the stringy bits are obviously intended to stop the wiry bits falling down enough to entangle big moving metal bits.

Yours etc.
Andy York
RMWeb Editor”

I really couldn’t and wouldn’t have put it more eloquently myself Andy, and to answer your other question, YES, September 21st is always Telegraph Pole Appreciation Day.  And one day Wikipedia*1 will reflect this as fact and I will then know that my time on earth wasn’t wasted.

*1 Other online ipedias are available, probably.

West Somerset Railway, poles on trackside as viewed from footplate of steam loco.

Photo of the Month

Well this unBritish weather has me all confused.  Too hot to be outside, way too nice to be inside.  So I’ve had to get all clever about it and so have been sitting in my office all day watching a webcam which I’ve pointed at my missus getting meithered by the midges in the garden.   And if I get close enough to the screen I’m sure I must be getting one of my 5-a-day of vitamin D.

But if you’re not actually enjoying this fine summer weather then you are either a chocolate digestive or a polar bear turned left at Svalbard instead of right.

Anyway, not quite summer, but 10th September 1988, Chalmington, Dorset actually – but this completely fabulous photo gave me a rush of late summer.  I can’t actually think of any boxes that this picture doesn’t tick.  With more than a shade of Eric Ravilious about it, Chris Atkins says it is still one of his favourites and that it gives him a great sense of peace whenever he looks at it.  Plus it was chosen by the National Trust as one of 5 best views of this country to go in their magazine.  Thanks for sharing it to this particularly appreciative audience Chris.

 

A line of power poles disappearing into the haze near Chalmington, Dorset