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.

British Railway Telegraphpoling

Right, it’s not everyday that we plug a service or product on here.  In fact, it’s never happened before.  So here goes and with good reason.

Previously, you could have described your life as complete if you were a member of this venerable society, and had also read our magnificent book Telegraph Pole Appreciation for Beginners (Key Stages 1-4).  I’m sorry to say the goalposts have moved a little insomuch that to declare life completeness now you must also have read the August 2018 issue of British Railway Modelling Magazine.  Always a recommended tome anyway, but this particular issue features an article by doyen of dioramas and TPAS society member #0654 and is published in a magazine edited by member #0834 no less. And starting on page 80 is an article called “Improve your Telegraph Poles”.  Come on, what more does a life need for proper completefaction?

For a lesser publication we would have recommended that you just block the aisle in Smiths and read it there and then whilst completely ignoring those squeezing past grumbling “you’re supposed to buy the bloody thing you know!”.  Definitely NOT this time – get it bought. (just £4.75 with free DVD for goodness’ sake)

#0654: Paul Kirkup
#0834: Andy McVittie

Dull Men’s Pole

I recently attended an evening hosted by the Dull Men’s Club which turned out to be anything but dull.  Our host for this conviviality was the wryly enthusiastic assistant vice-president of D.M.C. Grover Click – who doubles as founder of the Park Bench Appreciation Society.  Wine, beer and cashew nuts were consumed as we heard talks and presentations from luminaries of the world of esoterics.  One of whom was Richard Gottfried, who together with his wife Emily are Crazy Golf champions (possibly) of the World.  And they are on a mission to locate, play and document every crazy golf course on the planet – to date, more than 700 courses and counting.  Now, I’ve sat through scores of presentations over the years but rarely so engaging and educating as this.

Anyway, on a search of crazy golf courses in Cumbria, and in particular around Barrow in Furness, Richard stopped off at the Hatherthwaite & Lakeside heritage steam railway – as you do – where he spotted this fine pole across the platform at Hatherthwaite station.  “Is it of interest to you?” he asks. As If !

One final synchronistic fact.  Turns out 21st September is not only Telegraph Pole Appreciation Day, but it is also Miniature Golf Day too.  Would you Adam & Eve?

 

Web: http://hamandeggerfiles.blogspot.co.uk
Minigolf consultancy: http://gottfriedmarketing.co.uk/minigolf-consultancy

Dioramist’s diorama

Esteemed member #0654 is Paul Kirkup.  He knows a thing or two about telegraph poles.  Little ones, model ones, diorama-sized ones.  He made the 10 inch model that now adorns our mantelpiece - next to the photo of my bank manager.

Anyway, now that the weather is better, Paul ventured outside to show us some of the things that adorn his curtilage  He has a passion for the old London Midland Region of British Railways and this is reflected by the station and platform he has built in his garden.  Painted red and cream of course.  And what does a station need but a telegraph pole. So...

..."I bought the longest wooden pole I could find and fitted it with a cross arm and two spindles and insulators. As I am also interested in old forms of lighting, I added a suitable light fitting which switches on at dusk and goes off at midnight. There are no wires to the pole - yet - but planning is underway and two-way communication between the house and station should be achieved using a pair of field telephones, Army, type F."

Paul also sent us a photo of the remnant of a crossarm unearthed whilst rummaging in the undergrowth at Craigellachie station...

..."Now mounted on a stub pole which will eventually form part of the station communications network mentioned above. The position I found the relic in, just beyond the end of the station platform, means that it must have been mounted on the pole adjacent to the signal box, a photo of which I found in a book. It is rather nice to be able to see a photo of something now preserved for posterity, or at least as long as I am around to look after it, following which my nearest and dearest will probably chuck it in a skip!"

Paul's cakebox diorama came to the attention of the Editor of British Railway Modelling magazine, who commissioned him to write and illustrate some railway modelling projects for the mag. The second of these articles concerns the authentic modelling of telegraph poles. Paul tells us he feels that most modellers simply plant model poles straight out of the box, without much thought as to their authenticity. This has to change.  I feel a campaign coming on.