Lying down on the job

A dead telegraph pole in Cornwall

Veteran correspondent on matters telegraph-polique, Andy Rowsell, recently sent us this picture of a dead pole.  This one was in a ploughed field at Tregony in Cornwall. 

Andy, you see, has the good fortune to work for those nice people at BT  whereby he often happens upon such disaster-befallen poles. Thereupon he issues orders as to its repair/replacement/removal – but not before he’s got his trusty phone out and snapped a picture for the good and enlightened people who subscribe to these pages. 

If there was a New Years Honours list for services to Telegraph Poles, I think he would probably be Andy Rowsell CBE by now. If he isn’t already of course.


Pole Smash

A smashed telegraph pole near Bridgewater in Somerset

My first thought when the email containing this photo landed on my metaphorical doormat was… Why has somebody sent me a photo of my daughter’s bedroom?  And why does she have a lorry in there?  I’m going to have to have a word with that girl!  Then I read the accompanying text.  Telegraph Pole erector, fixer and photographer #0469 John Brunsden had been called to this unfortunate incident near Bridgewater in Somerset. Relieved that he only had to renew the pole and not tidy up beforehand.  Then not tidying up  seems to be my daughter’s attitude too – so long as the door will still open, what’s the problem?

Anyway, I can probably hear John Brunsden thinking “Blimey, that T.P.A.S lot are slow – I sent them that photo yonks ago!”.  Well, we move in geological timescales here at TPAS HQ, and are of the opinion that everything comes to he (or she) who waits. Except perhaps getting the hoover into H’s bedroom!

Treasure Trove

O ur Saddleworth correspondent, Stuart X, has been back to the undergrowth and has sent us these pictures from the Delph Donkey line.  A real find for ye olde worlde telegraph pole afficionados such as myself, and I suspect a fair few of our dear readers too.  I must assure him that although the woodwork looks like it would crumble like a wet weetabix if he was so much as to touch it – it’s amazingly resistant stuff and the kerruing heart wood should clean up nicely.  Just like Edward Woodward’s wood would if he had any!

A pile of dead telegraph poles from the undergrowth in Delph A lichen covered insulator from the Delph undergrowth

W e also now have an update on our Question 3 from Asela Premachandra 5 posts ago… Apparently, things have moved on and over a weekend, someone mysteriously removed the troublesome rediffusion pole and disconnected the cabling which was trailed across everyones’ gardens.  So a big special thank you to all the wood and copper thieves down there for clearing that one up.

Send for Inspector Morse

A dead telegraph pole A dead telegraph pole


O n the morning in question, the witness, Stuart X, was proceeding in a southerly direction along the old Delph Donkey Railway Line in the direction of Dobcross. 

Whilst investigating the undergrowth – for reasons best known to himself, Stuart X discovered the dismembered torso of an LNWR telegraph pole.  The crossarm supports of which were in a rusted condition with the remaining two of its original complement of four insulators suffering severely broken ceramics.  Evidence also exists of a steel ligament to at least one of the supporting pegs. A severed head in Mid Wales

Further investigation by Mr X revealed more deceased telegraph pole torsos.  Their time of demise all believed to have been at some time after the railway’s final closure to freight traffic which was around 19:63.

The remains were subsequently removed to a garage in Uppermill where they are likely to undergo an intensive restoration process towards becoming an item of whimsical garden furniture.

Meanwhile, in mid-Wales, the severed head of a GPO pole was discovered in a farmyard near Llanfair Caereinion.  Police are not investigating.


A crashed-into telegraph pole along the B5105

I can’t believe I’ve come to this.  Scrabbling down roadside embankments to retrieve bits of smashed telegraph pole following a tip-off from another website. This obsession all started last year when a lazy BT engineer lobbed an old one into my hedge, which I subsequently restored.  Since then I’ve been rescuing bits and pieces from all over the country.  Including the odd ceramic insulator sent to me in the post.  I have a cunning plan for those but cannot reveal anything at all just yet. All of which has caused my poor dear wife to come down with a severe bout of tutting-eye-roll syndrome.

Anyway, this is one of those lovely antique four-arms that still stand (stood) along the B5105 between Ruthin and Cerrigydrudion in Denbighshire.  And which fortunately, quite recently, I photographed the lot.  it’s unlikely that the offending vehicle is still in a singular number of pieces following such a smash, but there was no sign of it by the time I got there.

The Author scrubbing telegraph pole ceramicsAnyway, with my missus “keeping nicks” I  attempted a swift recovery.  However the ceramics were so badly corroded to their stalks that i couldn’t remove them.  But 2 of the arms were shattered and separate from the rest, so for now I retrieved these.  I managed to recover 3 x single grooves and 2 x double grooved white ceramics to add to my burgeoning collection. Alas the wood was beyond economical repair and has been added to the logpile.

I was later to be found sat in our yard scrubbing them back to some fantasised about former-glory.  I know that our Honorary Technical Advisor, Keith S**** H.T.A.T.P.A.S. will be pleased because he just wrote and said so.

Oh Dear!

A fallen over telegraph pole near Betws Gwerfil Goch > There are a lot of high winds around our part of rural altitudinous Wales.   And the very latest one proved too much for this particular  telegraph pole.  Alas,  this pole forms part of the long chain between my house and the coal-fired exchange down at Maerdy.  So although the wire never actually broke, all my telephone calls and internet dalliances now take a slight detour as they leave our house – a deviation of about 15ft vertically.

And this has had some odd effects : 

* I mis-dialled the doctors surgery only yesterday morning – getting through to the coal yard in Corwen instead.  And they closed down 8 years ago.

* This morning I had an email off someone I hadn’t heard off in years, nay ever.

* On Wednesday, I answered the phone as ex-newsreader Moira Stewart.

I spent an hour on the phone to BT – again, owing to the detour was in fact 1 hour and 3 minutes – to report the issue.  Reading between the lines of that conversation though I got the distinct impression that they didn’t, in fact, “share my concern” quite as much as they said they did.

So… The pole remain there at its jaunty angle of 68 degrees to the perpendicular and will probably remain so until the day the BT van man eventually passes this lonely way again on his (her) way to mangle mine or someone else’s connection. Just don’t be surprised where your emails might end up in the meantime!

1 2