Pole of the Month – October 2017

We haven't done one of these for a while.

This really is a celebration of the mundane.  This charming, simple and unassuming 1958 GPO 24ft Light pole has never carried so much as a single volt of electricity.  For its nigh on 60 years its role has been as stay to the larger, more important pole, across the lane.  Pole senior carries phone and fibre-optic all the way down said lane and right past my house where only the telephone wire stops off but not the fibre.  I am only slightly bitter, twisted and sick to the stomach about this though.

The pole was last checked in August 2012 and is free from D plate but it does have quite a lean and can't be much support to the big one.  Anyway.  It's not big, it's not dramatic, but I appreciate it in all its nondescript glory and so do the sheep judging by its own shaggy stay wire.  So herewith, Pole of the Month October 2017 at Rheidol reservoir near Aberystwyth, Wales.

Pole of the Month – February 2017

Where’s this pole been all my life?; Tom Grimes – whose address at any one time can best be written as “A Canal, Somewhere, UK” – submitted this latest Pole of the Month. Tom chugs his way around the waterways of Britain pausing only to read The Telegraph Pole” by W.H. Brent, B.Sc. (Hons.) A.M.I.E.E.

This iconic bridge/pole hybrid can be found where the A519 crosses the Shropshire Union Canal near Norbury, Staffs. High Bridge No. 39, aka Telegraph Bridge carries probably one of the most photographed poles in the country – at least by canal boatsfolk.

With this bridge and incorporated pole having been declared a listed building by Historic England it ought to be preserved as a museum piece for all time. Here’s what the Listing document has to say about it:

High Bridge (Bridge No. 39) was erected between 1832 and 1833 to carry the road from Newcastle-under-Lyme to Newport. Shortly after its construction, however, the pressure being exerted onto the bridge from the cutting walls required the insertion of a strainer arch. In 1861 the United Kingdom Electric Telegraph Company installed telegraph cables along the entire length of the canal and the strainer arch was subsequently used for the siting of a telegraph pole. The telegraph wires were replaced with telephone wires in 1870…

First 2 pics courtesy of ye olde Sea Dog Tom Grimes (presume that’s him and that’s his vessel) Close up (c) Peter Evans, off Geograph.org.uk

Bridge 39 over the Shropshire Union Canal has a telegraph pole incorporated between arches.Bridge 39 over the Shropshire Union Canal has a telegraph pole incorporated between arches.
Close up of the integral 5 armed telegraph pole in Bridge 39

Pole of the Month – August 2016

Lauren off the internet sent us this photo which we immediately fast-tracked to be our Pole of the Month.  Lauren neglected to provide a surname, but with an email address like “exonerd…” we can gain some insight into what makes her tick and that she is likely at home perusing these sage pages.  Anyway, Lauren says:

I recently discovered this fine example of an old style TP in County Durham. It was all alone on the side of the A167, next to a cemetery.
Could anyone tell me approx. which year or decade these old style TP’s were replaced with the less interesting modern ones?
Kind regards

Many thanks to you for this delightful pole Lauren.  And I think it’s fair to say that there is no specific decade when these poles were replaced with modern ones- just that as and when the pole itself eventually failed it would be replaced.

Poles like this are so rare that it should be a Listed Monument or at least have a Pole Preservation Order put on it.  I feel a letter coming on.

Pole of the Month, August 2016 from County Durham

Pole of the Month – March 2016

Professor of Telegraphpoleology, Jake Rideout, has been out with his camera around his home town of Frome.  As well as being one of the UK’s foremost telegraph pole academics, he has an awe-inspiring collection of insulators and is every bit the ceramic addict.  He tells us:

This pole is unusual in construction as it is a double pole and carries six 33,000v lines which split apart into two separate pole routes about a mile up the line. The first image shows the pole in all its glory, the second a close up of the top section. I am unsure what the mesh is for between the two poles.

As well as terminating six high voltage lines, the pole also contains a total of 48 insulators, including the common porcelain discs, lightning arrestors, strain insulators on the stays and lead-in insulators, in both polymeric rubber and brown porcelain.

It is also interesting to note that each of the three large brown lead-in insulators on the right hand side of the pole are all supported by four smaller insulators. I own one of these smaller insulators which was retrieved from a substation near Gloucester by another insulator-fanatic. I have shown this in the third image. It measures 3.5″ tall and 5.25″ wide and is quite heavy, probably because of the two metal caps cemented onto each end. It was made by the London based company Bullers Ltd some time in the ’60s.

There are several poles similar to this one located in Frome, which all terminate at the substation near to this one. This one is located some distance from the same substation but I expect it is still linked to it somehow.

A wonderful pole Jake, excellent info and a worthy P.O.T.M.  Though strictly speaking it’s Pole of the Whenever we remember to do one.  But that would be P.O.T.W.W.R.T.D.O.

Pole of the month - carries 33,000 volts across somerset

DSCF2847IMG 0833

Pole of the Month – December 2015

Sincere apologies to Malcolm Hindes who probably*1 checks back here on a weekly basis to see if I did anything with the photos he sent me back in August*2.  Yes, of course I did, they’re right here.

Poles of the month?
I spotted these three poles alongside a minor road near Harlaw Hill, east of Alnwick in Northumberland. Perfectly ordinary dropwire is replaced with individual, insulated conductors where it passes under a power line (probably 33kV judging by the insulators). It’s the use of individual brackets and a seemingly random mix of plain and “jam-pot” insulators that makes them so striking. It was a warm day but not so hot as to account for the low hanging wires.

That’s all very well and technical Malcolm, but from the connoisseur telegraphpoleographer’s point of view – they’re simply gorgeous and well deserving this special Yuletide Telegraph Pole of the Month.  Cheers Malcolm, love TPAS.

Pole of the Month, Harlaw Hill, Northumberland.Medium shot of the Harlaw Hill telegraph poles.

*1 He probably doesn’t.

*2 This is something I seem to say a lot.

Pole of the month – July 2015

Honorary member #0469, John Brunsden, has been busy wondering “What the hell ever happened to those photos I sent in for possible “Pole of the Month”?  Here’s what he said.

This pole(s) caught my eye on a recent holiday on the Isle of Wight, it’s the darkside for me, being an Electricity pole and not the much safer Telecommunications sort, but the sheer number of steps made me stop the car and snap away, much to the bemusement of my wife and son 🙁
The 2 other pics are of the poles either side of this one, and both seem a slightly different design??

Well, as I said to my psychiatrist only yesterday, “If it’s tall, wooden, sticky-uppy and has got wires coming out of the top then I’m morbidly fascinated.”  These are indeed handsome poles John, and yes, we continue to play with fire in this society by honouring such large volt carrying structures.  We could be said to be cocking a snoop at the Pylon appreciators by making them P.O.T.M but these have wooden poles and so fall into our remit and so I would defend our right to do so unto death.  My hamster’s death anyway.

A double power distribution pole on the Isle of Wight

Large wooden framed power pylons on isle of wight. Another view of large wooden framed power pylons on isle of wight.

Pole of the Month – April 2015

This could, I suppose, qualify as 3 poles of the month. Or pole of three months. April to June say.  Very pleasing to the eye are these fine triplicating power poles at Birstwith, near Harrogate. The subject matter meets almost exactly the definition of the word “triumvirate”. This was sent to us following a long absence from our pages by none other than Adrian Trainsett Esq (#0484H).  We’ve missed you Sire and your exemplary submissions. 

A trio of power poles near Harrogate, submitted as pole of the month

Pole of the Month – February 2015

F irstly I want to tell you about the hackers that have been bothering me of late, like I didn’t have enough to do already.  I heed all the warnings and take all manner of precautions to keep the buggers out; like parcel taping over the air-vents on my computer; leaving a CD always in the drive, taking the phone off the hook whenever I edit something on here.  Yet despite all this those Viagra-pushing sods – yes I’m swearing now – still got behind my scenes to peddle their pharmaceutical fake filth from our most august of websites.  Luckily, a nice lady came to our door and sold me this amazing device which looks like a portable TV aerial and she said that if I just put it on a table and pointed it at my computer it will keep the hackers and viruses away.  £250 seems a small price to pay for such peace of mind.  My son Tom, reckons it’s the excessive use of words such as “wood”, “sticky-up” and “pole” on here that might be attracting them.  I don’t know what he means!

Anyway, all of that was keeping me from telling the world that our telegraph pole has now been erected here at TPAS HQ in ruralest middest Wales.  And it’s a thing of such exquisite beauty that I can barely take myself away from admiring it.  This is a telegraph pole that has no function at all other than that of being appreciated.

It’s been lying in our yard for months now just waiting for someone to come along and put the damn thing up.  That’s exactly what the Davies brothers*1 from Llanfair Caereinion & Pentre’r-Beirdd did.  They wish, though, to remain completely anonymous, so I’ve covered Scott (on the left) and James’s eyes with one of those black bars you see in the papers sometimes.

When first it went up, I tried to gauge Mrs TPAS’s opinion.  She shook her head and slammed the door on me.  I had to make my own dinner that night too.  But the next day, once I’d got the proper head fitted her heart melted and I was allowed to sleep in the house once more and she told me she loved me almost as much as she loves my telegraph pole.  All is well with the world.  And yes Tom, it’s called “Croc-face”.

Our telegraph pole on the way up Just look how tall our telegraph pole is Scott and James, Erectors of Telegraph Poles The TPAS Telegraph Pole in all its glory The business end of our telegraph pole
*1 Now both Honorary members having gallantly exceeded the call of duty in the service of this very society.

Pole of the Month – September 2014

The Samaritans would have been busy in my part of the world on Monday night.  My favourite team of complete under-achievers managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory agaiinst our most severest of rivals with just 12 seconds of added time remaining*1.  Footballers, I think, have little comprehension what this might mean to us who watch from the terraces week-in week out.  There are probably a few more cats cowering this week as a result.  Quite a few sorrows drowned too I shouldn’t wonder in the stupefied fug of after-match pub-debriefings.  And my finger nails are bloodied and gnawed down to the quick from those last few tense moments of a much anticipated derby match.

Thank heavens then that I am the Chief Executive Officer of the world’s premier society of Telegraph Pole Appreciators.  And I came home to an inboxed email containing the following photos of telegraphular gorgeousness kindly sent in by John Brunsden (#0469)…

Not much to report lately, but spotted this old school pole in the Exe Valley between Bampton and Tiverton in Devon last week. 1937 Vintage, not many like this left !
Just used as a carrier pole for the Aerial Cable now…

Happy Telegraph Pole Appreciation Day Tomorrow

John Brunsden.

Not much to report, he says.  If only he knew how he’d single handedly saved my day, our cat’s ribs and that bottle of Talisker which can keep its cork until Christmas now as intended.  Enjoy…

Telegraph Pole of the Month - from the Exe valley

A 3 armed telegraph pole along a lane in Devon The markings on a telegraph pole showing 1937 as year of planting


*1 In case you’re interested it was Chester sodding City 2 Wrexham 1 !!!

Pole of the Month – Dec 2013

What an absolute beauty. As seen by Lord of the Northern Poles, Kev Currie, somewhere between Norfolk and Scotland.  Quite possibly on the A68 which nips o’er hill and dale twixt the A1 and yr Alban (as we say in Wales).  I know a telegraph pole artist who would like this.

A beautiful telegraph pole.


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