This lump of telegraphular gorgeousity can be found on the A470 just after the village of Llanelltyd a few miles north of Dolgellau, mid Wales. I've passed this pole many times over the years but just this once I was not actually in a dire rush. It's completely on its own and has been rather oxbowed by the road straightening. It escapes the Openreach axe on account of its holding up a phone wire to the house off the layby. When I went to take these pics the man at the house came out especially to tell me how poor his broadband was. Seems that's probably the lot of your average BT personnel.
Fahan, Co. Donegal
Just finishing up our annual jollydays in Ireland with a spot of getting-in-the-damn-way on board a sailing yacht on Lough Swilly - that's me in the lurid puke green in picture #4 - when Mrs TPAS, quite averse to getting-in-the-damn-way on a boat, stayed ashore. Serendipitous, as she wouldn't otherwise have spotted this fine five-armer just outside Fahan Marina. Completely overlooked by the Eircom telephone pole removals people as this was on a run of just one pole.
Congratulations to Aaron Bailey who finally gets a credit for Pole of the Month. He was recently disqualified during a previous attempt at this prestigious award due to having submitted photos of dead poles. This time however – poor quality photograph notwithstanding – he bagged a winner:
“After a recent visit to that place where it always rains, North Wales, (Llanberis actually) I also saw that rare blue thing you have also spotted whilst looking skywards for tall, wooden sticky up things. See pictures. This pretty standard BT pole comes complete with its own self seeded Rowan tree growing out the top.
So not only is it tall, wooden and sticky up it’s also going to keep going up as it grows and gets taller! So how about that from a Telegraph Poler’s Brain!”
We seem to have missed out February's Pole of the Month. It's only a short month, and my attention span is such that entire years can pass me by so a tiddly little month like February is nothing.
Anyway, we were traversing the dark underbelly of Wales from Brecon back to Aberystwyth via Llandovery and Lampeter and the badlands in-between. And just where the A482 leaves the A40 is Llanwrda - and March's P.O.T.M. Glorious it is too. Had the effect of causing a screech of brakes, a burnt rubber smell and the utterance "for Christ's sake" from Mrs TPAS. You don't need to have a near fatal accident in order to view it - simply go on a popular internet street view application and have a look for yourself. A worthy winner. I couldn't find anybody there to congratulate them, so if you're going that way do please tell them.
Click an image to see it in glorious bigness.
A bit like the football transfer window*1, we couldn’t close this off and announce the winner until we’d seen all the candidates. Now, with just 6 hours remaining, we are delighted to present for you, dear viewers, The Telegraph Pole Appreciation Society’s Telegraph Pole of the Month for January 2018.
I should also like to share with you the accompanying, long hand letter from Norwich:
Please may I submit the attached image for consideration as your esteemed organisation’s Pole of the Month for January. Photographed in Sutherland on the third day of 2018 with the snow-capped Coire Gorm looming above the mists of Loch a’ Ghriama, the pole outside the remote Merkland telephone exchange resembled a forlorn post-festivity Christmas tree, its branches bare and shorn of ornaments and tinsel – or, in this case, insulators and all but a couple of wires.
At least, that’s how one member of the Norwich and District branch of the TPAS saw it. And as Mrs Bracegirdle was the only one of our party still capable of standing and focusing after the branch’s annual week-long Hogmanay celebrations near the fishing port of Kinlochbervie, she made marginally more sense than the rest of us.
W. Montgomery Stack
Do keep ’em coming dear connoisseurs. Poles like this almost extinct in the wild nowadays, about which David Attenborough and, indeed, the BBC are depressingly quiet. Remember though, please attach your photos to any emails you kindly send us rather than insert them into the text – the email masher seems to make them smaller and I have to magic them into a useable size with my special thingy (whose name escapes me for the moment). Send to email@example.com. We regret that at the moment we are no longer accepting photos of genitals.
*1 Ok, not at all like the football transfer window, it’s just that I’m in confused focus at the moment due to our need of a decent midfielder and it looks like we might have just signed Nicky Deverdics from Hartlepool Utd FC. In the nick of time too.
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.
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
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?
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.
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.
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.
*1 He probably doesn’t.
*2 This is something I seem to say a lot.