Enough of all the forerunning festive frivolity. A new year, so new earnestness in our telegraph pole appreciating. And in light of that, I’ve been saving this next item for weeks now…
Robin Hughes wrote in to tell us that the lane near his house was once a significant highway but is now just called Blackhurst Lane. Up until 1912 this road was the demarcation line between National Telephone Company’s area of Tunbridge Wells and the GPO’s “Trunk Area”.
There remains a run of telegraph poles still in use today and incredibly six of them have GPO 1910 clearly notched into them.
Oldest in Kent perhaps? he asks.
At the time these poles were erected Blackurst Lane was, for many, the ride of shame as the Tonbridge Union Workhouse stood at the Northern end. When they built the Pembury bypass the lane was dissected and these poles now sit in a quiet no through road. No doubt assisting in their preservation.
What really made me smile was the fact that in that part of the lane the only pole displaying an A1024 warning notice (pole needs replacing) was a comparative youngster “only” dating back to 1960!
Apologies Robin, for holding on to these photos for so long. For me it was worth it though, as it sets a benchmark for telegraph pole watching in 2015.