Agreeably Asymmetric

A forlorn pole along the old Gosport to Fareham railway line

As far as human aesthetics are concerned, beauty is bilaterally symmetrical. We choose our partners in life based on the relative wonkiness of their face roughly matching that of our own.

The same cannot be said for telegraph poles. Look at this asymmetric beauty sent in by our Waterlooville correspondent, Geoff Mawdsley (#0389). This forlorn railway pole stands along the old Fareham to Gosport line. Geoff thinks the builders of a small housing estate nearby must have mistaken it for a GPO pole and have consequently left it alone.

In its day this pole carried one of the first long distance telephone circuits from Osborne House on the Isle of Wight all the way to London for the holidaying Queen Victoria. A reasonably short mental journey then gets me to imagining this very pole having carried some of HRH’s sweet nothings back to her beloved Albert at home in the palace.  Or some sterner words if they’d had a regal row perhaps.

Or just maybe when she rang Benjamin Disraeli to tell him of his cupped armpit flatulence comedy sound effect that she and Albert were “not amused!

Telegraph Pole Dating

Drayton Park Road, Lowick, Northants

And I don’t mean in a lonely-hearts sort of way…

Janice Edwards has written to us :

I know absolutely nothing about telegraph poles but I have just bought a postcard of a familiar place and one of the main features in it is the telegraph poles. I am trying to date the photo and wandered if there were any distinguishing aspects of the telegraph poles that might help.

The photo is of Drayton Park Road, Lowick which is in Northamptonshire. The railway crossing is narrow gauge, supplying iron ore to a nearby works, I am told.

 If any of our esteemed readers can help Janice, please drop me a line.   Click the image to see it in full glory.

Answers in so far :

Me, I reckon about 1930.

Tom from Donegal suggests “After the War of the Roses, but before the advent of Mobile phones”

Simon H off the internet thinks around the 1920s

Still waiting to hear from Honorary Technical Advisor Keith S****.


mjsalisbury23 reckons 2nd Feb 1929, 1:33pm    

Christmas in March

A box of ceramic insulators fresh from the postvan.Many people, my wife included, upon being gifted a parcel like that at left, might be inclined to think “what the hell did I do to deserve this?”  But to a severe sufferer of Anoraksia Nervosa, like myself, such a receipt is a delight.  It’s arrival preceded also by the entertainment watching our flimsy postman struggle first to lift it out of his van, and then to reach over our gate to wedge it into my letter bin.

I must confess that these have actually been through a scrub in the kitchen sink before being put back in the box for this photo.  One of them – the darkened one in the photo – is an old L.M.S. (London, Midland & Scottish) insulator.  It’s seen some severe high-voltage arcing in it’s working life by the look of it.

Very many thanks to Mark Taylor from Sutton Coldfield who answered my appeal for ceramics. A cheque to cover the postage is on its way, along with some carefully chosen pure thoughts and our good wishes.

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