Okay, so what do all these engravings, plaques and embossed badges mean?

Thanks to John Willis of Dagenham, who was a GPO telephone engineer back in 1964, we can now let our telegraph pole inner sanctum members know the truth...

* DP = Distribution Point DP numbers

* S = suspected of decay.

* red D = decayed.
* green C = not planted deep enough, shallow, climbable. 

* The punch hole sign is a testing cycle sign (post 1964)

* The cuts in the pole are measurements to do with depth in the ground, also they tell you the size of pole ie 32 m is 32 feet long medium size pole as there was light L or heavy H sizes, 60 H would have been 60 feet long Heavy, thick pole. All to do with loading.

* The numbers at the bottom are date of manufacture 86 = 1986. They use meters as measurement now.

And apologies to John for taking well over a year to putting this info on the site.

Thanks to Sean Kern for this next bit of information :

The doby mark or the 3 metre mark (details branded into the pole including pole owner BT, date of manufacture & pole size) is 3 metres from the bottom of the pole. A pole should be planted approx 1.8 metres in the ground which would then put the 3 metre mark at aheight of 1.2 metres from ground level.

New poles do not need "testing for the first 12 years and hence after require testing by a "pole tester" every 10 years.
If a pole is "out of test date" then you are not allowed to climb it and must use a platform elevating.