Our Japan correspondent (Hâf) immediately spotted the aesthetics in this tangled urban skyscape and snapped January’s pole of the month somewhere in a downtown Tokyo. It’s also particularly pleasing owing to the blue sky. I’ve heard of blue skies, but coming from Wales, don’t remember ever having seen one.
There’s everything going on up on that pole.
Tell the world you appreciate telegraph poles and all the things that hang from them, stand on them, nest in them, gaze up at them, by becoming a member of The Telegraph Pole Appreciation Society. And what’s more, there is a badge, certificate and even a pencil that in certain light could look like a telegraph pole, all available to say that you’re a member. For life, too.
There is a one-off cost of just £3.00 to join the Telegraph Pole Appreciation Society. This fee covers the cost of the badges, pencils, printing and postage. We don’t give your details to anyone else, and we probably won’t be stuffing your email inbox with endless newsletters either.
MEMBERSHIP OUTSIDE THE UK. Alas our membership packs replete with certificate, pencil & badge are classed as a parcel by the post office and so cost us a bomb when posting outside the UK. Therefore we can no longer include anything sticky-outy in packs sent to addresses outside the UK (or Basingstoke). If you are abroad and want the pencil and badge too, then please contact us first.
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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.
This was the day our late founder, Sir Benjamin Spoon BEM re-incarnated to attend a prestigious football event in the Blue Square Conference of Great British Footy. This game between Wrexham and Kidderminster Harriers was a must-win contest for both sides.
As it happened, those bounders from the West Midlands went home with all 3 vital points due to a 94th minute flapping of handbags in the Wrexham defence. Much jeerification followed.
After the game, Sir Benjamin hung around the bar answering questions from bar staff regarding how much ice to put in his whiskey. He also took the opportunity to mingle with curious onlookers, getting meithered by a couple of kids as well as generally being stared at in a mouth-agape sort of fashion. Then, as quickly as he arrived, he disassembled himself back to his Denbighshire graveyard where he’s spent the last 150 years.
(Left) Sir Benjamin enjoys a cigar on the touchline prior to the excitement of the game. Seen here with his gentleman assistant, Huw Thayer.
(Above) Enjoying another, or possibly the same cigar alongside the last person who ever knew where the bloody net was at Wrexham, Gary Bennett.
Also seen alongside is someone with a severe skin disorder and hideously deformed head.
Wrexham captain, Ashley Westwood, listens intently to tactical advice imparted by Sir Benjamin.
Had they heeded said advice, the result would have been a resounding thrashing for the opponents.
Definitely not the same cigar, surely. Sir Benjamin cracks the first of many bottles of champagne. A defeat is only a victory backwards after all.
Sir Benjamin offers to clean man of the match, Andrew Crofts’ shirt of all the felt-pen scrawling.
Or rather, his manservant, Huw Thayer, will clean it. And in his own time too.
Associate members of the Telegraph Pole Appreciation Society gather to applaud the decision to wash said shirt.
You can become a member of this august organisation by clicking here.
Sir Benjamin Spoon BEM – Founder
Born on board a steamship during a perilous crossing of the River Gwenfro in 1802, Benjamin Spoon, found notoriety fairly late in life.
Until his “Grand Idea” of putting cheese together with onion in the form of a thin slice of fried potato, he had struggled to make ends meet as a small time inventor. This “Eureka” moment took place just after his carriage shed a wheel after hitting a lucozade bottle on the modern day B5105 near what is today called Llanfihangel. That was in 1863.
His invention, which later went on to become crisps and then Monster Munch, propelled Benjamin first to fame and then to honours; with Queen Victoria bestowing his BEM in 1864 and the Sir bit the year after.
Sadly, Sir Benjamin Spoon BEM died penniless in 1870 after losing his fortune to a football pools betting scam. He is buried in Cerrigydrudion churchyard. But recently arose from the dead briefly to be guest of honour at a football game at Wrexham.
A telegraph pole farm in the Orkney Isles.
The Orkney Isles are the source of most of the UK’s telegraph poles. Telegraph Pole Farming is a mainstay of the economy in these harsh northern isles. The posts seen here are nearly ready for harvesting. Every autumn, migrant workers from Eastern Europe work night and day picking only the tallest, creosotey poles with the most succulent insulator fruit.