Adventures in Letter Writing No. 41: “Everybody is somebody else’s weirdo” (Dilbert)

Much excitement in The Handwritten Letter Appreciation Society household.  I’m now a member of the Telegraph Pole Appreciation Society!  No, come back!  Really you need to give them a moment’s notice. You might even feel the need to join as well!?

I’m not sure how I stumbled across it but I’m so glad I did. I think it was because I was looking to see if The Handwritten Letter Appreciation Society already existed and it came up with the Telegraph Pole Appreciation Society instead. I already knew about the Cloud Appreciation Society (I’ve always loved a cloud, and a dramatic/pretty/unusual one at that) but telegraph poles! How eccentric! That might be slightly “pot calling the kettle black” but since that day I have been looking at them differently.  Actually to be fair I had written a poem about pylons many years before but they aren’t the same as telegraph poles (I have been reliably informed). Anyway it’s lead to a lovely exchange of letters and membership paraphernalia with the founder and I now wear my Telegraph Pole Appreciation Society badge with pride next to my Kadia one (favourite local folk band) on my old tatty rucksack. I’m slightly worried I’m gravitating towards a walking stick and miniature metal shields from tourist spots around the UK (nothing wrong with that only I’m in my 40s – yes, I know, that’s old) but I’ve got the family on high alert, just in case.

Also I’m not sure if TPAS get a proper mention in the credits but they actually advised on an episode of Endeavour. The one called “Rocket”. I was so surprised (SPOILER ALERT) to see that a telegraph pole held the key to solving the mystery that I had to email to make sure they’d seen it. As it turned out they were the Society’s very own insulators on the top of the poles, with expert advice given to the prop’s department about 1960s GPO telegraph poles. Hold on, you haven’t nodded off have you?

So all I’m saying really is do give telegraph poles just a little bit of your attention when you are next out and about. The arty people will think them arty, the sciencesy ones will wonder at the physics of them, the history lovers will go all nostalgic, etc and so on. Personally, I’ve even started taking photographs of them…


Pylons (not Telegraph Poles)

Six armed maidens playing
Cat’s cradle with yarns of energy
Patiently looking across towns and fields
Strong but delicate
Not noticed for their beauty.
In cities, a gathering of girls in laced up dresses
Led out across the land in single file
Some hunched unflinching with clenched hand
Some angel like, ready to launch to the heavens.
These stalwart damsels
These ugly ducklings
Have made me see with fresh eyes
And a change of heart.

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