“If the sight of a line of telegraph poles undulating over hills and fields into perspective infinity fills your heart with joy, then you’re probably already a member of the Telegraph Pole Appreciation Society,” says Martin Evans, founder of the society.
Martin founded the society in 1997 to celebrate the everyday mundanity of the humble telegraph, telephone, and other utility poles. It now has over 1,000 members. The society’s motto is “If it’s tall, wooden, sticky-uppy and got wires coming out the top then we appreciate it.”
“Like people appreciate the art of Turner or Constable, we appreciate the aesthetic beauty of the poles and their place in our landscape.”
“We don’t care what the wires contain. They all carry electricity in some way be it the sparky stuff which boils your kettle, or the thinner stuff with your voice in it when you’re on the phone. Their ubiquity, the shape and variety of the paraphernalia atop and those curious markings and placards that adorn the lower part of the poles that interest us.”
Martin, when growing up in North Wales, developed an early fascination for the lines of poles stretching off in all directions delivering power and telephone service to every household. “Having a peculiar obsession with telegraph poles was not something you shouted about as a young lad,” Martin says. “But I would quietly observe how they stood over us. Tall, silent sentinels. I would follow the lines they made across the countryside and wonder about their structure and where they were going.”
The TPAS website, telegraphpoleappreciationsociety.org, has information about the society and photos, articles, videos, and URLs about telegraph poles.