Pylon of the Month - December 2014


Another month has passed me by and I'm posting this pylon in the last few days of November so that it is there for the whole of December.  I had good intentions on my return from Japan (see October's pylon) but time slipped through my fingers and so once again it is a case of better late than never. Whilst looking through the many emails I receive with potential pylon pictures to choose from, it was this phrase that was the clincher:

Keep up the good work, it's a great tongue in cheek website blog and keeps us amused on not so summery days.

As the last few weeks have been full of not so summery days, it seemed to me that a reminder of the glory days of June was in order and so do please click on the image above to get the larger version and drink in the sunshine.  The pylons are located south of the A2, south of Canterbury in a Village called Nackington.  It looks like a lovely place to visit and Kent is one of the counties of England which I have rarely visited, so I might try to get there at some point soon. Nackington itself was in the Domesday Book and given the history associated with Canterbury it might not surprise you to know that the A2 follows a route similar to a Celtic ancient trackway and that it was formerly known as the Dover Road.  When following this up, the wonders of the internet then led me to a comedy play by AA Milne (of Winnie the Pooh fame) called 'The Dover Road' which was written in 1921.  If you are reading this post and you are a person of influence in the theatre world and decide to revive this play, please do name check Pylon of the Month and invite me to the first night and the after show party.  If it then leads to a triumphant remake of the film (originally released as 'Where Sinners Meet') then an invitation to the Oscar party is the least I expect.  

Talking of films, I'll end with a link to a quirky short film sent in by a fan of the website shot on super 8 film.


Stromland / Electrified Landscape from Thorsten Fleisch on Vimeo.



Pylon of the Month - May 2014


May's pylon is a little late arriving, but I hope that the wait will have been worthwhile.  In the finest traditions of Pylon of the Month, it was a picture I took myself from the window of a moving car (before all you road safety conscious pylon fans get in touch, don't worry; I was in the passenger seat) as we drove over the Avonmouth bridge on the M5 near Bristol.  In fact on the Wikipedia page about the bridge you can just about see the same pylon.  What caught my eye was the height of the pylon and the fact that it is considerably taller than the previous one in the chain.  Presumably the power lines need to be taken higher to cross the River Avon rather like the ones used for the Tees crossing which are the tallest in the country at 145m (dedicated fans will of course know that Pylon of the Month has mentioned the Tees crossing back in February 2013).  Mark Brennan, the project manager had this to say about the Tees crossing:

“.....We need to build very tall towers to support the wires because of the width of the River Tees at the crossing point and the fact that we need to make sure there is a safe clearance distance for the ships which will pass under the line.”

I imagine that the same is true for the Avon when it comes to the length of the span but perhaps not the shipping.  Anyway, if you look carefully at the image above you will see the wires sloping up steeply to the top of the pylon from the right hand side. 

Just by way of information and because it is one of the most random Wikipedia pages I have found, the longest span in the UK is the Aust Severn Powerline crossing at 1,618m.  If that isn't enough for you, how about a page listing spans from all over the world and the heights of the pylons that support them.  It seems that the tallest pylons in the world at a whopping 370m are in China linking Zhousan Island to the Chinese mainland.

Finally this month, it looks as if my request back in Febraury 2013 for a stockbridge damper might have borne fruit.  I've got my fingers crossed and I also now know even more about aeolian vibration and pylon lines as a result of my contact.  I'll be writing more about this subject soon so tune in again next month to see what happens next.  In the meantime, please do watch this fantastic 30 minute documentary, 'Silvering Up'.  It follows a team of four pylon painters and the speed at which they work and their complete lack of fear as they clamber over pylons (without safety harnesses) is a real eye opener.   


Pylon of the Month - February 2010

This month's pylon is shown off to great effect by what is without doubt the best photograph up to now to appear on Pylon of the Month.  A professional photographer, David Hatfield, submitted this month's photograph of a pylon which is near Sheffield in South Yorkshire (close to junction 1 of the M18). As a result, I have made the photograph larger than normal so that it stands out from the usual snaps taken out of car windows and it sets a standard that will be hard to match in future months.  But the excitement this month is not over yet.  I have been waiting for a Yorkshire pylon so that I can mention the rather marvelous film, Among Giants, which is about a group of Yorkshiremen who paint pylons for a living.  The screenplay for the film was by Simon Beaufoy and it was the follow up film to 'The Full Monty'.  More recently, he wrote the screenplay for  'Slumdog Millionaire' and so has a serious pedigree.  As this article from the independent had it 'Full Monty Man follows up with Monty Pylon'.  The film appears not to have been a great success, although as this review from Amazon points out 'The mouth watering footage of electricity pylons in this film makes it worth the money on its own'.  It really should be compulsory viewing for pylon fans everywhere.