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June 2010

Pylon of the Month - June 2010


As June is now with us and summer really does seem to be 'icumen in' I was drawn to this rather bucolic photograph submitted by a fan of the website.  It is just off the A38 (aka the Devon Expressway) between Exeter and Okehampton in Devon and so would be an ideal stop off for pylon fans heading to the West Country for their holidays this summer.  As far as I am aware, the cows are the first animals to feature in a pylon photograph on this website.  Another first for Pylon of the Month.

Other than this month's pylon, my cup really does overfloweth with othyer pylon related news.  First up is a campaign to rebuild the Skylon.  Its not quite a giant pylon, but fans of large steel erections might want to vote on a suitable location for it if it does get rebuilt to mark the 60th anniversary of the Festival of Britain. It would certainly be a very visible reminder of the wealth of engineering and design talent in the UK.

The second bit of news I discovered by looking at the sources of traffic for this blog.  It is mainly word of mouth (so people google 'pylon of the month' having already heard of it), but I do get the odd mention elsewhere.  One of the blogs that has been sending traffic my way recently is Wartime Housewife, which in a recent post discusses the origins of the National Grid and Sir Reginald Blomfield who was charged with deciding on pylon design.  The quote below is from Pastoral Peculiars by Peter Ashley (via Wartime Housewife above).

If you had to design a tower to carry 400,000 volts worth of electricity, the pylon is not a bad solution.  Even at the start of the National Grid,  there were sensibilities about the impact of such things and they brought in Sir Reginald Blomfield to look at the design possibilities.  Blomfield had been on the Royal Fine Arts Commission that had chosen Giles Gilbert Scott’s design for the red telephone box and Scott, architect of Liverpool Cathedral and Battersea Power Station, has always been associated with the pylon project.

I am going to make it my mission to find out more about the genesis of the pylon.