September marks the beginning of the new school year and so with this academic theme in mind I thought that an Oxford pylon would be appropriate. This picture was taken from a bridge over the railway line about a mile or so south of the city centre in Kennington (very near the entrance to the Redbridge recycling centre if you are in the area and want to visit). The picture is taken looking towards Oxford, the city famous for its 'Dreaming Spires', a term coined by Matthew Arnold in his poem 'Thyrsis'. So perhaps the subtitle to this months post should be "The Dreaming Pylons of Oxford".
September promises to be a very exciting month for pylon fans in the UK. Regular readers of this blog might remember that in May this year, I mentioned a competition that is underway to design the pylons of the future. The 'Pylon Design Competition' is trying to choose a pylon design that is more aesthetically pleasing than the current industrial soldiers. If you want to get a feel for cutting edge pylons, then look at these designs that won competitions in Italy and Iceland. I have written before about the origins of the current UK design chosen by Reginald Blomfield (who was also on the committee that chose the design of the iconic red telephone box) and only last month about the origins of the word 'pylon'. So if you want to be a part of pylon history then you really should be in London on Wednesday 14th September at the Victoria and Albert Museum when the finalists in the competition will be announced by the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Chris Huhne. Sadly as it is at 11:00am, I can't be there, so I will have to work on getting an invitation to the announcement (in October) of the winner. But I will play my part because the shortlist will be subject to public consultation and once I have found out how to comment, I will certainly be playing my part in shaping the future of pylons.