December's Pylon of the Month was chosen on the spur of the moment during a walk with my Dad around Jumbles, Wayoh, and Entwistle reservoirs in the run-up to Christmas. It was a flying visit back to the area where I grew up and it would have been difficult to pick a better day for a December walk; cold, clear and amazingly windless. I've done the walk a number of times before, but all in the days BP (Before Pylons) when their presence wouldn't have caught my eye. A quick look at the Open Infrastructure Map tells that it is probably a pylon on the 132 kV line running north from Bolton's Union Road substation.
The pylon is in Greater Manchester, but when I write to my Dad, I still use 'Lancashire' as part of the address even though it hasn't technically been part of the county since 1974 when boundary changes removed Liverpool and Manchester as well as their surrounding conurbations. This identification with Lancashire is noted on Wikipedia:
Many of these places still identify strongly with the county, particularly in areas of Greater Manchester (such as Oldham and Bury) where Lancashire is still used as part of the postal address.
Reading the Lancashire Wikipedia also led me down a bit of a rabbit hole. The original and much larger Lancashire was a County Palatine. This was news to me in that I had never heard of such a thing. It turns out that:
In England, Wales and Ireland a county palatine or palatinate was an area ruled by a hereditary nobleman enjoying special authority and autonomy from the rest of a kingdom or empire.
With Christmas preparations to finish, I couldn't afford to get sucked too deeply into the rabbit hole but I did find out that the Dukedom of Lancaster is an extinct peerage that lives on as the Duchy of Lancaster because the reigning monarch subsumed the Dukedom. From there I was led to the idea of Bona Vacantia on the Duchy of Lancaster website:
In English law, title to property must belong to, or ‘vest in’, an identifiable person or body. No property or goods are permitted to be ‘ownerless’. If legal ownership cannot be established by anyone else, it falls to the Crown to deal with the assets concerned. Such property or goods are known as ‘bona vacantia‘.
At that point, I decided that I had ventured too far from a pylon on a 132 kV line and stopped. Merry Christmas to pylon fans everywhere.