Insulators in Action 2007
Varleys, Varleys, Varleys
A recent trip along the Great Western Oxford to Worcester line, originally the Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway revealed several poles stuffed with Bullers made Varley No.8s. A total of 14 were brought home that day, all in excellent, undamaged condition.
The pins, although cemented, were easily removed. The type of cement used was more like a plaster than a true cement and soon became soft and compliant once wet.
A Septet of Shackles
Whilst rooting around the disused yards immediately north of Carnforth station I found several yard power distribution poles which had been cut down and the tops cut off. Sadly most of the shackle insulators were missing or smashed and as a consequence only this particular pole top was worth photographing. It mainly consisted of Bullers shackles with a few Gaskell and Groucott shackles mixed in
Old poles never die..
They just stand around waiting!
This particular pole will probably fall down before it is cut down, situated as it is, in the middle of nowhere, away from civilisation and only sheep to keep it company, though, at one time, it had quite a major job to do, judging by the number of double groove Telenduron Pothead insulators left on it.
A neighbouring pole, not actually connected with this particular pole route has been left for so long that it sways wildly in the wind, actually loose in the ground, the straining wires have rotted away and a Woodpecker has used it for a nesting tree at some point, yet it still stands
Terminators - J&P Style
I managed snap a photo of this pole top complete with 2 unusual terminators, sadly broken.
From experience, they seem to have been used mainly on colliery sites on the internal site lighting circuits as the last pair I saw were also at a disused colliery, see Out of Service Part 3 - Insulators in Use 2006
More Modern Day Mess
I spotted this small brown GPO Terminator whilst walking through town early one Sunday morning. As usual I was keeping my eyes skywards in the hope of finding something out of the ordinary but sadly this is all I saw
The zoomed image shows the modern high tensile wire used to anchor the telephone cable to the J-Bolt. It is twisted in a spiral and looped around the J-Bolt whilst the telephone wire itself appears to be interwoven between these two single strands of strainer wire only seperating from them prior to entering the connection box.
As you may have noticed original Copper wire telephone cables were always routed and tied in a far neater manner than their modern day replacements, an echo from when Labour was cheap and Pride existed in the job (Rose tinted glasses etc etc)
What was once new fangled technology entering the Medieval
I Spotted this around the back of an out-building attached to the Keep at Abergavenny Castle
The building itself is Victorian and the Keep not much older, built on the site of the original.
It is unclear if the insulator is marked and is probably a Bullers Ltd and possibly fitted when the Telephone was first installed, sometime prior to 1942.
The W-Bolt was probably fitted with 2 insulators but all that remains on the bare spindle is a short twisted section of Copper wire
A visit to the NCB Area Estate Offices at Big Arch, Abersychan proved to be both informative and depressing.
Although this site is disused and very derelict, it still had many features of interest. Power had obviously been provided across the whole complex via a network of poles and shackles. Practically every corner of the main building had some form of power take off point. The majority were white Shackles on the buildings with brown Shackles on the poles.
Two single installations stood out amongst the rest. These installations consisted of a broken, grooved top insulator similar to a P1600 but with a very spherical top portion akin to the early insulators shown inside the end papers of the Keith Neal book, 'Searching for Railway Telegraph Insulators', the E.I.518 and E.I.526 and an obviously, slightly tapering skirt.
These insulators are cemented to, what appears to be, relatively modern fixings. There are no markings on the remaining insulators and even fragments found on the ground were plain. The damage appears to have been caused by pellet guns as there are numerous small glaze dings on the remaining bits
Update 22 April 2007
I have now rescued the insulator shown above right and most of the pieces from the skirt. The only markings visible on re-assembly are positioned on the skirt side, 'MADE IN ENGLAND'. I do not think it was made by BULLERS.
The pin was cemented deep into the body of the insulator and ironically if it had not come under so much fire from pellet guns it would not have broken into many pieces and allowed easy removal of the pin, C'est La Vie!
A Bevy of Big Pit Beauties
A tantalising, unavailable display of High Voltage insulators can be seen near the Big Pit Mining Museum.
Standing astride a tump on a hill with no poles leading to or from this particular pole, it is odd how it survived.
As well as the dish type strain insulators and P5065 style insulators, you can also see two different types of Strain Clamps, the curly type is nicknamed the Snail clamp and the other is of the more orthodox variety.
What a mess!
This probably typifies the a busy urban pole. Insulators used as anchors or at least the U-bolts are, relatively modern junction boxes and wires everywhere.
Can you find a better or should that be worse example?