Pylon passion

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 OMD sang Electricity

OMD quickly earned a favoured position in my teenage heart when I first heard Electricity. This song reminds me of home, of warmth and comfort. Most of all reminds me of Dad getting excited about Pylons, happily ethusing.  His excitement is contagious.

Dad started work for an electricity supply company in the early 1950’s.  Exciting times for an Engineer specialising in supplying electricity to the UK.  Building infrastructure, planning routes to lay cables and overhead lines. Dad is still passionate about the details of the tools of his trade.  He has photograph albums dedicated to Pylons.

He’s recently returned from a trip to China. He treated us to the holiday photo’s on the family TV. Amongst the photographs of temples, rivers, mountains, village streets were numerous photographs of pylons. 

Whenever I see a Pylon, transformer, dam, or insulator I think fondly of Dad.  How his face lights up and he starts talking about what’s interesting about this particular thing, its age, its construction process, its location or ability to withstand high winds.

Not only is his excitment contagious,

I now find myself taking photographs of Pylons whenever I go on holiday.

Pylon passion
rate wendys scribble

7 bits of lovely banter on “Pylon passion”

  1. Happy Frog and I writes:

    I love pylons! I first got into them when I worked for an electricity company and we got sent monthly copies of utility weekly. It has a ‘pylon of the month’ section at the back with photos and descriptions of pylons across the globe. When I drive to work on the country route I even have a favourite pylon (don’t tell the others though).

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    wendy writes

    utility week’s Pylon of the month. How cute! http://www.utilityweek.co.uk/

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  2. Madame Defarge writes:

    My dad is the same, having worked for Scottish Power and still doing his own consultancy. He could tell me where every set of cables and pylons led to going across Scotland. I found it rather quaint until I realised how much it meant to him. I think they’d get on superbly.

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    wendy writes

    They probably already know each other! My dad was with SWEB. I suspect there’s a whole generation of Electrical Engineers that think of Pylons like the next generation thinks of the iphone…

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  3. p-g writes:

    an article in the The Economist –
    A PYLON is supposed to be a beautiful thing. In ancient Egypt, pairs of tapering stone towers called pylons marked the entrances of temples. Christian architects borrowed the idea for the twin towers above the façades of many Gothic cathedrals. Whoever thought of appropriating the word for the ugly metal-lattice structures that carry high-tension power lines over the countryside was therefore guilty of both a public-relations triumph and an act of etymological vandalism. The latter, however, may soon be redeemed. The latest generation of electricity pylons are, in the eyes of some, at least, things of beauty in their own right.

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  4. p-g writes:

    (Actually, ‘in the trade’, they were always referred to as “transmission towers” – pylon being the layperson’s term.)

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    wendy writes

    P-G, Transmission towers! could be an REM song or name of a 1960’s block of flats. Exotic in its own right.

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