The numbers on telegraph poles mean something. It’s like a secret coded language, a shorthand of information for those in the know. Some markers are fairly obvious: a red-on-white HP indicates the location of a hydrant, a vertical black-on-yellow bus stop speaks for itself. Some numbers indicate the pole number and the distance from the source—which might be what these are—but it doesn’t really matter because I am biased more towards the aesthetic appeal of wonky silver numbers hammered into dry, splitting, splintery timber, and the rich array of textures and tonality. The much newer smart poles, with their banners, cctv and feature lighting, are not nearly so abundantly accessorised.

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