First published in Ysgrifau in 1928, Sir T.H. Parry-Williams’ essay ‘Telegraph Poles’ gave a rich and textured celebration of the former trees that for him had ‘reached the perfect state, which is death, and have commenced a new, static life, which is some kind of death enlivened’. He acknowledged them as being ‘modern in the extreme’, yet holding ‘the memory of a monastic Middle Age melancholy in their brutal stance’.
For many years I have admired the elegance of utility poles, particularly those at Strumble Head (Pen-caer) standing stoically against the elements in their ancient landscape. The best time to be there is of course the winter. Anticipation grows driving towards Strumble from Goodwick as the road narrows and turns until eventually appearing to fall over the edge into the sea – a breathtaking view that is different every time – the sharp left turn provides the reassuring sight of the car park. Starting and finishing at the car park, the choice is whether to walk north for Llanwnda or south for Pwll Deri.