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Issue 3, 15.2.66

Numbering of Poles

1. General
All poles should be given a number in a definite series so that they may be identified:-

  1. on plant records,

  2. during works and maintenance, and

  3. for the purposes of wayleave negotiation and record.

This Instruction explains the method of labelling the poles upon erection and describes the numbering scheme to be followed.

2. Nails, Number, Nails, Letter and Numbers, Pole
Poles were formerly marked with Nails, Number and Nails, Letter (shown below) which were nails having enlarged heads (of 1in. and 7/8in. diameter respectively) with the appropriate character in relief on the head. Numbers, Pole, Plastic and Letters, Pole, Plastic labels introduced circa 1963 have now been made standard for use in numbering poles.

Where it was of assistance to be able to read the marking from a moving vehicle the pole number was marked with Numbers, Pole on every tenth pole to give increased legibility. Numbers, Pole were sheet metal characters fixed to the pole with two nails.
Numbers, Pole, Plastic and Letters, Pole, Plastic supersede all these items and are described in par. 10.

3. General numbering scheme
On completion of an overhead route, number the poles consecutively, commencing at the exchange end for a route in the subscribers distribution network, or at the larger exchange for a junction route.

The first number in the series should always be '1', the figure '0' being used only as described in par. 4.

4. Branch routes
Number the poles in routes branching off a longer route with a separate series commencing with the figure '1' at the first pole from the common (junction) pole. Mark the common pole with a figure '0' placed so that its face is parallel to the direction of the branch (see Fig. 1).

5. Aerial lines having a short underground section
Where a short section of underground line occurs in an aerial line and the character of the latter is substantially the same on each side of the underground section the sequence of the numbering should not be interrupted.

6. Distribution poles
Allocate a separate series of numbers for distribution poles in each exchange area. Fit a 'D.P.' number on each distribution pole and if the distribution pole is also a line pole, the relative pole number, of the line series in which it occurs, should be fitted in addition to the D.P. number (see Fig. 1).


7. Numbering additional poles
If intermediate poles are added to an existing line the existing numbering series may be retained by using the number of the preceding pole with the addition of suffix 'A' for each new pole.

8. Transposition poles
The method of labelling these poles is dealt with in E3003. The position of the transposition code is described in par. 11 and illustrated in Fig. 1.

9. Pole diagrams
The Method of recording pole numbers on pole-diagrams is given in General. A 6101.

10. Stores items used and method of fixing
Numbers, Pole, Plastic and Letters, Pole, Plastic are white rectangular plastic labels 1in. x 1in. with the number or letter in relief and overlaid black.  These were made of Cycolac HM ICI Propathene 203/66 White 005.

They are attached to the pole with four Pins, Steel, No. 1, 1in. for which holes are provided.

Letters A, B, C, D, E and S for lettering transposition poles; L, M and S for marking poles on pole stacks; D and P for marking distribution poles; G, P and 0 for marking poles acquired from outside sources and shortened recovered poles (the figure 0 can be used either as a letter or a number); A, B and J for marking poles used for joint construction; A for numbering additional poles.

11. Arrangement of markings on the pole
There may be up to three rows of markings on a pole as shown in Fig. 1 and the following layout should be adopted.

Top row


D.P. Number

Second row


Transposition Code

Third row


Pole Serial Number

Fix the characters in a row immediately adjacent to each other without a space and fix adjacent rows similarly.

Fix the lower edge of the bottom row 8 ft. from the ground.

Fix the first figures of the rows in line vertically.

When a figure '0' is required as described in par. 4 fix it with its bottom edge 8 ft. from the ground.

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Last revised: March 13, 2022