Pair of climbers for climbing telegraph poles


Pair climbers for climbing telegraph poles;
Science Museum Group

Pair of climbers for climbing telegraph poles
Science Museum Group Collection

Pair climbers for climbing telegraph poles; made at Doncaster Works for J.H. Borrett from "Flying Scotsman" tyre steel in 1948; steel bar with silver steel points, leather straps and pads.

Signalling engineers used these devices strapped to the lower legs when climbing wooden telegraph poles.

These climbers were made at Doncaster Works from reclaimed tyre steel, which was a very tough metal. The steel used to make them was removed from the locomotive Flying Scotsman while it was in the works for an 86,000 mile overhaul.

The climbers were strapped to the legs over stout shoes or boots, with the points facing inwards. The installer would walk up the telegraph pole, gripping the pole with his hands. It was important not to dig the points into the wooden pole as they could get jammed and the climber stuck. Standard issue climbers were usually provided by British Rail installers and technicians in the Signalling & Telecommunications department, but these could be uncomfortable. Mr Borrett made the leather straps and pads himself to improve upon the BR-issued design.

On display

National Railway Museum: Warehouse

If you are visiting to see this object, please contact us in advance to make sure that it will be on display.


Signalling & Telecommunications
Object Number:
leather and steel
climber for climbing telegraph poles
  • tools and equipment
Borrett, J.H.

Cite this page


We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.

Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero

Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence

Using our data


Download catalogue entry as json

View manifest in IIIF viewer

Add to Animal Crossing Art Generator

Download manifest IIIF

Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.