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Where are the Most Artistic Stobie Poles in Adelaide?

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by Steve Hudson (subscribe)
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Published December 25th 2014
In 1924, an Adelaide Engineer designed a power line pole made of two steel joists held apart by a slab of concrete in the middle. The pole became affectionately known as the Stobie Pole, after its inventor, James Cyril Stobie (1895–1953).

Stobie Pole
Danby Avenue, Gilles Plains - Steve Hudson


But while this stobie pole has been extremely functional, it has often been considered as a blight on the landscape, with two actions taken to remove the blight. In most cases nowadays, power supply has gone underground and road lights have become more aesthetic. However in older areas where the cost of taking the power underground is too excessive, we have seen a proliferation of paintings occur on the trusty and long-living stobie pole. But where is Adelaide's most artistic stobie pole ?

Hawker Street
Hawker Street, Brompton - Steve Hudson


Some people say that since the invention of the stobie pole, artists have been painting stobie poles. Well, perhaps that is a slight exaggeration. What I think they meant to say is that after discounting the bus stop artists from TransAdelaide, State Transport Authority and the Municipal Tramways Trust, stobie poles have been painted for years.

Stobie Pole
Not this one - Steve Hudson

East Street
East Street, Brompton - Steve Hudson


From as early as the mid 1980's when Clifton Pugh painted Adam and Eve on a stobie pole in Prospect and created some national interest in the painting of stobie poles, this form of street art commenced. Since that time the stobie pole has been adopted by schools and community groups, and often painted to reflect a local theme or a nearby facility.

Coppin Street
Coppin Street, Semaphore - Steve Hudson

Port Road
Port Road, Croydon - Steve Hudson


Do you have some painted stobie poles near you ? Where are Adelaide's best ? Should this practice of painting be further encouraged, or does it cause too many distractions to road users ?
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I like the ones on East Street and Port Road.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12442) 1698 days ago
It's nice when they are placed near a bus stop while you are waiting. Don't think they are a distraction at all, it's great when you see kids involved with them as well. Especially in the Semaphore area.
by Wandering Foodies (score: 2|479) 1698 days ago
I like the artistically painted stobie poles on the Main Road through Oakbank, in the Adelaide hills. They were painted by local high school students about 15 years ago.
by Haydn Radford (score: 3|1127) 1697 days ago
There are some nice ones on Brighton Road. Gives me something nice to look at when stuck in morning traffic.
by Steve Hudson (score: 3|1245) 1698 days ago
The town of Mallala has dressed up the stobie poles with a motor racing theme in support of the racetrack just near the town.
by Stefano (score: 2|215) 1698 days ago
Saw some more on Ascot Avenue this morning. It is only now that you have pointed these out that I am suddenly seeing them all !
by Stefano (score: 2|215) 1695 days ago
I like some I have seen on Goodwood Road at Goodwood.
by Marie Vonow (score: 1|14) 1693 days ago
There are several really well decorated stobie poles on the west side of Marion Road, Marion, near Westminster School. Sorry, I don't have a picture at this stage.
by mikew (score: 1|39) 1691 days ago
Check out the stobie poles along Newland Avenue, Marino, opposite the railway station. There are 22 panels painted by the Marion Art Group - beautiful!
Gemma Baxter
by broke (score: 0|2) 1672 days ago

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