Electricity transmission lines on OS One Inch maps

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Peter350
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Electricity transmission lines on OS One Inch maps

Post by Peter350 » Thu Apr 16, 2020 20:19

The OS one inch maps layers on SABRE are great for tracing old roads, but one other thing they also feature is electricity transmission routes. These are shown as a thin black line with chevrons pointing towards it on either side (see image below). These maps have given me the ability to trace and research how the national electricity grid developed over the years.

There are some things I find rather odd about how routes are shown though. There are examples where the last few pylons on a route before a power station are omitted, although I guess that could be to avoid revealing the power plant's location in the event of a nuclear war. Also, there are some 33kv pole routes shown which would nowadays be distinguished from the 132kv and above pylon routes. The most bizzare of these all however is the fact that a handful of routes do not appear on maps for years after they have been built. For example, the high level pylon crossing across the River Severn (the longest span in the UK I believe) was built in 1959, but it does not appear on One Inch maps until the 1967 edition! Have a look on SABRE Maps to prove it!
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WHBM
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Re: Electricity transmission lines on OS One Inch maps

Post by WHBM » Thu Apr 16, 2020 20:38

It's correct that power stations were not detailed on OS maps for a long time. The same applied at different intervals to RAF bases, prisons, etc.

The presence of any feature, such as the new power lines described, is dependent on the surveyor finding it. Detailed survey intervals were always quite wide, and there are a range of issues with new roads such as missing them out or marking them as complete when they have not actually been built, which of course have ended up being discussed here over time. The OS maps are probably 99.9% accurate, but that remaining 0.1% of so much detail still leaves quite a bit of scope if you really want to look for it.

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Re: Electricity transmission lines on OS One Inch maps

Post by Vierwielen » Thu Apr 16, 2020 22:12

WHBM wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 20:38
It's correct that power stations were not detailed on OS maps for a long time. The same applied at different intervals to RAF bases, prisons, etc.

The presence of any feature, such as the new power lines described, is dependent on the surveyor finding it. Detailed survey intervals were always quite wide, and there are a range of issues with new roads such as missing them out or marking them as complete when they have not actually been built, which of course have ended up being discussed here over time. The OS maps are probably 99.9% accurate, but that remaining 0.1% of so much detail still leaves quite a bit of scope if you really want to look for it.
A number of local maps from the 1970s and earlier showed heathland between Fleet and Farnborough with the name "Cove Common" in spite of there having been an airfield there since 1908! Also, the airfield that was built on Cove Common was not terribly secret - there have been airshows there every second year starting in 1948!

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Re: Electricity transmission lines on OS One Inch maps

Post by Piatkow » Fri Apr 17, 2020 10:46

I remember that you could pick out airfields quite easily due to the distortions that they created in the local road layouts.

With regard to updating, the residential street where I was brought up, built in 1953, was never included in the 7th series although changes to A and B roads were. I am not sure about the first series of Landrangers.

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Re: Electricity transmission lines on OS One Inch maps

Post by c2R » Fri Apr 17, 2020 11:41

The revision notes for each revision are probably key to determining what has changed - there are major and minor revisions, and reprints - sometimes the reprints are with "selected change", which could indicate a new bypass. Sometimes there is more detail than that, like Swindon B/* with its reference to the motorway, or Burton on Trent B/* which was reprinted with the addition of public rights of way, new major roads, and Staunton Harold Reservoir 1969
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Re: Electricity transmission lines on OS One Inch maps

Post by Steven » Fri Apr 17, 2020 11:54

c2R wrote:
Fri Apr 17, 2020 11:41
The revision notes for each revision are probably key to determining what has changed - there are major and minor revisions, and reprints - sometimes the reprints are with "selected change", which could indicate a new bypass. Sometimes there is more detail than that, like Swindon B/* with its reference to the motorway, or Burton on Trent B/* which was reprinted with the addition of public rights of way, new major roads, and Staunton Harold Reservoir 1969
And of course, the full revision, indicated in most Seventh Series maps by the letter change. This is where the entire sheet should get completely resurveyed, and should pick up all the smaller changes like housing estate changes etc.
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Re: Electricity transmission lines on OS One Inch maps

Post by KeithW » Sat Apr 18, 2020 13:53

Vierwielen wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 22:12

A number of local maps from the 1970s and earlier showed heathland between Fleet and Farnborough with the name "Cove Common" in spite of there having been an airfield there since 1908! Also, the airfield that was built on Cove Common was not terribly secret - there have been airshows there every second year starting in 1948!
The irony was of course that they were mapped in considerable detail on Soviet maps of the era as its rather hard to hide an airfield from a recon satellite or the nice plexiglass nose of an Tupolev 124 passenger jet
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... l_1966.jpg

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Re: Electricity transmission lines on OS One Inch maps

Post by Alderpoint » Sat Apr 18, 2020 18:23

KeithW wrote:
Sat Apr 18, 2020 13:53
Vierwielen wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 22:12

A number of local maps from the 1970s and earlier showed heathland between Fleet and Farnborough with the name "Cove Common" in spite of there having been an airfield there since 1908! Also, the airfield that was built on Cove Common was not terribly secret - there have been airshows there every second year starting in 1948!
The irony was of course that they were mapped in considerable detail on Soviet maps of the era as its rather hard to hide an airfield from a recon satellite or the nice plexiglass nose of an Tupolev 124 passenger jet
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... l_1966.jpg
Years ago I had a number of ex-RAF OS maps: these were standard OS maps overprinted in dark blue with things such as electricity lines (with heights), tall masts (TV etc), airfields and so on, apparently used during low flying exercises. Sadly I no longer have them.
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Re: Electricity transmission lines on OS One Inch maps

Post by WHBM » Sun Apr 19, 2020 12:48

Alderpoint wrote:
Sat Apr 18, 2020 18:23
Years ago I had a number of ex-RAF OS maps: these were standard OS maps overprinted in dark blue with things such as electricity lines (with heights), tall masts (TV etc), airfields and so on, apparently used during low flying exercises. Sadly I no longer have them.
The standard Visual Flight aviation charts that it is compulsory for all private pilots to have are exactly this, they can be had in multiple scales, are produced by the OS, and are overprinted specifically with all the features described, plus a wide range of other aviation detail such as radio frequencies.

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Re: Electricity transmission lines on OS One Inch maps

Post by Vierwielen » Tue Apr 21, 2020 18:21

Alderpoint wrote:
Sat Apr 18, 2020 18:23
KeithW wrote:
Sat Apr 18, 2020 13:53
Vierwielen wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 22:12

A number of local maps from the 1970s and earlier showed heathland between Fleet and Farnborough with the name "Cove Common" in spite of there having been an airfield there since 1908! Also, the airfield that was built on Cove Common was not terribly secret - there have been airshows there every second year starting in 1948!
The irony was of course that they were mapped in considerable detail on Soviet maps of the era as its rather hard to hide an airfield from a recon satellite or the nice plexiglass nose of an Tupolev 124 passenger jet
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... l_1966.jpg
Years ago I had a number of ex-RAF OS maps: these were standard OS maps overprinted in dark blue with things such as electricity lines (with heights), tall masts (TV etc), airfields and so on, apparently used during low flying exercises. Sadly I no longer have them.
Do yo recall whether or not the contours were in feet or metres? I have seen a few WWII-era army OS maps with everything in metres - civilian maps were in feet until the 1970's.

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Re: Electricity transmission lines on OS One Inch maps

Post by Alderpoint » Tue Apr 21, 2020 22:02

Vierwielen wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 18:21
Do yo recall whether or not the contours were in feet or metres? I have seen a few WWII-era army OS maps with everything in metres - civilian maps were in feet until the 1970's.
I'm afraid I don't. It was at least 25 years ago when I had them, and they were old then. I think I got them from Hay-on-Wye.
Let it snow.

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Re: Electricity transmission lines on OS One Inch maps

Post by Vierwielen » Tue Apr 21, 2020 22:12

Alderpoint wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 22:02
Vierwielen wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 18:21
Do yo recall whether or not the contours were in feet or metres? I have seen a few WWII-era army OS maps with everything in metres - civilian maps were in feet until the 1970's.
I'm afraid I don't. It was at least 25 years ago when I had them, and they were old then. I think I got them from Hay-on-Wye.
A pity. If anybody has been to the Churchill War Rooms, one can see a huge OS map for all of the UK. If it is examined carefully, it uses a 10 km grid, but not the OS grid as we know it today, but the earlier military grid. (The give-away is whether a principal grid line passes through Poole Harbour or not).

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Re: Electricity transmission lines on OS One Inch maps

Post by Steven » Wed Apr 22, 2020 10:45

Vierwielen wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 22:12
Alderpoint wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 22:02
Vierwielen wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 18:21
Do yo recall whether or not the contours were in feet or metres? I have seen a few WWII-era army OS maps with everything in metres - civilian maps were in feet until the 1970's.
I'm afraid I don't. It was at least 25 years ago when I had them, and they were old then. I think I got them from Hay-on-Wye.
A pity. If anybody has been to the Churchill War Rooms, one can see a huge OS map for all of the UK. If it is examined carefully, it uses a 10 km grid, but not the OS grid as we know it today, but the earlier military grid. (The give-away is whether a principal grid line passes through Poole Harbour or not).
Just for clarity for those who might be a tad confused, "military grid" here refers to the Cassini Delamere grid (as used on MoT maps for example), and not the OS National Yard Grid, which is also "not the OS grid as we know it today" and was in place from the early 1930s. The National Yard Grid can be seen on the Ten Mile Road Maps and OS One Inch Fifth Edition on SABRE Maps.
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Re: Electricity transmission lines on OS One Inch maps

Post by KeithW » Wed Apr 22, 2020 15:56

Vierwielen wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 18:21
Do yo recall whether or not the contours were in feet or metres? I have seen a few WWII-era army OS maps with everything in metres - civilian maps were in feet until the 1970's.
The War Office, Great Britain 1:20,000, GSGS 2748 series maps were fully in metric units, during WW1 the OS had been drawing trench maps for the Western front in metres so this was a continuation. They seem to be rather rare. The National Library of Scotland only has 21 sheets of the 118 published including this one of Catterick.
https://maps.nls.uk/view/195462180

The 1:25000 series maps on Sabre Maps were drawn on a metric grid but with heights in feet,

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Re: Electricity transmission lines on OS One Inch maps

Post by FosseWay » Wed Apr 29, 2020 15:04

KeithW wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 15:56
Vierwielen wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 18:21
Do yo recall whether or not the contours were in feet or metres? I have seen a few WWII-era army OS maps with everything in metres - civilian maps were in feet until the 1970's.
The War Office, Great Britain 1:20,000, GSGS 2748 series maps were fully in metric units, during WW1 the OS had been drawing trench maps for the Western front in metres so this was a continuation. They seem to be rather rare. The National Library of Scotland only has 21 sheets of the 118 published including this one of Catterick.
https://maps.nls.uk/view/195462180

The 1:25000 series maps on Sabre Maps were drawn on a metric grid but with heights in feet,
Well, I learn something every day! I had no idea this series even existed, and I thought I was a bit of a map nerd. Was the whole country covered, or does the NLS's coverage reflect what was actually mapped?
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Re: Electricity transmission lines on OS One Inch maps

Post by KeithW » Wed Apr 29, 2020 18:15

FosseWay wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 15:04
Well, I learn something every day! I had no idea this series even existed, and I thought I was a bit of a map nerd. Was the whole country covered, or does the NLS's coverage reflect what was actually mapped?
I believe the NLS collection has all the maps (2206 of them) but some parts of Scotland are not covered in that series presumably because they had been mapped in the 1940's War Office series, Great Britain 1:25,000 series GSGS 3906, 1940-43 and not much had changed

They can be found here and are distinctly bare boned
https://maps.nls.uk/os/25k-gb-1940-43/

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