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Photos by Martin Watkins Page last updated: 2016-01-18

Start Point - the leaning mast of Devon

Some time around 12th January 2016 the top stay on the NNW side of the northern mast at Start Point snapped, the point of failure being the highest in-line insulator on the stay.

The top 150 ft of the mast, ie the section above the old break-insulator, is now leaning roughly towards the south. At least it's more or less into the prevailing wind....

My intial thought was that the two remaining top stays had been slackened off, but a little reflection led to the conclusion that any slackening was entirely due to the lean of the mast in their direction.

In fact I would say it looks unlikely that any action has been taken at all to mitigate the situation, at least up to Sunday 17th January.

Above: a sharp-eyed and well-informed source has pointed out that one can still see a section of open wire feeder inside the structure of the north mast. This would seem to be a left-over from when Start Point was used in anti-fade mode, as originally designed. It was the north mast that was energised originally, but later when the benefits of anti-fade radiators were compromised by increasing levels of foreign interference the break insulators were encased in lattice work to improve the integrity of the structure..... a technique that was entirely successful until January 2016!

Below: the Slapton UHF relay is clearly visible a few miles away.

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