A LEYTONSTONE resident who has been catapulted to national media fame as a leading commentator on electricity pylons says the result of a competition to redesign them has been a missed opportunity.

Flash Bristow, of Davies Lane, a well known community campaigner, has featured in countless newspapers, radio shows and TV programmes across the country on behalf of the Pylon Appreciation Society, which she founded in 2005.

The fanclub has been given a huge boost following the launch of a Government competition in May looking for new pylon designs and the winner, a simple t-shape design by the firm Bystrup firm, has just been announced.

But Ms Bristow feels that a chance to boldly redefine Britain's pylon landscapes has been missed.

She said: "I think they went for a very safe option. Obviously they have chosen a design which they think will appease as many people as possible and not offend anyone.

"It's fine. I accept not everyone likes pylons, but it does look a but like a telegraph pole with earrings.

"I thought the entry which looked like a sail was a lot more imaginative. I appreciate it wouldn't have been as easy to construct but they would look a lot more spectacular.”

The National Grid has said it will now work with the winning designers – and some of the runners-up – to consider whether to start building the new pylons in the coming years.

But despite the disappointment Ms Bristow says the national media attention has boosted the numbers of her 600-strong organisation.

She said: “It's been quite overwhelming, the phone has been red hot from journalists wanting to speak to me and I've had a lot of emails from people wanting to join.

“Unfortunately we don't really have many pylons in Waltham Forest, as they tend to use underground cables in urban areas, so it's unlikely we'll see any of these new designs locally anytime soon, although it could happen a few years down the line.

“I think it's a very British thing for people to be interested in all sorts of geeky interests, so I'm not really surprised about how many people have joined. I'm very pleased.”

Visit www.pylons.org for more information on the society.

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