Thank you all very much, that's all most helpful and reassuring; apart perhaps from Sandy's male and female anatomy, as both of my pole ends look the same - perhaps that's why it was at "clearance" price!!
If that signifies a real problem, I don't know whether to say don't tell me or I'll worry, or tell me quick and I'll take the old Akto after all. But I did pitch it in the garden, and it did seem to work. Haven't bought extra guys though, & no chance now, but i could take a bit of climbing cord.