Probably one of the best surviving installations in the area was found in the outlying area of Topsham. A cul-de-sac with some concrete columns dating from the c1950s. There is one surviving lantern which is probably the original type installed with the columns: a Revo 'Step Top'. Unfortunately the bowl has been broken but it's an incredible survivor none-the-less.
There are also 3 Revo Prefect lanterns which look to be later replacements dating from c1970s. These are all intact with their original rounded glass bowls.
Finally the last column in the road sports another rare lantern type. It appears to be an AC Ford AC424 lantern, fitted with a prismatic glas bowl. This bowl type is common to the Revo lanterns as well, but the date of the lantern is not currently known. This lantern runs an MBF/U lamp as do all the relics in the street.
Once a common sight on a few arterial routes around Exeter, they are now becoming more uncommon. The Simplex Jupiter lantern runs a 150w SON-T lamp, and control gear is mounted in the column base.
Revo Prefect lanterns sporting the tapered glass bowl option have been an Exeter favourite since their installation in the 1970s. Cast column removals and energy conservation however are taking their toll, and numbers are steadily dropping. A number of survivors are shown below on a variety of cast columns and swan necks.
They can also be seen with polycarbonate outer globes. These may be replacements for original glass types, or later installations with poly bowls from new.
An integral-geared Thorn Alpha 3 can be found wall mounted near the shopping centre. The photocell for this one is a 1970s RTE P9 Thermal type, which has been drilled into the gear shoe.
Adjacent to the bus station is a very rare lantern- a Thorn Beta 9 for an MBF/U lamp. This private example looks a bit battered due to the damage to the fragile plastic bowl. It is no longer lit, and is probably not maintained. Date wise, the lantern is probably from the 1970s.
Another private Thorn lantern to be seen, this time on the outskirts of Exeter, is a Beta 6. This is a fluorescent lantern and was designed for 2x 40w 2' tubes. Judging by the angle of the bracket, it is not secured by anything more than the cable any more!
A very pleasing installation exists right in the centre of Exeter. This Revo Prefect lantern appears long forgotten, although the finish suggests someone has recently painted it at least. The lack of a sizeable control box suggests the lamp is still a tungsten filament type.
Phosco P141 lanterns are a rare sight, but in the Exeter area two types can be found. Firstly a pair running 125w MBF/U lamps can be found in a shopping precinct. They are no longer lit, but ran Mercury lamps when last seen in use.
Secondly, and more amazingly, an installation exists of P141s running 2' fluorescent tubes! This is unheard-of these days, and the reason these remain is that they are on a private courtyard. All 4 are still lit and well maintained. The sight after dark is quite amazing.
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İDavy Warren 2009