The Barbican & Plymouth Hoe Lighting Pictures

This 8m CU concrete column right at the end of Bretonside was one of the last double-armed concrete columns to survive in Plymouth. For many years it held a pair of Philips MA30 lanterns, until around 2004 when these were changed to WRTL MRL6s. After only 5 years these too were destined to be replaced, and as replacement was pending, I photographed the column. The replacement of main road concrete columns across the city finally was completed in early October 2009, with all 8m & 10m council-owned concrete columns disappearing forever.

Update- Summer 2009: the column has now been replaced, with a new Corus steel 8m column taking its place. The lanterns are Philips 150w Iridium SGS253s.

A one-off in the city is this Thorn Civic 1 lantern running a 57w PL-T fluorescent lamp. This lantern was one of the first trials of PL lamps in the city, and is still the sole example of a 57w lamp to be found. The 36w Linear PL-L lamp was chosen as the standard type to be used with the WRTL Libra lantern across the city from 2007. This Civic lantern is controlled by an RTE ER12-RN minicell mounted on the canopy.

Main road concrete columns are now increasingly rare in the city with older lanterns attached. A survivor on the Barbican however is this 8m CU column in excellent condition with Thorn Alpha 3 lantern. This probably dates to the mid 1970s, although the column could be of 1960s vintage. If this is the case, then it would have had a GEC Z8430 Mercury lantern fitted when new.

Update- Autumn 2008: the column has now been removed, with a new steel 8m column relocated at the back of the path. The lantern is a Philips 150w Iridium.

A Thorn Gamma 6 mounted on a 5m concrete column. The interesting thing here is in fact the column. It dates from possibly as early as the 1950s. It may have have had some sort of post top fluorescent lantern fitted when installed, but in the 1970/80s had a Eleco PT828 fitted. There were a few fluorescent post tops left on the Hoe as late as 2004, but sadly they too were taken down; thus removing all examples from the city.

Update- July 2007: the column has now been replaced. A new 5m Pudsey Diamond mid-hinged column has been installed along with an Urbis K-Lux lantern.

A DW Windsor 'Windsor' lantern fitted with a 70w SON-I lamp. Switching is by a time clock located in a nearby pillar. The column is an original cast, therefore has no door compartment. This lantern was probably fitted in the early 80s. Many have been replaced from the Barbican, but a couple survive. There is a glass refractor ring around the lamp, and access to it is via a hinged pane of polycarbonate.

Update- August 2007: the Windsor lantern has been replaced by a new Metcraft 'Victoria' lantern.

Another example; this time on a wall mount. The lantern is controlled by a mini cell in the control box. It would originally have been a time clock.

A Phosco P109 lantern fitted with a 70w SON-I lamp. This is an early heritage lantern, and has been in place since at least 1971. It is the only one left on the Barbican. It is controlled by a wall-mounted timeclock around the corner.

An AC Ford AC848 lantern mounted on an old wall bracket. The lamp is a 70w SON-T and switching is by a part-night Sangamo clock in the control box.

An ornate installation of 3 GEC ZD10807 lanterns. There are 2 of these triple-bracket columns on the cliffs on The Hoe. They were refurbished in 2005, which included a complete rewire and brand new Haldo pillars for the control gear. The lamps are 150w SON-Ts with internal ignitors. A minicell in the pillar controls the three lanterns. The original gear boxes used Venner MSQP clocks to switch the lanterns. The columns have just been repainted into green & gold with Plymouth crests.

Another small cast column on the pathway has been fitted with a reproduction of the original ZD10807 lantern. This example runs a 70w SON-T lamp.

A GEC Z8896 lantern in a back lane. The lamp is no longer an 80w Mercury as it once would have been, but a 70w SON-T. Switching is by a Venner MSQP clock. Due to time clock removals this is one of very few of this style of column left holding a time switch in 2005.

Update- October 2005: the lantern finally succombed and was replaced by a ZXU1 over the 18/19th of October.

Nearby is another Z8896 lantern- again the lamp is now a 70w SON. This example has had its clock replaced with a SELC 841 cell- which is why it still survives today.

A GEC Z5679 lantern with a 70w SON-T lamp and a Haromarkt S90 photocell. The column is a 5m CU.

Update- July 2007: the column has been replaced as part of a scheme re-lighting the Hoe Parks. A tapered column complete with 70w SON-T Urbis Hayden is now in place.

GEC ZD10807s on 5m & 6m GEC Hexagonal steel columns. The lamps are 150w SON-T. There are only a few left with time clocks switching them now.

All post top lanterns on the Hoe front are now gone. There are however a fair few remaining on roads leading off, as these were not involved in the re-lighting programme.

 Plymouth Lighting Pictures

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İDavy Warren 2009