Lipson, Laira & Greenbank Lighting Pictures

An AC Ford AC848 lantern on a cast column and swan neck. This lantern would have been installed in the early 1980s- most likely replacing a GEC top entry lantern running a 160w MBTF lamp. This type of lamp is a blended mercury-tungsten lamp which runs directly from the mains. They were fitted in place of standard Tungsten lamps for better light output without the need for control gear. A Sangamo timeswitch would probably have originally been housed in the small control box.

A rare find is this GEC Z5530C lantern in a back lane. The column is a CU concrete with swan neck. The lamp would have been mercury originally, but is now a 70w SON-T. Control is by group switching. The lantern carries a rare clear glass outer globe and internal ring refractor. I know of only two other clear glass globes of this style in the city. As of October 2005, this is now the only example left within the city boundaries.

Update- 21st January 2008: the lantern was finally removed due to deteriorated condition. The bowl catch had corroded away and was picked up by bulk change. The old lantern was cut off and a new Urbis ZXU1 lantern fitted.

2-part cells are increasingly rare in the city in recent times, but this 70w GEC Z8896 is still very much operational. The controller for the Royce Thompson Q6 cell is mounted in the base compartment of the 5m Stuart & Lloyd column. The GEC lantern and 'Parkway' bracket would have replaced a post-top MBF/U lantern in c1984. This will have probably been an Eleco PT828 lantern.

The entire column was replaced in 2009 with a new steel shaft and Urbis ZXU1 lantern.

An AC Ford AC848 lantern mounted via a manufactured bracket onto a 5M BS hockey stick column. Apparently these brackets were manufactured 'in house' by the council to allow the use of AC Ford lanterns on side entry brackets. The lamp is a 70w SON-I.

A pair of geared 250w Thorn Alpha 3 lanterns on a 10m hexagonal steel column. This is the only remaining pair at the site as the column in the background lost its second lantern a few years ago. Sadly this is soon to change as the nearest lantern is set to be replaced. Its bowl has been removed and it is no longer lit. A 250w Philips SGS253 'Iridium' is almost certainly the impending replacement lantern.

Update- January 2008: shortly after the picture was taken both Alpha 3s were replaced by SGS253 'Iridium' lanterns.

Along the main road into the city are over a dozen of these GEC Z8536 lanterns remaining. They were installed originally with 250w SON lamps. This was changed to 400w SON however because when the adjacent railway yard was relit, the road appeared dim in comparison.

Update- August 2007: a two-day evening operation saw the removal of these GEC lanterns in the stretch in their entirety. Energy saving measures mean that 400w lanterns are in the demise, and since new optics are so vastly improved, 250w Philips Iridium lanterns are just as bright, if not better than their predecessors.

Also to be found on the same road are a number of Thorn Alpha 3 lanterns. These, when installed in 1973, used Sangamo S305 (two-part) photocells to control them. As these failed, many were disconnected and replaced by NEMA photocells fitted on the bracket arm at the top of the column. There are however, still a handful in use with their old cells still connected. The Sangamo S305 cell is not used for streetlighting anywhere else in the area.

As of 2010 only one Sangamo cell now remains in use.

An AC Ford AC848 lantern mounted on a cast column with swan neck. The lantern is switched by a Sangamo time clock in the control box.

Due to a faulty timeclock, the lantern was cell-converted in early 2010 and fitted with a Zodion SS12 minicell.

Probably one of the oldest columns left in the city is this one in the St Judes area dating from the 1800s. It still carries the bracket which may have carried an old Arc lantern, and then possibly some sort of GEC Wembley lantern in the 1940s. Although now redundant, it has been retained as a reminder of the past...

...although adjacent is something at the opposite end of the timeline. This is one of a scheme of Philips SGS253 'Iridium' lanterns running 100w SON lamps and using dimmable electronic gear. 

Although there are now very few timeclocks left in use in the city, this road seems to have escaped the cull. The lanterns are Thorn Alpha 3s and the clocks are Venner MSQPs. This is a unusual installation as the lanterns have NEMA sockets, but these still retain their covers and clocks were used instead. There have been a few casual replacements; mainly due to failed clocks or missing outer globes.

Update- September 2007: a time clock removal scheme saw all but 4 of these clock-controlled Alpha 3s removed. New Philips SGS253 'Iridium' lanterns running 150w SON-T lamps have been fitted.

A wonderful surviving sight is this back lane which still holds all 5 of its Z8896 lanterns. Although they are all now SON lamps, and a few are drilled for photocells, the other 3 are still in the undrilled state as new. These few are group switched by the celled examples. Undrilled examples are now like gold-dust in the city.

All the GEC lanterns in the lane were replaced in 2008 with WRTL Libra lanterns running 36w PLL lamps.

 Plymouth Lighting Pictures

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