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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 6:37 pm 
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The fourth one is puzzling me. It looks like a Z564x with a solid base and the finial missing!


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:48 am 
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mazeteam wrote:
Some fantastic photos there, especially the line of Alpha 9s.

David wrote:
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There may be quite a wait until this P110 in the Dutch Quarter is re-celled.

That dove seems to be rather precariously balanced!
I like the fabulously simple wall bracket for that - chop up an old hockey stick column and weld the curve to a wall plate and job done!
Being pedantic, technically this is still a P111 but an older version - the P110 was a 55W SOX version of the much larger P109.


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This re-celled GEC Z9454 only needs a new bowl but, in the absence of one of those, is likely to be replaced instead.

Hmmm, this is the harder to find top entry variant. I have at least one spare bowl for this type of lantern, if anybody wants the lantern when it gets replaced.

It'll be interesting to see if the cells get removed when lanterns are decommissioned, or whether any that get offered to us lot still have the cells fitted. These cells look like the type which fit into a standard NEMA base, hence the appearance of that Gamma 6 - and why the types fitted to heritage lanterns just have the aerial sticking out, as they'll go through a 20mm hole similar to a minicell.

Nice photos :-)
At least if these nodes are used, we might keep the old lanterns for longer.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 9:46 pm 
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David wrote:
Phosco152 wrote:
How do you know those Alpha 6s in the top picture are being replaced tomorrow? Have you had a tip off from your contact?

Yes, he replaced the 50w bulb in the SGS203 outside my home today, and when I spotted him I went down and had a chat!

Indust wrote:
I hope Alpha 6s that can be saved, are saved.

I think they'll need luck on their sides as they are really old and definitely showing their age. I expect the weak join between the shoe and the GRP won't take too kindly to being hammered off the bracket if the grub screws have siezed, especially considering how fragile they are in strong winds. I'll find out how it went later in the week.

Indust wrote:
Are you sure the SGS 203 is discontinued?

This may be a piece of anticipation and guesswork from me, as the '203's bigger brother the '204 (another popular Colchester lantern) is no longer being made.

I guess there's no reason why Philips can't continue to sell three SON main road lanterns (the '203, the TrafficVision and the Iridium ... there might even be another I don't know about!). After all the Thorn Alpha One, Alpha Four and Alpha Nine probably overlapped for quite a while. Of the three I would still expect the '203 to be discontinued first, and quite soon considering the popularity of the Iridium, with the TrafficVision following next and the Iridium ruling as king of the road.

If the '203 isn't being discontinued sometime soon, it will certainly be good news for my contact - he likes the easy-swap gear trays on the '203, and detests the new control gear in the Iridium.

Yes the SGS203 is really simple to put together, the gear tray just slots in.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:34 pm 
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David wrote:
Yep that's definitely it! Thank you all for helping identify it.

Looking at Simon Cornwell's street lighting encyclopedia, it does appear that the lantern was designed for SLI lamps, and therefore would have been converted like Colchester's GEC Z9517and Colchester's Alpha Sixes. In fact in Simon Cornwell's write-up, he refers to the fact that the lantern could take two tubes, which may explain why the bowl is so deep!

I think there may be a chance to recover it. Although it's not on my contact's usual area, it is the adjacent area and he does occasionally get to see / work on other areas. But I'll certainly put in a request.

Knowing Essex County Council's policy, there must be a few more mystery relics around so I'll keep my eyes peeled!  My contact even claimed the other day that there were some old fluorescents still going in Chelmsford, but I haven't found them yet! I'd be really surprised if this is true, as my contact himself hasn't seen them in real life, but he is aware of them from one of those lists the checkers use when they drive around looking for faulty lanterns.

Originally Posted: 27-09-2009, 05:18:25 pm



Are those alpha 6 still running SLI/H?

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 6:41 am 
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The Alpha 6s have been converted to SOX. If you look back through this topic the conversions are discussed.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 10:02 pm 
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Please beware that things just move very slowly in Colchester, so there might be a long wait (like there has been for Phosco152's P157 bowl and P225 bowl, and Stelmer's GR150 bowl). The last big lighting investment to hit the town was when the concretes were sleeved in the 1970s!


They do seem to take forever to do some things. I've notices it taking months for laps to be replaced.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 5:12 pm 
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Southend-On-Sea is currently in the process of replacing all its sodium lighting with LEDs. After 3 roads being done and a long break, works have now continued across the borough and since last week an Alpha 8, a Z9454, some Alpha 4s and possibly an MA90 have all been replaced. More may also have been replaced. I believe the LED lanterns are Lumas.
I shall keep you all posted.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 5:14 pm 
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In April 2013, David wrote:
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Firstly, a look at Colchester town centre. The town still retains a number of Stewart & Lloyds columns, although the open GLS lanterns they first supported are long gone. Here, these Philips SGS203s (quite modern by Colchester standards) have been fitted with Telensa telecells.

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But these Alpha Threes, on a different style of Stewart & Lloyds columns (these ones originally held fluorescent lanterns) also got telecells.

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And the Alpha Three on this (quite possibly the most puzzling) column in the town centre also got a telecell.

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Wall-mounted Alpha Threes didn't escape, although the original thermal cell on the control box stays in place (despite disconnection) to keep the electrics dry.

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This good-condition geared GEC Z8536 in the High Street also received a telecell...

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...alongside remote-geared GEC Z8526's in Middleborough.

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In Colchester High Street, this three-armed teardrop lantern opposite the war memorial received more sympathetic treatment, with a more expensive type of telecell which hides the unit's workings inside the canopy. Only the aerials are visible from the outside.

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Another 'teardrop' casual replacement at the other end of the High Street has received a standard telecell in error.

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Many of the town centre's gas columns still remain in service, although they now use electricity instead. The addition of a telecell is the latest in a long line of changes this old gas column has seen.

In October 2013, David wrote:
A SON lantern in a SOX-lit street doesn't look too disjointed to the casual observer, as SOX (amber) and SON (golden) have broadly similar colours at the warm end of the colour temperature scale. My theory is that [Essex County Council] are reluctant to switch to modern light sources because they are invariably all white or cooler than white, and the introduction of white-light casual replacements into streets currently lit by a warm amber glow will look careless. And with the current slow pace of change, it could be an awkward 50 or 60 years of mixed yellow and white lights before the county's roads are finally converted over to white light.

Well, blow me down, that could be about to change...
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Colchester Gazette, Thursday 4th December 2014.

After many decades of installing SOX and SON, Essex County Council are now going to trial LED street lighting, and Colchester town centre will be part of the trial.

ECC continues to be bombarded with criticism for its new part-night lighting policy, which is far more aggressive than the old part-night lighting that was in place in the county until the 1980s.

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Clacton Gazette,Thursday 5th September 2013.

The new part-night lighting has been in place for about a year now. This week Essex was voted the worst authority for street lighting in a public satisfaction poll, and many councillors in the Borough and District Councils are so desperate to get the lights back on that they are willing to pay Essex County Council money out of their own budgets to cover the cost (e.g. in Tendring, which covers Clacton-on-Sea, Frinton-on-Sea, Walton-on-the-Naze and Harwich). However, such an initiative requires the agreement of the majority of the council, which Tendring couldn't quite manage:

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Clacton Gazette, Thursday 27th November 2014.

Essex is formed by 12 District and Borough Councils and two Unitary Authorities - Southend and Thurrock. Essex County Council has no control over the two Unitary Authorities, and both Southend and Thurrock are replacing their existing street lighting stock with LED - a policy Essex County Council rejected in favour of part-night lighting due to the high initial outlay.

So, how will Colchester town centre change? There has been very little in the way of capital investment in the town's lighting since the three-eighties were taken down. The town centre has an eclectic mix of SON-running geared and ungeared GEC and Thorn turtles, GEC Z8600s, Philips SGS203s, 204s, TrafficVisions, some random heritage lanterns and the occasional WRTL Arc and Philips Iridium have even turned up in the last few years.

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North Hill in Colchester, as photographed by Keith Mirams for the 1968 Shell Guide to Essex.

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The same scene in June 2010.

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The junction of North Hill, Middleborough and St. Peter's Street, which is at the bottom of North Hill. This photograph is from a 1966 book called Colchester: An Historic Townscape by Essex County Council's Planning Department.

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The same junction photographed in September 2010.

Ironically, North Hill is one of the few streets in Colchester to have benefited from what seemed to be a pre-planned replacement of old lighting stock (as opposed to casual replacements), when all but one of the Stewart & Lloyd columns were replaced in one go in February 2012:

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New lighting installed on North Hill in February 2012.

The clear hope is that Essex County Council do their research in the first instance and don't make a mess of this trial through incorrect specification that could lead to any number of the obvious pitfalls:

 •   ECC don't just bypass the control gear and chuck LED corn lights in the existing lighting stock - such a trial would surely fail, and they'd be better off replacing the SON bulbs with same-gear metal halide bulbs instead;

   ECC don't choose LED lanterns that only light the area immediately underneath the lantern, instead of the good spread of light achieved by the currently installed turtles and other bowled lighting stock. This would cause dark spots in the town centre and make it look unappealing and uninviting to visitors;

 •  ^ that the reaction to the above scenario were it to happen would be to infill between existing columns with more columns, thereby ruining Colchester's historic vistas and street scenes for tourists and shoppers alike;

   ECC don't choose a clinically cold colour temperature for the trial, on the grounds that it's the most efficient of the LED light sources. This would immediately reduce the appeal of the town centre to visitors;

 •  ECC do their research on the perceived brightness of white light compared to non-white light before any orders are placed, and consequently don't go for like-for-like replacements in the wattage department. If they do go for like-for-like replacements in the wattage department, they'd kill the reason why they wanted the trial in the first place (to save electricity) and may put the town's tanning salons out of business at the same time;

   ECC don't use the trial to try out 30 different lanterns at the same time, so we end up with a mix of different lanterns with different optical properties and different colour temperatures - effectively resulting in the same inconsistency (with the exception of the colour temperature) that Colchester town centre suffers from now;

 •  and finally ... ECC choose a lantern that actually looks nice instead of some of the hideously ugly carbuncles that are currently on the market and infesting private car parks up and down the land. In Colchester town centre, aesthetics is everything;

   ^ I'd even be happy to see something as unusual as the WRTL Stela chosen as a trial lantern, if Essex County Council would be prepared to make a proper job of installation - e.g. all bracket arms removed from current columns and the lanterns are uniformly installed post-top. That would clear up the current mess of brackets with different uptilt angles and different outreach lengths.

It's only a short list of wants  ;). Whatever happens, there are interesting times ahead for Colchester.


Last edited by David on Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 8:53 pm 
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Thanks so much for that list of no-nos, David :)

News regarding Essex's controversial 'black outs' certainly seems to crop up on Twitter rather frequently... I have to refrain myself from retweeting!


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 9:09 am 
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I saw this as well, it will be sad to see all the old lanterns go :(

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