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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 11:16 am 
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I passed through J25 on the A12 yesterday and I counted at least 3, possibly. 4 Alpha 6s . Sadly, I came through during the day so obviously can't say if they still work or not

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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 1:57 pm 
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A13James wrote:
I passed through J25 on the A12 yesterday and I counted at least 3, possibly. 4 Alpha 6s . Sadly, I came through during the day so obviously can't say if they still work or not

It's better than you think - there's actually 7 Alpha Sixes at junction 25 of the A12, and they are all still working!

There's one on the Marks Tey roundabout to the west of the A12, one on Station Road just off this roundabout (column 1), one on the Prince of Wales roundabout to the east of the A12, one on the dual carriageway between the two roundabouts and three on the southbound on-slip from this roundabout (columns 3, 10 and 13). These are old photos, but they're worth sharing again!

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The Alpha Six on Station Road, as photographed in March 2012. If my memory serves me correctly, it has been re-celled for part-night lighting as it falls under Essex County Council's jurisdiction.

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The Alpha Six on the dual carriageway linking the two roundabouts, also photographed in March 2012. The Alpha Six is on the first column on the left hand side. This Alpha Six and both the Alpha Sixes on both roundabouts have not been re-celled for part-night lighting as they fall under the jurisdiction of the Highways Agency.

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Two of the three Alpha Sixes on the southbound slip road onto the A12, also photographed in March 2012. Although only columns 10 and 13 feature in this photograph, all three Alpha Sixes on this slip road have been re-celled for part-night lighting.

Colchester also has six more Alpha Sixes in nightly operation, bringing the total number of Alpha Sixes in the town to 13, which is pretty amazing considering we are in 2014.

There's one on the northbound on-slip onto the A12 at junction 26 which you may have also spotted yesterday. This is Highways Agency property so it has not been re-celled for part-night lighting.

Heading north from junction 26 on the A1124 Halstead Road and just off of the junction, there are two more Alpha Sixes:

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This one, photographed in May 2013, which has been re-celled for part-night lighting.

It used to be one of a cluster of three Alpha Sixes that were originally here, suggesting that the whole road once used to be lit by Alpha Sixes:

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The same location photographed with three Alpha Sixes in 2008.

And here's the other Alpha Six just north of junction 26 of the A12:

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The second Alpha Six on the A1124 Halstead Road, photographed in May 2013.

The three other remaining Alpha Sixes in Colchester are on the Spring Lane roundabout just off of junction 27 of the A12, and all have been re-celled for part-night lighting. One is on the traffic island as you head towards Colchester town centre from this roundabout, another is on Spring Lane (column 2) just off this roundabout, and this one pictured below is on the roundabout itself:

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The last remaining Alpha Six on Colchester's Spring Lane roundabout, photographed in April 2013.

I believe Colchester is the last location in the UK to still be running Alpha Sixes in nightly services, but I'd be happy to be proven wrong!  :lol:


Last edited by David on Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 6:54 pm 
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12 days ago, David wrote:
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The Alpha Six on Station Road, as photographed in March 2012. If my memory serves me correctly, it has been re-celled for part-night lighting as it falls under Essex County Council's jurisdiction.

Just to confirm that this lantern has been re-celled for part-night lighting:

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Photograph taken in May 2014.

David also wrote:
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Two of the three Alpha Sixes on the southbound slip road onto the A12, also photographed in March 2012. Although only columns 10 and 13 feature in this photograph, all three Alpha Sixes on this slip road have been re-celled for part-night lighting.

This photo, which includes the re-celled Alpha Sixes on columns 10 and 13, was taken in May 2014:
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Although I've been long-predicting the imminent demise of Colchester's Alpha Sixes since I joined UKASTLE in 2008, we are now in 2014 and they are still going, although the appearance of their fibreglass canopies deteriorates with every passing year. If I was a betting man, I'd say they'll still be around ten years later in 2018, if only in fewer numbers.

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The Alpha Six on Spring Lane, Colchester at lighting-up time. Photograph taken in August 2013.


Last edited by David on Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 11:10 pm 
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I'm sorry to report that the Phillips MAs on the Northbound exit slip of the A12 at J19 are endangered. Roadworks are taking place on the sliproad  and when I passed by after dark they were all turned off. Not looking good for them.  :(  All the others seem ok though :)

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 8:32 am 
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Does anybody know the status of mercury lighting in Suffolk? I have family in Suffolk, but haven't seen them for a few years and am wondering how much of the mercury survives, as it was a county retaining a large number of mercury installations.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 5:35 pm 
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Well, it had been three and a half years since I had been up the A12 and into Suffolk, and four years since I had been into Suffolk properly, but I have just returned home from a trip up that way.

Like Essex, Suffolk is rolling out Telensa radio frequency nodes. Not all of their lighting has nodes yet, but the majority do. Like Essex, nodes are being retrofitted to all manner of lanterns, including some real oldies like an Eleco HW918 running a household CFL and an Eleco post-top.

Sadly, a lot of mercury has been lost since my last visit. Existing columns or wood pole brackets have been retrofitted with Phosco P567A lanterns running 42W PL-T lamps. This includes numerous Eleco HW11600s (including many glass bowled examples), Eleco HW918s, Eleco-Way post tops, Eleco PT1004 saucers and GEC Z8831s. Replacements seem to have happened on an area-by-area basis, and whilst most P567As are the standard white colour I saw a couple in Felixstowe navy blue, except not in Felixstowe. Fortunately, not all mercury has disappeared. Places I spotted with some lovely old mercury installations were Kesgrave and Aldeburgh.

After years of snot-green columns with colour coordinated lanterns Suffolk now installs unpainted galvanised columns, normally Stainton. Their preferred supplier appears to be Philips WRTL. In one part of Ipswich I saw some post-top 55W Libras. In Woodbridge I saw a road where 8m columns have been replaced with new 6m columns and post-top Stela Wides. I saw a new housing development with post-top Stela Longs. On main roads the Luma is gaining popularity, although it is clear the Arc has been popular in recent times too, and some of the Arcs are Suffolk snot green, so possibly a bit older.

So, unfortunately Suffolk is not as good as it was, and mercury quite unsurprisingly is in danger. A number of replacements I saw with P567As were parish stock, so clearly the county council is working with the parishes to purge mercury.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 3:33 pm 
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I really like the Telensa nodes. I think they look good on most lanterns, especially SGS 201s and Beta 79s. I'm not sure I like them, however, when they are fitted to long, main road SOX lanterns such as the Alpha 6 in the middle. It just doesn't look good in my opinion.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:42 pm 
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One of Walton-on-the-Naze's caravan parks is about to close, meaning the loss of this eclectic mix of old mercury lanterns and many other oldies across the park:

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Martello Caravan Park, Walton-on-the-Naze. Picture: Gazette newspapers.
Link to larger image: http://www.gazette-news.co.uk/resources/images/3292892.jpg

Hopefully Walton's Naze Marine Caravan Park, with its GEC Z8430CMs on Avenue 3DNN columns (as detailed by Flickr user zedfive here) will still be around for years to come, but if the use of mercury is brought to a conclusion by the caravan parks, thankfully the town of Walton and nearby Frinton-on-Sea still have plenty of mercury-running Phosco P107s and P111s in nightly service.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 1:41 am 
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I want to know what that third lantern is in the photo (1st is a Solumbra, then a Z5675, then the mystery lantern). I came close to obtaining one recently, but the guys found that it had a private feed and so they couldn't replace it. The closest matching lantern I can find is the 'Milan' made by Trac Lighting of Thirsk.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 5:00 pm 
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It appears to be the Tamlite Citrine.


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