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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 10:49 pm 
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JamesC01 wrote:
That's truely tragic about the SOX on the A127 being replaced, I haven't been along that stretch for a couple of months, so haven't seen the new lights yet, but I would presume that they are Lumas? Last Saturday, (25th Feb) I passed over the A127 on the A130 overbridge near Rayleigh, and can confirm that the SOX, and Trafficvisions on the bend immediately to the West were all still in place then.
When I drove along the A127 just over a week ago, the LEDs stopped at the Shell garage on the corner of Hovefields Lane, which is just out of sight of the Fairglen interchange (junction with A130).

On the assumption the street lighting crews doing the conversions are working every weeknight, there is a good chance they will have got through the Fairglen interchange by now and will be well on their way into Rayleigh, upon where they'll reach the Southend Borough Council lighting, which I believe is already converted to LED or is about to be.

With the unbroken SOX lighting on the northeastern quadrant of the M25 removed in various phases in the last few years, the SOX lighting on the A120 Braintree to Colchester road almost certainly under threat of removal, and miles and miles of SOX lighting removed from the A127 in the space of a month, there is now only one substantial installation of large wattage SOX left in Essex that I can think of. All the photographs in this post were taken this week (March 2017).

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The 4-mile fully-lit stretch of the A13 between North Stifford and Orsett still retains its original installation of Philips MA60s on the mainline dual carriageway and Philips MA50s on the slip roads.

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This photograph and the photograph above were taken looking west (towards London) from the A13's junction with the A1012 (the Stifford interchange).

Note in these and the following photographs how well-maintained the installation is, with very few - if any - lamps out in many of these photographs.

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This photograph looks east towards Southend, as viewed from the roundabout over the A13.

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Another view looking east towards Southend, as viewed from the A1012 roundabout over the A13.

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The view looking west (towards London) from the A1012 roundabout over the A13.

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A view looking east towards Southend showing the 180W SOX on the A13 continuing through the junction, and once again well-maintained with nearly every lantern in light.

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Another view looking west towards London from the A1012 roundabout over the A13. I can only see one light out!

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A similar view looking east towards Southend from the A1012 roundabout over the A13.

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A wideangle view of the above photograph looking east towards Southend.

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One last view of the Philips MA60s on the A13 continuing through the junction, but this time looking west towards London, and once again everything is well-maintained with every lantern in light.

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The next junction on the SOX-lit section of the A13 is a freeflow "trumpet" junction with the A1089 Tilbury Dock Approach Road (the Baker Street interchange) which was built in the early 1980s.

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A wideangle view of the above photograph, taken above the A1089 Tilbury Dock Approach Road looking north to its junction with the A13.

Notably, the A13 transfers ownership from Highways England to Essex County Council at this junction, and Highways England's authority continues along the A1089 to Tilbury Docks.

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The A1089 Tilbury Docks Approach Road is another treat for large-wattage SOX fans, as it is also lit along its length with 180W SOX which may date back to the road's construction in the early 1980s. Add the Tilbury Docks Approach Road SOX to the short section of SOX between North Stifford and the junction with the A1089 and it adds up to circa. 5 miles of unbroken SOX lighting.

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The A1089 Tilbury Docks Approach Road also uses an opposed lighting arrangement in places instead of the more traditional lighting in the central reservation, but once again it is 180W SOX.

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The A1089 Tilbury Docks Approach Road near to its junction with the A126 Marshfoot interchange.

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Another photograph of the A1089 Marshfoot interchange, looking south towards Tilbury docks (in the background).

The SOX lighting comes to a temporary stop at the Asda roundabout, which sounds like a relatively new addition to the road. The roundabout also heralds the end of the dual carriageway, but the SOX lighting continues along the A1089 south of the roundabout, with the wattage downgraded to 135W.

For any fans of large-wattage SOX out there, I think the A13 between North Stifford and Orsett and the A1089 between Tilbury Docks and its junction with with the A13 could be the last opportunity in Essex to see a large, unspoilt and well-maintained installation of 180W SOX lighting.

Long may it last!


Last edited by David on Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:14 pm 
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Yes, the A127 in Southend has already been converted to LED, which if I'm not mistaken will soon mean unbroken LED lighting from the centre of Southend all the way to the junction with the M25 and I think (but I'm not certain) further into London.
It's been a while since I used that section of the A13 at night. It's great to see SOX still in such great condition in 2017 and long may it last. There was a time when the A13 was lit only by SOX from the Sadlers Farm Roundabout junction with the A130 to the M25, but that was quite a few years ago now, and now the only SOX remaining between the A1089 and the A130 is a short poorly maintained stretch to the South of Basildon, which is owned by Essex County Council and if the A127 is anything to go by, may be replaced very soon.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:17 pm 
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Crossed over the A127 on the A129 at the Rayleigh Weir junction this evening, and can confirm LED lights have arrived there. Interestingly it looked as if new columns had been installed, or if not then definitely new brackets. I will try to get back to the 127 during the day soon when the lights are off to see for certain


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:59 pm 
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JamesC01 wrote:
Crossed over the A127 on the A129 at the Rayleigh Weir junction this evening, and can confirm LED lights have arrived there. Interestingly it looked as if new columns had been installed, or if not then definitely new brackets.

Yes, I spotted that myself last week. The A127 could well be LED along its entire length now (from where it starts at Gallows Corner in Romford to where it ends in the middle of Southend).

14 miles of virtually continuous 135W SOX wiped out in little over a month - that should be a warning to us enthusiasts to enjoy SOX while it is still around. We are so lucky that Essex never embraced SON or white light sources like metal halide or the new fluorescents in great numbers. The vast majority of street lighting in Essex is still SOX at the moment, but there is growing circumstantial evidence to suggest that Essex County Council may have stopped buying SOX lamps.

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These Eleco GR100s in Skelmersdale Road, Clacton-on-Sea, have done perfectly good service to Clacton for approximately 50 years, and the GR100 on the second column in in this photograph may only have needed a new SOX lamp to bring it back into light, but a Philips Luma has been fitted instead. Photograph taken in March 2017.

David wrote:
In December 2016, David wrote:
Only one Thorn Alpha One on an unsleeved Avenue 3DNN column still survives in the town - in Jaywick Lane. It is one of only two Thorn Alpha Ones still in the town.
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LED is yet to arrive in Jaywick Lane. The nearest street lamp is this photograph is the Atlas Alpha One (correction made in October 2017) on the unsleeved "Avenue 3DNN" column referred to above. It is the only one left in a town which 50 years ago had hundreds of Alpha Ones on unsleeved Avenue 3DNN columns.

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The same view in daylight, as photographed last weekend (March 2017). The photographs in this post record the installation for posterity, as evidence suggests it will go LED when its SOX lamp expires.

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A close-up view of the last remaining Atlas Alpha One on an unsleeved Concrete Utilities "Avenue 3DNN" column in Clacton-on-Sea. The following correction was made in October 2017: "Thorn" changed to "Atlas". The Opticell has "Atlas Opticell" etched into it as per this example from nearby St. John's Road.

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50 years ago, Clacton-on-Sea, Holland-on-Sea and the roads leading into Jaywick (Jaywick Lane, where this column is, and West Road) had hundreds of Alpha Ones on unsleeved Avenue 3DNN columns.

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The view looking north up Jaywick Lane towards St. John's Road.

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Lighting-up time in Jaywick Lane. Since Telensa telecells were installed to re-introduce part-night lighting to Essex, all street lighting in a particular area tends to switch on and off in unison (i.e. group switched).

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Two close-up views, the first taken straight after switch-on.

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Looking north up Jaywick Lane towards St. John's Road after switch-on.

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Looking south down Jaywick Lane towards the coast and Jaywick itself.

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A final close-up as the lamp reaches full brightness.

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The last photograph in this post looks north up Jaywick Lane towards St. John's Road.

Clacton-on-Sea only has two Alpha Ones left. The other one is on a Fabrikat casual replacement column installed in St. Osyth Road in the 1970s. It was visible out of the windows of my reception class at St. Osyth Road County Infants School in circa. 1978!

Colchester is doing a little better. It probably has circa. 50 Alpha Ones left dotted around in various locations. The last few decent unspoilt installations, including the University of Essex and a section of Cowdray Avenue, are now gone, and once again there is circumstantial evidence to suggest that those Alpha Ones that are left will be scrapped for LED as soon as their SOX lamps expire. Philips Luma casual replacements have also started to appear in Colchester.


Last edited by David on Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 11:43 am 
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Last edited by Beta 5 on Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:36 pm 
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I can comfirm that the new LED lighting on the A127 consists of Lumas on new brackets but on the original columns. Looks pretty nice I must admit, but not as nice as the old SOX
As I suspected might happen, the MA60s on the A13 South of Basildon have been given the same treatment, new brackets and Lumas. Once an unspoilt line of SOX between the A130 and the M25, now just the small section of SOX on the A13  near Thurrock remains, which was recently documented by David.

Edit Sunday 9/4/17

It would also seem that another batch of Lumas have been received, as when I was out earlier today, I noticed that quite a good number of SOX lanterns that had not been working have now been replaced with new Lumas, not relamped.
We may well be looking at the beginning of the end for the SOX that has dominated Essex's streets for so long  :cry:


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:00 pm 
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While up the A11 toward Thetford a few months ago, an area I’ve not been to before, image my surprise when I saw row upon row of GEC Z9564’s, GR200's and MA60's. Most are in good condition, one day burning and a few with bowls missing. Look’s like good old Highways England prefer to keep these lanterns going instead of replacing them although I suspect they are living on borrowed time. I apologise for the poor quality of the images which I grabbed from Google Maps since I didn’t have a camera to hand. I have seen plans to update the The Fiveways Roundabout so I suspect they will come down as part of the improvement works. Any one fancy a poke on trying to get them saved? 180W SOX seems to be getter rarer and rarer these days.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:22 pm 
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So in addition to what Essex called Phase 2 of their LED rollout (phase 1 being a trial), which has seen 19k replacements where there is all-night lighting, Phase 3 for replacing a further 23k will be commencing later this year with a focus on main roads.

With those kind of numbers, that will probably wipe out all the main road lighting stock, with SOX relegated to side roads.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:16 pm 
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In Cambridge, I am pleased to report that the Richardson Candles still survive. However, there is a catch. They have been retained and professionally refurbished by JW UK Ltd, but according to JW UK Ltd's website, they now run either CosmoPolis or LED, so they are no longer "original" and running fluorescent.

Nevertheless, it is pleasing that they still exist and that they have been refurbished. Their daytime appearance is excellent, and I also saw a Revo Festival which had the same treatment. See pictures below of both types.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:45 pm 
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Great news Steve. As you say, at least they retain their original appearance by day, which is better than nothing! On a slightly related note, are Essex retrofitting LED to any more of their old SOX lanterns? This I approve of for the same reasons, even if it cannot guarantee excellent optical performance.


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