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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 11:54 pm 
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A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to purchase a copy of a DVD called Colchester and Chelmsford in the Sixties. It was produced in 2009 by the East Anglian Film Archive. Amongst a great many other things, the DVD is a valuable insight into some of the street lighting that existed in Colchester in the 1960s, and also shows how some of the installations that still survive in part to this day originally looked like.

A garrison town like Colchester is frequently brought to a standstill (in a good way!) to show our support for our town's soldiers. This image from one such march was taken in the High Street:

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(same view today) I have no idea whether the open lanterns were using GLS or mercury. Many of the town's re-used tram traction poles still exist to this day, although these ones in the middle of the street do not.

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Another view of the High Street (the view today). In the background, you can see an old 5ft fluorescent on a long-outreach Stewart and Lloyd's column.

Just around the corner is the Bus Station, which held onto its 5ft fluorescents well into the 1980s:

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Another image of the bus station:

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This isn't quite the equivalent view, as the Google Car didn't travel into the Bus Station, but it did capture the same exit road from the other end.

Of note here is that many of the original concrete columns still exist, but their concrete hockey stick brackets and fluorescent lanterns have gone.

Just outside of town is Layer Road, home until recently of Colchester United. I do not recall these open sodium lanterns existing in Colchester:

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The same view today, but with a more modern low-pressure sodium lantern.

Still in Layer Road, but just up the road from the previous view:

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These open sodium lanterns with the curved ends I certainly do remember, although none have survived to this day. When coupled with an old bracket like this one photographed by Phosco152, the up-turned bracket end almost created a symmetry with the curved ends of the sodium lantern. The view today.

Now onto Colchester's first bypass which opened in the 1930s. The road had had a new lighting scheme by the time this piece of film was taken:

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Alpha Ones everywhere! Comparing this image to the view today, the 90w SOX Alpha Ones have long gone, and been replaced by 250w SGS203s at 12 metres. This is despite the fact that this bypass was by-passed by another bypass in 1974, so the A12 no longer uses the road!

Some of these Alpha Ones still exist along this road but moved onto sleeved brackets, as previously mentioned on page five of this topic. But the few that are left are currently being decimated by a new development.

Another view of the original bypass from the East Anglian Film Archive DVD:

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They certainly liked their Alpha Ones, which probably explains why so many have survived in the town to this day. The view today.

Lastly, a look a Colchester Garrison:

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Needless to add, I have never seen these in my life, and I have no idea what they are!


Last edited by David on Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 1:12 am 
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What on earth are those?! they looks like some sort of wierd mutilation of a Revo Hatfield or a 'liverpool highfield' type lantern but with a huge canopy. I like them!

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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 3:39 pm 
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Interesting look at Colchester's older lighting. Looking at the current installations on Layer Road it seems like the open sodiums on the road didn't last much longer as those Eleco/Fabrikat(?) combinations look very 1970s.

Also to note on the first Google SV link of the High Street it looks as if there is no lighting at all! I presume it is wall-mounted floodlights used, a far cry from those grand old mercury(?) lanterns used on those lovely old trampoles. Interesting how they used to put trampoles down the middle of the street - just shows how little traffic there was in those days! Imagine crashing into one of those cast-iron columns, it doesn't bear thinking about!  :shock:


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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 4:08 pm 
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Gramma6 wrote:
Interesting look at Colchester's older lighting. Looking at the current installations on Layer Road it seems like the open sodiums on the road didn't last much longer as those Eleco/Fabrikat(?) combinations look very 1970s.

Yes, those GR100s and Fabrikat columns were being installed until the mid 1980s, when Petitjean came along and gave them some competition with their octagonal poles.

Gramma6 wrote:
Also to note on the first Google SV link of the High Street it looks as if there is no lighting at all! I presume it is wall-mounted floodlights used

It's all wall-mounted SON turtles and casual replacements these days!

Gramma6 wrote:
Interesting how they used to put trampoles down the middle of the street

Yes, but thankfully they had little traffic islands round them!


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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 10:52 pm 
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David wrote:
It's all wall-mounted SON turtles and casual replacements these days!


They look like Alpha 3s. I wonder if these directly replaced the old trampole installations in the 60s/70s?

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Yes, but thankfully they had little traffic islands round them!


:lol: Oh well that's very safe then!  :D


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 5:19 pm 
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Fingers crossed that this waste of space hits the buffers in tomorrow's emergency budget.

Essex's street lighting may be very old, but it is also very well maintained (which is why it lasts so long!) and needlessly replacing the whole lot would be an absolutely shocking waste of money in these times of cutbacks. Furthermore, I cannot imagine how soulless Essex and Herts - arguably the last two counties in the UK who are still happily installing new SOX, and even in bulk in some locations - will look in five years if this gets the go ahead.

I think I'll move to Suffolk!


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 7:08 pm 
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Blimey, Kirklees will be awash with MRL6's as part of their PFI  :x  bu more of that in the Yorkshire thread.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 7:12 pm 
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David wrote:
Fingers crossed that this waste of space hits the buffers in tomorrow's emergency budget.


A cost saving would be made if the government cancelled these PFIs but gave perhaps a third of the money to councils over a five year period as a ring fenced grant to replace lighting. That way the most deteriorated lighting would get replaced and there would be no long term debt.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 2:31 pm 
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I'm quite surprised Gloucestershire is in that PFI list. So glad Wiltshire isn't though!

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 3:58 pm 
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I must admit I have no real knowledge of the workings of a PFI (or why on earth it would represent value for money) apart from the coma-inducing possibility of seeing the same lantern wherever I turn. The new coalition government recently announced just over £6 billion worth of spending cuts, including the abolition of arguably dubious Regional Development Agencies alongside other faceless and unaccountable QUANGOs. But the chancellor could have announced nearly £7 billion worth of spending cuts if he had included this proposed list of street lighting PFIs!

My argument is that the current system of maintaining and repairing the existing street lighting stock, as used by non-PFI'd counties like Essex and Herts, works perfectly fine. There is no need to rip the whole lot out and start again. My car has now clocked up 285,000 miles, which comes a big shock to a great number of my passengers who, dare I say it, have been taught to believe a car is not worth keeping after 100,000 miles. They ask why I don't buy a new one, and I say my existing car is far too reliable to throw away. Furthermore, I am, at the moment, unable to afford a new car.

The situation is mirrored in these proposed street lighting PFIs. These proposed PFIs are, as far as I can tell, as senseless as throwing away cars with just 30,000 or 50,000 miles on the clock, at a cost of £620 million. If I can realise that I am in too much debt (thankfully just a mortgage in my case!) to afford luxuries like a new car at the moment, then surely the government must realise that it is also in too much debt to afford luxuries like street lighting PFIs at the moment! And, just like there is nothing wrong with my car, there is also nothing wrong with street lighting maintenance in Essex!


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