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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2020 8:54 pm 
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Phosco152 wrote:
Perhaps with nothing else happening in the near future, its time to utilise the power of social media and for someone to set up a petition to restore Clacton's heritage. Coupled with a ground funding initiative to fund the works. It would bring back a bit of civic pride to the town.

I've just looked to see if such a campaign had been started, and I found one here. You'll notice that the latest signatory is me! Sadly I think with local councils as cash-strapped as they are, there will not be movement on these in the forseeable future.

Rather amusingly, the picture the petition has used to try and chivvy the local council back into action is a photograph I posted on UKASTLE back in 2014:
In December 2014, David wrote:
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Thankfully a dig around in my own photo archive revealed this photograph of the clifftop path in January 1995. The Revo Clactons and top-entry GEC Z8430CMs are shown in light. As the lanterns had always ran mercury, I think the rogue SON lamp persuaded me to stop and take this photograph.

The East Anglian Film Archive has a treasure trove of film footage from the 1930s to the 1950s which coincidentally shows these installations - as modified in the 1930s with the REVO Clacton brackets and the REVO C6200 lanterns - being much more extensive than they were from the 1960s onwards. Further film footage in the Archive from the 1960s onwards shows the cast iron columns removed from the main roads (perhaps not a surprise considering how brittle the casties are) and the new Concrete Utilities "Avenue 3DNN" columns with the side-entry Z8430CMs erected in their place. The REVO C6200s were also removed from the sea front columns and replaced with the top-entry Z8430CMs at the same time. Here is a link to five of the films. Suggestions for other films to view will be at the bottom of each page.

East Anglian Film Archive's "Scenes Around Clacton" from 1957 is a must see for vintage street lighting enthusiasts. The first minute or so is filmed on Marine Parade East between Anglefield and St. Paul's Road.

A few years later (circa. 1960 or 1961) this installation of Edwardian cast iron columns, REVO Clacton brackets (on the promenade) and the REVO C6200 lanterns would be replaced with Concrete Utilities Avenue 3DNN columns with the side-entry Z8430CMs, and the late-1970s saw the Z8430CMs replaced with Thorn Alpha Nines. Many of these 3DNNs and their casual replacements (with GEC Z9454s) along the sea front were destroyed in the great storm of 1987. This BBC news broadcast from the regional Look East programme shows the damage done to the street lighting in the same location as the East Anglian Film Archive's film (Marine Parade East between Anglefield and St. Paul's Road) at about 1 minute and 50 seconds in.

"Sunny Clacton" from 1939 is an astonishingly clear and lucid (for its time) colour film which features a carnival procession moving along the sea front at the beginning.

"Back to the Sun at Clacton-on-Sea" from 1961. The opening scene shows the top-entry Z8430CMs installed along the greensward and the view from the aeroplane shows the new Concrete Utilities Avenue 3DNN columns on Marine Parade West. General views of the town centre follow (with shiny new side entry Z8430CMs), and the film later switches to footage of the Clacton Carnival procession making its way through the town centre.

"Clacton Carnival" from 1962 starts with a scene from Station Road, a long straight road linking Clacton Rail Station to the town centre. The road was still using spanwire lighting at this time, later replaced with Concrete Utilities Avenue 3DNN columns with the side-entry Z8430CMs of course. Although the Z8430CMs disappeared from Clacton Town Centre in 2017 after a stunning 56 year run, many of the Concrete Utilities Avenue 3DNN columns are still going and some may be close to their 60th birthday. Some may be as young as 46 year old of course, which was when control of street lighting moved from Clacton Urban District Council to Essex County Council, and I am sure they are regularly tested to check their integrity.

"Roundabout Clacton-on-Sea" from 1967 features another Clacton favourite - the GEC Z5641 on Concrete Utilities "Utility Major" columns. Between 100 and 200 of these are still running 80W MBF-U lamps to this day in Clacton-on-Sea and nearby Holland-on-Sea and Jaywick, and if these were also installed in circa. 1961, they will celebrate their 60th birthday next year! The local GEC Z5641 I rescued from Holland on Sea with the help of the local street lighting contractor at the time was manufactured in 1959.

"War of the Worlds" from 1952 (no, not that one!) was an amateur local film production based on the H.G. Wells novel of the same title and features extensive footage of Clacton's streets from the early 1950s.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2020 10:22 pm 
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In December 2013, David wrote:
When I moved here in 2005, the vast majority of the street lighting in this largely residential quarter of the town centre was Phosco P111s running 35W SOX lamps on fluted Stewart and Lloyd columns. As these columns have reached the end of their lives over the intervening years, they have been replaced with Phosco P111s running 70W SON lamps on Corus and later Fabrikat columns.

It has been a gradual process, but SON lanterns now hold the dominant position:

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Plans of the Dutch Quarter from 2005 to 2013, showing the gradual replacement of 35W SOX lanterns with 70W SON lanterns.

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The gradual replacement of the old 35W SOX Phosco P111s on 15ft fluted Stewart and Lloyd columns with 70W SON Phosco P111s on a 6m aluminium or steel columns continued at a slow pace between 2013 until 2019. This photograph of a typical replacement was taken in August 2006. When the budget allowed, the columns were painted black to match the Stewart and Lloyd columns. The first two 24W LED Phosco P111s appeared in lieu of the SON P111s in 2018 and a further two LED Phosco P111s appeared last year.

After two weeks of enforced self-isolation after a flu-like illness struck down some of my work colleagues, I stepped outside the back door of my block of flats last week and received a shock:

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Northgate Street in Colchester's Dutch Quarter photographed on Wednesday last week (while on my permitted one form of exercise). Not only were most of the street lights day-burning, but those that were day-burning were new LED lanterns.

Here is a quick history of street lighting on Northgate Street since the 1960s:

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A photograph of Northgate Street in the Dutch Quarter of Colchester photographed in December 2008.

Unusually for the Dutch Quarter, it was absent of the original SO or SOI Phosco P111s that were installed in the area in circa. 1960 when the gas lighting was discontinued. Instead the street was lit with (presumably 60W SO/H or SOI/H) GEC Z9481s on swan necks.

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In 2010, perhaps circa. 50 years after the installation of the GEC Z9481s, the columns were replaced and 70W Phosco P111s appeared. This photograph was taken in December 2018.

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Just 10 years later, the 70W Phosco P111s were replaced en masse with 24W LED Phosco P111s. This photograph and all the photographs below were taken in April 2020.

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As well as the mass replacement of the SOX and SON Phosco P111s with LED P111s, the new 6 metre columns have been cut down to 5 metres and a TMP embellishment kit added to each column.

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The kits work well, although they do look a little odd where columns are still awaiting a new lantern, e.g. this ASD Lighting Micro Highway Diamond Elite in Short Cut Road.

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This 70W SON Phosco P567A casual replacement on East Stockwell Street used to be mounted at 6 metres, but it is now re-mounted on a shortened and embellished column. In time it will be replaced with an LED P111.

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This Indo Air 1 casual replacement will also be replaced with an LED P111.

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This is how the Dutch Quarter was lit back in 2005, when I first moved here. The neighbourhood was dominated by low pressure sodium with just over a dozen SON casual replacements. The red dot indicates the location of a missing wall-mounted lantern (a coil of twin and earth cabling can be seen on the side of the building).

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The Dutch Quarter as it was at the end of last year (2019), showing the neighbourhood now dominated with SON with about 20 SOX lanterns left. Pale blue dots indicate atypical mercury casual replacement P111s (presumably in lieu of SON casual replacements) and white dots indicate a mixture of LED P111s and other LED lighting, e.g. Philips Luma Micros, ASD Lighting Micro Highway Diamonds and Indo Air 1's.

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Just three months later, the Dutch Quarter is now dominated by LED, with circa. 25 SON and just under 20 SOX lanterns left to remove. This was the position on April 1st 2020. The current wholesale replacement of all the lanterns with LED represents the biggest capital investment in the Dutch Quarter's street lighting since the neighbourhood's street lighting was converted from gas to electricity circa. 60 years ago.

From a street lighting enthusiast's point of view, it is a shame to see the old stuff go. The new blanket LED lighting, once complete, will remove the familiar warm glow of the previously dominant high pressure sodium lighting. The investment is of course welcome and shows confidence in the area. But before it all goes, it is worth having one more recap of what we are about to lose. All the photographs below were taken last week (April 2020).

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An example of one of the 1960s Phosco P111s in Colchester's Dutch Quarter at lighting up time. The next column along has already made the switch to the LED Phosco P111 which has no warm-up time by comparison.

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One of my favourite 1960s Phosco P111s in Colchester's Dutch Quarter is mounted on a wall bracket on a row of picturesque cottages in Maidenburgh Street.

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A typical evening scene from Colchester's Dutch Quarter from the 1960s to the 2010s. In the last 10 years, the low pressure sodium lamps have lost ground to high pressure sodium.

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Another example of a circa. 2020 LED Phosco P111 lantern and a circa. 1960 SOX Phosco P111 lantern side by side.

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As of last weekend, a typical road in Colchester's Dutch Quarter looked like this. Photographed above is West Stockwell Street. Many of the columns had made the conversion from SOX and SON to LED, but there were a few stragglers to pick up. In this instance, a SOX Phosco P111 and a SON P567A casual replacement are still awaiting replacement.

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But while we wait for the last of the SOX lanterns to die out, there's still a little time left to admire their warm glow.

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The Dutch Quarter has only one GEC Z9481 left, next to Middle Mill Weir. When the time comes for this lantern to go, there's no reason why the swan neck couldn't be removed and an LED lantern fitted post-top straight onto the 15ft fluted Stewart and Lloyd column.

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My road - St. Peter's Street - is still (mercifully for now) untouched by LED. It is the Dutch Quarter's main access road and benefitted from being widened in the 1970s, so it's atypical of the Dutch Quarter's narrow Roman streets.

St. Peter's Street used to be lit by GEC Z9481s (and the occasional top-entry Thorn Beta 5 casual replacement) on swan necks on fluted Stewart and Lloyd column, as per the earlier image. The mounting height was 20ft. Most of them disappeared around 2007, replaced with 6m high hockey sticks with 50W Philips SGS203s. Three years after that, the bend was cut off the hockey stick and 70W Phosco P111s installed to match the intent being shown in the rest of the Dutch Quarter.

Image
This is likely to be the future for my road. This is a long view along Northgate Street (as featured earlier in this post) after its conversion to LED was completed last week. Along with the conversion to LED, the columns were cut down from 6 metres to 5 metres and embellishment kits fitted.

We will await to see if the columns in St. Peter's Street are cut from 6 metres to 5 metres when the conversion takes place. I would suggest the wider width of this road compared to the other roads in the Dutch Quarter may mean it would be more beneficial to retain their current height for better light spread.

In quick summary, this wholesale replacement of all the lanterns with LED and the addition of embellishment kits is the biggest capital investment in the Dutch Quarter's street lighting since the conversion from gas to electricity circa. 60 years ago. It has come as a genuine surprise to me. When most of the rest of Essex's residential streets are still lit with SOX, the Dutch Quarter's streets were already benefitting from an "upgrade" to SON (a "better light" as my old contact on the local street lighting crew used to say!) with barely twenty or so SOX stragglers left to upgrade. The big capital investment will certainly be welcome by Colchester Borough Council as it shows confidence in the area as a continuing tourist attraction.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:24 am 
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Another cracking informative post with excellent pictures. Good to see columns being cut down to 5m - more than adequate with modern lanterns and especially in narrow streets. Nice find about the details of the embellishment kits.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2020 1:40 pm 
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David wrote:
The East Anglian Film Archive has a treasure trove of film footage from the 1930s to the 1950s which coincidentally shows these installations - as modified in the 1930s with the REVO Clacton brackets and the REVO C6200 lanterns - being much more extensive than they were from the 1960s onwards. Further film footage in the Archive from the 1960s onwards shows the cast iron columns removed from the main roads (perhaps not a surprise considering how brittle the casties are) and the new Concrete Utilities "Avenue 3DNN" columns with the side-entry Z8430CMs erected in their place. The REVO C6200s were also removed from the sea front columns and replaced with the top-entry Z8430CMs at the same time. Here is a link to five of the films. Suggestions for other films to view will be at the bottom of each page.

East Anglian Film Archive's "Scenes Around Clacton" from 1957 is a must see for vintage street lighting enthusiasts. The first minute or so is filmed on Marine Parade East between Anglefield and St. Paul's Road.

A few years later (circa. 1960 or 1961) this installation of Edwardian cast iron columns, REVO Clacton brackets (on the promenade) and the REVO C6200 lanterns would be replaced with Concrete Utilities Avenue 3DNN columns with the side-entry Z8430CMs, and the late-1970s saw the Z8430CMs replaced with Thorn Alpha Nines. Many of these 3DNNs and their casual replacements (with GEC Z9454s) along the sea front were destroyed in the great storm of 1987. This BBC news broadcast from the regional Look East programme shows the damage done to the street lighting in the same location as the East Anglian Film Archive's film (Marine Parade East between Anglefield and St. Paul's Road) at about 1 minute and 50 seconds in.

"Back to the Sun at Clacton-on-Sea" from 1961. The opening scene shows the top-entry Z8430CMs installed along the greensward and the view from the aeroplane shows the new Concrete Utilities Avenue 3DNN columns on Marine Parade West. General views of the town centre follow (with shiny new side entry Z8430CMs), and the film later switches to footage of the Clacton Carnival procession making its way through the town centre.

"Clacton Carnival" from 1962 starts with a scene from Station Road, a long straight road linking Clacton Rail Station to the town centre. The road was still using spanwire lighting at this time, later replaced with Concrete Utilities Avenue 3DNN columns with the side-entry Z8430CMs of course. Although the Z8430CMs disappeared from Clacton Town Centre in 2017 after a stunning 56 year run, many of the Concrete Utilities Avenue 3DNN columns are still going and some may be close to their 60th birthday. Some may be as young as 46 year old of course, which was when control of street lighting moved from Clacton Urban District Council to Essex County Council, and I am sure they are regularly tested to check their integrity.


Having some spare time to watch these films and they do indeed make fantastic viewing. The spanwise lighting and large bracket installations in "Scenes Around Clacton" from 1957 are amazing. By "Clacton Carnival" from 1962, the Revo lanterns have gone on the twin brackets and the long outreach brackets appear to have been replaced with CU columns with GEC Z8430CMs.

David do you know if the Revo lanterns were running large incandescent lamps?

In "Roundabout Clacton-on-Sea" from 1967 at the 50 second point are also these fluorescents on 7 brackets –  a still from the film.

Image

The bracket tubes look too thin to support the lanterns!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 9:23 pm 
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I have noticed a few people writing about this article that was in the paper. I have just joined this forum so i could comment about the article and the lamps.

I started the petition online which i took to the council. I did use an image off this site i hope this was ok.

I felt the council need a push to restore  these lights or would never happen. I read in the paper originally that they were taken down as a temporary measure.

It turned out that the council didn't credit the petition as it didn't have everyones post code.

I asked the following question to the leader of the council in one of their full council meetings.

“During December 2014 the Council removed parts of ornate cast
iron lampposts situated along Clacton seafront. These structures
were erected circa. 1912 and have been Grade II listed since July
4 1986. Naturally, due to this history, they form an important part of
Clacton’s heritage. A media article dated 24 December 2014
(Gazette: p37) states that these parts were removed on the
grounds of health and safety. The Council of course has a duty of
care to ensure its property is safe.
However, it can also be a criminal offence to carry out demolition
or alteration works on listed buildings without obtaining proper
permissions. When work is carried out on an emergency basis this
must be proved to be necessary and temporary.
Within the article Cabinet Member for Coast Protection at the time
of the removal, Cllr Nick Turner states “we have dismantled these
listed structures and will be storing everything carefully until we
can decide the best way forward to repair and restore them”.
I have recently made contact with Cllr Nick Turner through email
correspondence and, despite him no longer having authority over
this matter, would like to thank him for his efforts in responding and
for forwarding my concerns to the Council. This is greatly
appreciated.
I assume that, at the time of the removal, the Council complied
with all relevant legislation and obtained all necessary legal
permissions and that they have indeed been stored “carefully”.
We are fast approaching the fifth anniversary of these “temporary
emergency works”. Therefore could the Leader of the Council
please explain the Council’s plans to restore these lampposts
either to a cosmetic or ideally full working condition in order that
these priceless features of our town’s history can once again form

a paramount role in the ongoing regeneration of our Town Centre
and seafront?”


The response i got from the leader of the council was:

"I am advised that there is a total of twenty-one cast iron lamp columns along Clacton seafront. Four lamp columns on the Western Promenade within the seafront gardens conservation area were refurbished as part of a heritage lottery scheme in 2000 / 2001 at a cost of £10,000 per column and these columns need further work.
Of the remaining columns, fifteen are the Council’s responsibility and all have had their tops removed at various times over the past twenty-five years due to concerns over public safety. All action was taken in line with the advice of the Council’s Planning Department. The removals were done on safety grounds and no criminal offence has been committed.
A further two columns are within the Pavilion site.
The parts removed from columns along the eastern promenade in previous years were corroded and beyond repair and the buried private cable supplying the electricity was no longer serviceable.
In 2014 the remaining five lamp heads were removed from columns situated on the western promenade and the aim at the time was to retain these in the hope of it being possible to reuse these parts in any future restoration. However, they were found to be suffering from severe corrosion and not considered fit for repair and re use. They were stored within a Council facility for a considerable time before eventual disposal.
It would be possible to take moulds from remaining lamp heads for a future restoration project, should this be required, but, based on the work carried out in 2001 and more recent enquiries with potential restorers the cost of refurbishing the remaining lamp columns is likely to be anything from £300,000 to £600,000 depending on the extent of the refurbishment undertaken to the columns and the condition of underground cabling serving them.
Council 10 September 2019
I have just made a statement about exciting new plans being drawn up for Clacton town centre and I would urge everyone to continue to engage with that process to ensure the best outcome for the town.”

I then wrote the press statement after someone reported to me that parts of the lights were in a scrap yard. A local resided purchased these as some evidence.

I am now at the stage of making a formal complaint to the council. Hopefully they will put a restoration plan into place. If they do not i will continue to take the matter to the ombudsman.

I will keep everyone updated.

The information posted above about the lights, the history and some restoration has been fantastic i will use all of this information. Thank you.

Hopefully you find some of my information useful such as 2 of the lights being the responsibility of the pavilion. I may contact them, to see what they say about the two they are responsible for.

If anyone knows of a company that specialises in the restoration of these lights i would love to hear as i want to challenge the councils made up figure of £300K per light.

I also don't believe that the council carried out a survey on each light and instead just cut everything down. The parts i have seen in the scrapyard only have some surface rust. The council say they have kept one so a cast can be made in the future. I don't even know if to believe this.

David wrote:
Noting Phosco152's quite correct comments about Clacton sea front's top-entry GEC Z8430CMs turning up in a scrap yard, trip to Clacton-on-Sea shortly after the scrap yard story broke suggested to me that all may not be lost should Tendring District Council attempt to restore or replicate the REVO Clacton brackets at some point in the future. Two of the retrofit brackets, as installed in the 1930s, look to be intact with the exception of the decorative copper "hats" on the top of the columns.

To quickly recap the situation, many of the Edwardian columns were stripped of their 1930s retrofit "REVO Clacton" brackets and their 1960s retrofit top-entry GEC Z8430CMs in 2014, and these were put into storage for future restoration, but the top-entry GEC Z8430CMs along with the original decorative mounting finials (as cut off the end of the REVO Clacton brackets) turned up for sale in a local scrap yard two months ago.

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Two of the Grade II listed columns on Clacton sea front, as installed in circa. 1912, still retain their 1930s REVO Clacton brackets. All the photographs below except the last three were taken in February 2020.

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A close-up of one of the two remaining REVO Clacton brackets. Of the two remaining brackets, the one closest to Clacton Pier retains both of its mercury-running top-entry Z8430CMs, albeit the column is disconnected from the power supply.

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For the information of anyone planning to visit Clacton-on-Sea in the near future (noting that may not be possible due to coronavirus), this one remaining complete installation is on the top of the cliff to the immediate left of the entrance to Clacton Pier as you look out to sea. Any street lighting enthusiast visiting the region for a more extended stay may wish to consider a stay at the nearby Naze Marine Holiday Park in Walton-on-the-Naze with its fabulous installation of local authority-spec mercury-running Z8430CMs on 8m Concrete Utilities Avenue 3DNN columns.

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Furthermore, the surviving original REVO Clacton brackets are in plain sight of the 1990s restoration of the same brackets on the columns next to the Victorian gardens to the west of Clacton Pier.

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These photographs show that, apart from the powdercoating which appears to have faded rather quickly, the 1990s restoration was pretty much perfect. Even the lanterns are a good fit under the circumstances, with the "trumpet flare" of the canopy faithfully following the line of the bracket decoration.

In February 2015, David wrote:
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A close up view of the heritage lanterns, which we may see used again when the recently removed brackets are refurbished and reinstalled by the local council.

I expressed surprise in my original post (December 2014) that the Z8430CMs had not been in light for "at least the past 15 years", according to the newspaper report. That would have meant they hadn't been in light since at least 1999. The other day I found this newspaper cutting from February 2006 – less than nine years before the brackets were chopped:

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This report states that "a number of the lights" had not been working since at least October 2005 creating "dark areas" along the top promenade. This suggests to me that the lighting was clearly failing around this time, but also that a number of the lanterns were still in light, else the local councillor would have reported that the top promenade was in complete darkness!

Noting that the brackets were chopped just under nine years later (in December 2014), the article suggests the lighting failed altogether or was intentionally disconnected from the power supply either in 2006 or shortly afterwards. This is more in keeping with my own thoughts as to the length of time the lanterns had been out of light, i.e. comfortably under 10 years, and certainly not 15 years or more.

So what would these ultra-rare mercury-running top-entry Z8430CMs look like if they were in light?

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This "day burning" photograph was taken in February 2020, but it is sadly nothing more than an optical illusion – in this case the light of a low winter sun is pouring into the side of the lanterns' bowls. This is the only real photograph I have of these lanterns in light, from 25 years ago:

In December 2014, David wrote:
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Thankfully a dig around in my own photo archive revealed this photograph of the clifftop path in January 1995. The Revo Clactons and top-entry GEC Z8430CMs are shown in light. As the lanterns had always ran mercury, I think the rogue SON lamp persuaded me to stop and take this photograph.

Being a collector of old street lights, and noting that the top-entry Z8430CM was an intergral part of Clacton sea front for many years but were rarely installed elsewhere around the country, I had resigned myself to the fact that the closest I would get to owning one would be obtaining an example of the far more popular side-entry version (also popular in Clacton), and this was fulfilled when Harrison Lighting discovered some unsold stock of these back in 2009 (along with some REVO Prefects if I recall correctly). This never-installed example entered into the collection accordingly:

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A new old stock GEC Z8430CM purchased from Harrison Lighting in May 2009. This photograph was taken in July 2010.

Imagine my surprise when 10 years later, I was contacted out of the blue by the legendary rescuer of old street lights John Thompson who had spotted that three top-entry Z8430CMs were being sold by someone who lived in my home town of Colchester. My immediate fear was that these three lanterns were the three that appear in the first picture of this post, but this was thankfully not the case and street lighting enthusiasts can still enjoy seeing at least three top-entry Z8430CMs installed along Clacton sea front to this day. John was successful in his endeavours and I was able to collect the lanterns a few days later.

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Three top-entry Z8430CMs obtained by John Thompson last year. Photograph taken in May 2019. I understand that they used to be installed on the side of, or inside a warehouse on Ipswich docks over the border in Suffolk.

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Although I purchased "lantern 3" in the photograph above from John (unlike the other two, it look liked it had been stored in a ditch!), it cleaned up really well, and it is fabulous to have another jigsaw piece from Clacton’s rich lighting history in the collection. This photograph was taken in June 2019.

And back in Clacton itself, it is also great to report that all is not lost – Tendring District Council have two intact original “REVO Clacton” brackets that they can reference in any future restoration of the brackets that were removed in 2014, and these are also in plain sight of a faithful earlier restoration of identical brackets undertaken by the Council in the 1990s.


Last edited by jamesbrf on Thu May 07, 2020 8:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2020 9:02 pm 
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Thank you for your kind comments once again Phosco152. Here is a further update from Colchester's Dutch Quarter.

In April 2020, David wrote:
Image
My road - St. Peter's Street - is still (mercifully for now) untouched by LED. It is the Dutch Quarter's main access road and benefitted from being widened in the 1970s, so it's atypical of the Dutch Quarter's narrow Roman streets.

St. Peter's Street used to be lit by GEC Z9481s (and the occasional top-entry Thorn Beta 5 casual replacement) on swan necks on fluted Stewart and Lloyd column, as per the earlier image. The mounting height was 20ft. Most of them disappeared around 2007, replaced with 6m high hockey sticks with 50W Philips SGS203s. Three years after that, the bend was cut off the hockey stick and 70W Phosco P111s installed to match the intent being shown in the rest of the Dutch Quarter.

It didn't come as a great surprise to see this happen last week...

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This photograph was taken in April 2020.
In April 2020, David wrote:
Image
This is likely to be the future for my road. This is a long view along Northgate Street (as featured earlier in this post) after its conversion to LED was completed last week. Along with the conversion to LED, the columns were cut down from 6 metres to 5 metres and embellishment kits fitted.

We will await to see if the columns in St. Peter's Street are cut from 6 metres to 5 metres when the conversion takes place. I would suggest the wider width of this road compared to the other roads in the Dutch Quarter may mean it would be more beneficial to retain their current height for better light spread.

This proved to be the case. The full height of the 6m columns was retained and the crew simply swapped the lantern over. The new lanterns are also the 24W P111s as seen elsewhere in the Dutch Quarter. The columns were also not treated to the TMP embellishment kits as seen on the Dutch Quarter's other roads. But it should be noted that St. Peter's Street sits just outside the conservation area.

In March 2010, David wrote:
Although I haven't had a proper look at my new (SON P111) lantern from outside, the P111s aren't without their faults (or more correctly, the installation of the P111s isn't without fault). For some unknown reason, their Micro Stars are mounted on the underside of the post-top shoe and point to the ground. It's therefore no surprise that some P111s around here strike as early as 2PM! The older P111s have no such problem, with their canopy-mounted 2 part cells.

The crew's answer to this early-burning was to face the Micro Star on all future installations at the road (in an attempt to stop the Micro Star being further darkened by nearby buildings). This then knocks out the orientation of the bulb and side reflectors, with some lanterns now installed with the side reflectors parallel to the road instead of perpendicular. This has the effect of throwing light across the road instead of along it, so that plenty of light ends up going through the nearest bedroom window, but very little is thrown along the street where it's needed. Phosco152 saw the effect when we drove up a street with recently-installed P111s with just our sidelights on. It looked like the street hadn't been lit at all!

Having noted the apparent deterioration in the light distribution when the SOX lanterns were replaced with SON lanterns, it looks like the LED Phosco P111 has vastly improved optics over its earlier SON variant (this variant being the "cut-off" version with the lamp placed up inside the canopy between two side reflectors).

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This photograph was taken last month (April 2020) before the 70W SON Phosco P111 lantern outside my home was replaced.

The lantern was installed in the correct orientation, but note the severe light cut-off, even when installed correctly. There's only about 2.5 car lengths-worth of directional light coming from this bulb! The nearby car park entrance to the left receives only light that's reflected off the lantern's right reflector, and the front of the car on the far left of the picture looks like it's receiving almost no light at all. The lamp was a SON-T. I do wonder if these variants of P111 should only be fitted with coated elliptical lamps instead!

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This photograph was also taken last month (April 2020) with the 70W SON Phosco P111 lantern replaced with a 24W LED Phosco P111.

Although taken at night instead of dusk, the camera settings were the same as the earlier photograph (1/2 second, ISO800, f/2.8, which is literally the limit of my hand-holding skills for night photography!). Even with the same camera settings, the difference is vast. The LED lantern performs as well as the GEC Z9481 used to perform up until its replacement in 2006, but with white light. The car park entrance is well-illuminated once again, as is the front of the car on the left of the car park entrance (indeed the whole length of the car and pavement on the left of the car park entrance is now illuminated).

Compared to the rest of the county, three new lanterns in 14 years is a fast pace of change for Essex, which didn't embrace SON over SOX until the mid-2000s, escaped the misfortune of PFI in 2010, and didn't embrace any white light source on a large scale before the advent of LED. Some of the street lights still in nightly service in Clacton-on-Sea are over 60 years old. My rescued GEC Z5641 from Holland-on-Sea was manufactured in 1959.

As this is likely to be the last lantern change I'll see outside my property for at least a couple of decades, here is a review of the changes to the street light outside my house over the last 14 years, which all happened in relatively quick succession:

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From circa. 1960 (the removal of gas lighting) until 2006 (i.e. around 46 years' service), this GEC Z9481 stood outside my home in Colchester, although my building was not built until 1988 and I didn't move to Colchester until 2005. This photograph was taken in October 2005.

The lantern is likely to have been undrilled when first installed and working on a time clock, with the Royce Thompson P42 two-part thermal cell being fitted sometime in the 1980s. Thousands of other two-part thermal cells lived on in the rest of Essex until 2013 when photocells of all kinds were removed to prepare the county for part-night lighting.

Some two-part thermal cells and one-part NEMA cells live on to this day in Highways England's street lighting, e.g. at junction 25 and Junction 29 of the A12.

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A night view of the GEC Z9481 lighting the way on a snowy evening. This photograph was taken in December 2005.

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In March 2006, the GEC Z9481 was replaced with this 50W SON bowled Philips SGS203. This street light lasted just four years.

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In March 2010, the SGS203 was replaced with this 70W SON Phosco P111. This street light lasted until last month (ten years' service). This photograph was taken in March 2010.

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In 2013, the Micro Star photocell, which is mounted on the underside of the post-top shoe, was superseded with a white Telensa "bee sting" Telecell to prepare the lantern for part-night lighting. This photograph was taken in July 2013.

In March 2010, David wrote:
The crew's answer to this early-burning was to face the Micro Star on all future installations at the road (in an attempt to stop the Micro Star being further darkened by nearby buildings). This then knocks out the orientation of the bulb and side reflectors, with some lanterns now installed with the side reflectors parallel to the road instead of perpendicular. This has the effect of throwing light across the road instead of along it, so that plenty of light ends up going through the nearest bedroom window, but very little is thrown along the street where it's needed. Phosco152 saw the effect when we drove up a street with recently-installed P111s with just our sidelights on. It looked like the street hadn't been lit at all!

Again, the answer is very simple - rotate the lantern so that the bulb and reflectors are in the right orientation and light goes along the street instead of across it, and install a better photocell. But there is one more, rather simpler solution to the problem of light spilling into nearby bedrooms, and I can now understand why the crew needed to use as little paint as possible when painting the columns along my street. In the last week, the number of new P111s with half-blackened cones has almost doubled!

I just hope that the one outside my window doesn't suffer the same ham-fisted method of light control!

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In October 2015, the local crew was back again, this time to paint the back of the cone black. This photograph showing the half-painted cone was taken in April 2020 when the lantern was under imminent threat of removal.

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And finally, this 24W LED Phosco P111 appeared last week. Photograph taken in May 2020. Once again I am hoping that the cone doesn't suffer the same fate as the one on the previous lantern!

With reference to my earlier post about the other Dutch Quarter columns that were changed over to LED, these are now not day-burning, indicating that Essex County Council's Central Management System has caught up with the changeover. Of the new lanterns installed in my road (not yet a completed installation), some of the new LED lanterns are day-burning while others aren't, but they all stay on throughout the night instead of switching off at 1am like the older lights do. Once again I would expect the CMS computer to catch up with them soon. I didn't get an opportunity to check if the rest of the Dutch Quarter's LED lanterns installed in late-March stayed on all night for a few weeks but switch off now.

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This panoramic view of the junction of West Stockwell Street and Stockwell taken in April 2020 contrasts how the neighbourhood looks when illuminated by 4000K colour temperature LED on the left and 1800K colour temperature SOX on the right.

The removal of the old SOX lighting, and their 2000K colour temperature SON casual replacements, has sadly removed the warmth and "olde worlde charm" of the Dutch Quarter, and when the changes are completed it will be impossible to take such photographs as the one above, or photographs like the pictures in last month's post. Tourists visiting Colchester may not have even noticed the colour of the street lights in the Dutch Quarter has changed, but the change of colour may have subconsciously influenced how welcome they felt or how nostalgic they felt on their visit.

Having said that, the change from 1800K and 2000K street lights to 4000K street lights, and the better spread of light from the P111 LED lanterns compared to the SON version of the P111 will certainly benefit the town's CCTV operators in their ongoing fight against crime in the area, by removing the dark patches between columns and removing the colour cast from their images.

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But for street lighting enthusiasts like myself who aren't old enough to remember the pre-1960 gas lamps, I will always remember Colchester's Dutch Quarter as a SOX-lit neighbourhood and olde-worlde tourist attraction. This photograph featuring one of the original 1960s P111s with the clock tower of Colchester Town Hall in the background was taken in March 2013.

Although there is no future for the "olde worlde charm" of sodium street lighting, it is a great honour to see the Dutch Quarter benefit from such a very sympathetic and, dare I say it (in what will soon be dire economic times) a very expensive wholesale replacement of the lanterns in the Dutch Quarter with like-for-like LED lanterns along with the addition of embellishment kits to the columns, which in themselves are not cheap (although I am sure the County Council's contractor would have negotiated a heavy discount from TMP, as well as Phosco!).

In circa. 1960, the Dutch Quarter was sympathetically relit with Stewart and Lloyd fluted columns and low pressure sodium Phosco P111 lanterns. Sixty years later, the Dutch Quarter is being relit - once again sympathetically - with LED Phosco P111 lanterns with embellishment kits added to the current cohort of modern columns. These embellishments and cutting 6m columns back down to 5m will hark back to the area's original gas lighting. This is all happening at a time when the temptation to use cheaper and more prosaic LED lanterns and skip the embellishments must be overwhelming, and Essex County Council ought to be congratulated for this.

And speaking from a purely selfish point of view, it is lovely to have a white-light Phosco P111 lantern outside where I live, as my grandparents lived in Frinton-on-Sea from the 1970s to the 1990s and were blessed to have a "pretty" (as they called it) 1960s mercury-running Phosco P111 outside their house for all of that time.

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Pictured above is how the street lighting in Colchester's Dutch Quarter will hopefully look like for the next 60 years! This photograph was taken in April 2020.


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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2020 10:44 pm 
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Phosco152 wrote:
Perhaps with nothing else happening in the near future, its time to utilise the power of social media and for someone to set up a petition to restore Clacton's heritage. Coupled with a ground funding initiative to fund the works. It would bring back a bit of civic pride to the town.

David wrote:
I've just looked to see if such a campaign had been started, and I found one here. You'll notice that the latest signatory is me! Sadly I think with local councils as cash-strapped as they are, there will not be movement on these in the forseeable future.

jamesbrf wrote:
I have noticed everyone is taking about this article in the paper. I have just joined this forum so i could comment about the article and the lamps.

I started the petition online which i took to the council. I did use an image off this site i hope this was ok.

I felt the council need a push or the restoration of these lights will never happen.

The petition the council didn't credit as it didn't have everyones post code.
jamesbrf wrote:
I then wrote the press statement after someone reported to me that parts of the lights were in a scrap yard. A local resided purchased these as some evidence.

I am now at the stage of making a formal complaint to the council. Hopefully they will put a restoration plan into place. If they do not i will continue to take the matter to the ombudsman.

I will keep everyone updated.

The information posted above about the lights, the history and some restoration has been fantastic i will use all of this information. Thank you.

Hopefully you find some of my information useful such as 2 of the lights being the responsibility of the pavilion. I may contact them, to see what they say about the two they are responsible for.

Welcome to the forum James!

Thank you for taking up the cause in this way, and for getting the petition up to 315 signatures. It would be fabulous to see these restored for the sake of the town. The 2000/2001 restoration is an excellent example of what Tendring District Council have achieved in the past, albeit at a time when I imagine the Council had a lot more money than they do now.

As you'll know these lights fall under the control of Tendring District Council which (as far as I know) are under no obligation to provide lighting in public places, compared to Essex County Council which is under such a statutory obligation and is funded from the Council Tax accordingly. Tendring District Council can provide additional lighting if they desire and have the funds, e.g. in their car parks, and the retained Edwardian lighting along the sea front gardens between Clacton Pier and Martello Tower F (as restored in 2000/2001) is an example of such "additional" lighting.

It was a shame to see the other old Edwardian lights deteriorate in the 1990s and 2000s and eventually all end up in a non-working condition. Although the decorative brackets, as removed in 2014, were not orginal to the columns (I understand they were made by the Revo Electric Co Ltd of Tipton - see this advert here - and they were installed sometime in the 1930s), they have certainly made their way into the collective consciousness of Clacton's townsfolk and were an exquisite presence on Clacton sea front for close to 80 years. My childhood memories of these lights was seeing their bright bluish-white light lighting up the greensward in contrast to the yellow sodium street lights on the main roads, and also making the clifftop path look safe to walk along at night.

I do hope that these columns will be restored, the brackets refurbished / faithfully reproduced and new street lighting heads fitted at some point in the next few years. Sadly I think that with the way things are currently going with coronavirus, this year could be the worst summer season Clacton-on-Sea has suffered since World War II, and this will greatly impact the Council's revenue and push back potential future capital projects like this.

Sometime soon I hope effective drugs are discovered to treat coronavirus, or a vaccine is discovered and the population can be vaccinated en masse (and the requirement on social distancing can be consigned to history accordingly). When that happens I hope the British public will rediscover the joy of the "staycation" and Clacton's fabulous sea front gardens and greenswards will prove so popular with tourists that the Council will rush to get this lighting reinstated!


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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2020 8:53 pm 
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Quote:
The 2000/2001 restoration is an excellent example of what Tendring District Council have achieved in the past, albeit at a time when I imagine the Council had a lot more money than they do now.


Thank you very much for the detailed reply. I would love to see to these restored as well. I don't think the current leader of the council has this on his agenda and doesn't seem interested.

The restoration that did take place in 2000/2001 do you know anything about this? What company did they use to carry this work out? I want to contact a specialist to find out what would need to be done and how much are we looking at per light column. There are grants available for this type of restoration. The 2000/2001 was all paid for by a heritage lottery grant and the cost was £10,000 per light but this did not include having a new cast made and new ornate. I don't believe the cost is £300,000 like the council have said. I think this is something they have purley guess or made up. I would apply again on behalf of the council if they would be happy for this, i may ask them about if my current compliant doesn't go anywhere.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 1:55 pm 
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Thank you James and Phosco152 for your replies. In answer to James's question, sadly I don't have any information about the circa. 2000/2001 restoration along Clacton sea front. The information you have found out about the Heritage lottery scheme is more than I knew! In answer to Phosco152's question about the REVO C6200 lanterns in the East Anglian Film Archive series of films, the warm colour of the day-burning lights in the opening shots of "Scenes Around Clacton" from 1957 suggest these were large incandescent lamps. Looking at Simon Cornwell's fabulous web page of REVO lanterns, the C6200 isn't listed, but similar main road top-entry enclosed lanterns of the era like the Leicester suggest such lanterns would have been either GLS or MA/V, which makes sense considering the era.

Here's a quick update from Holland-on-Sea, which is next to Clacton-on-Sea in Essex:

In February 2017, David wrote:
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The longest straight SOX-lit road yet to be spoilt by the arrival of LED is King's Parade, which runs along the sea front of Holland-on-Sea. The above photograph was taken from the Clacton end of Holland-on-Sea. Once again there are enough lights out to suggest that LED could be arriving here soon.

In July 2018, David wrote:
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The same view in daytime, photographed in February 2018.

In February 2019, David wrote:
This view, of circa. 50 SOX street lights with perhaps two or three SON casual replacements and two LED casual replacements was unchanged until Sunday night (10th February 2019), but by the end of Tuesday 12th February 2019, all but five SOX lanterns remained. Here is the same view taken on Tuesday this week:
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This month I have discovered that the lighting crews have revisited the sea front at Holland-on-Sea and cut back the original brackets. This is the new-look LED installation, as photographed yesterday:

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King's Parade, Holland-on-Sea, photographed in June 2020.

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The new, uniform bracket length has certainly refreshed and "tidied up" the appearance of the road, which in places had brackets of various lengths from casual replacements installed at different times, but it must have been a pain to re-visit all of these columns for the second time in just over a year to cut the brackets back. I cannot see a "short cut" to cutting the brackets without needing to remove the lantern and re-installing it. The brackets are still original to the columns, they have just been cut back.

These 10m columns are around 15 to 20 years old. They replaced the original 1960s green Concrete Utilities Avenue 3DNN concrete columns which were sleeved in circa. 1990, allowing the columns to soldier on for another 10 to 15 years. There are still a few 8m casual replacements along this road which pre-date the decision to raise the mounting height of the installation to 10m.

The random brown concrete column in the first photograph in this post is from an earlier-dated installation of Concrete Utilities Avenue 3D concrete columns, installed where Clacton-on-Sea's Marine Parade East transitions into Holland-on-sea's Kings Parade. Although preceeding the installation along the sea front at Holland-on-Sea, these chunkier columns appear to have a little more staying power than the later 3DNN variants, and seven survive at the eastern end of Marine Parade East to this day, although they have been sleeved for the past 30 years.


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