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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions Thread
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 2:27 am 
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Here's my attempt:

Streetlight Preservation and Collection.

Some members of UKASTLE collect from depots or swap other members lanterns in which are preserved as a reminder of yesteryears street lighting. Nowadays most lanterns run on either a peachy coloured lamp known as SON or are orange, and is known as SOX.

The older type of lanterns operate off Mercury which illuminates a  mint coloured glow, sadly these are being consigned to the history books as of 2013 Mercury lighting shall be no more and is important to our heritage of lighting from the past. Preserving these lanterns and lamps are important as collectors are stocking up on these until there shall be no more Mercury’s left, the lanterns are also reminders of the time when they were common in use, notably in West Sussex, Parts of Yorkshire, Merseyside, and the South West. The same will happen for the SOX lamp and lantern within the next 20 years.

Many of our members have reasonably sized collections some have 10 lanterns whist others have 100, these are cared for by members to restore them to their former glory. Some even use them as ornamental garden lighting.  A lantern (streetlight) does not just ‘light up’ as many people think, lanterns switch on in many ways. Most notably is SOX which illuminates a neon red colour before it comes orange.

If your interested about the history of lanterns, lamps and gear why not join us, membership is free and if you wanted to you could even start your own collection and restoration.

Written by Steven D. (Urbis Saturn Land).

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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions Thread
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:40 am 
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Here are my personal opinions of the points raised by Stelmer:

Stelmer wrote:
:arrow: Change General Chat to Off Topic Chat or Discussion.


If it makes things clearer then perhaps the title should be changed. I can see why "off-topic discussion" would be clearer than "general chat", because "general chat" may be misinterpreted as being general chat about street lighting the first time you look at it.

Stelmer wrote:
:arrow: Introduce a New Members Forum and do away with the one thread for new members. This will give a more personal touch to new members and will look miles better.


I don't think we need either new members forums or new members threads. Just bring new members straight into mainstream UKASTLE, just monitoring them in case issues arise.

Stelmer wrote:
:arrow: Possibly introduce seperate discussion areas for hobby enthusiasts like me and professional enthusiasts like Phosco or Claire.


What's the difference? Yes, I have around 20 lanterns in my collection, whilst Claire has a collection about 20 times as large. Does that mean that I am 20 times less of an enthusiast? I'd suggest not. We all collect street lighting as a hobby. The term "professional enthusiast" would technically suggest an enthusiast who is involved in collecting and restoring lanterns in order to make a living (to make money). Agreed, we do sell and swap items, but it's as a means of passing on duplicates or spreading hauls from depots. We don't collect street lighting to make money, so technically none of us are "professional enthusiasts" in that respect. The closest you get to a "professional enthusiast" is one who actually works in the street lighting industry too.

Stelmer wrote:
:arrow: Put the Archive at the very bottom of the forum.


Agreed, that would tidy things up better.

Stelmer wrote:
:arrow: Hide the collections thread from anyone not logged in. Currently it is visible but not accessible.


Agreed, something that is not accessible should not be visible.

Stelmer wrote:
:arrow:  Possibly expand the collections area further with things like a dedicated ''For Sale & Wanted forum with a sub heading ''Streetlighting Related Only'' and another one with ''For Sale & Wanted'',  sub heading: ''None streetlight related''. Also ban replies in these areas as any enquiries will be by PM. The seller can delete the thread once sold or an admin can set it to auto delete topics after 30 days. PHB forums have bbcode for a ''FOR SALE'' or ''WANTED'' tag to the title too.


I fear going down the branch of creating a specific section or thread for buying or selling non-street lighting related items. Street lighting or non-street lighting related though, once there is the knowledge of an item that is wanted or for sale it would be better to continue messaging via personal messaging (PM) rather than in-thread for all to see.

Urbis Saturn Land, what is the difference between preservation and collection? Preservation is a form of collection and collection is a form of preservation. The two go hand in hand. If you don't preserve lanterns they end up in the scrap pile, and if you don't collect lanterns, they also end up in the scrap pile. Or are you referring to whether enthusiasts leave lanterns in original condition or clean them up or restore them or even make up new parts whilst fully restoring them? On the one hand, restoring lanterns could be seen as preservation, because they are being brought back to a good condition that should be good for many years. But on the other hand, leaving lanterns in their original condition is preservation, because you are preserving their as-acquired condition. It's also not all about mercury. Put it this way, in the 1950s there were people who thought that new street lighting installations were monstrosities and that street lighting from three or four decades earlier were much nicer. Nowadays, there are people who think that new street lighting installations are monstrosities, and that street lighting from three or four decades earlier are much nicer. There is a great degree of nostalgia and personal taste in the mix. The fact is, one day SON lanterns and SON lamps will die out, just like mercury is, and enthusiasts will hark back to the days when street lighting didn't all produce a boring white light. It will happen. At present, there is so much SON that we take it for granted. It won't last, and you could also argue that it is better to collect SON lanterns at a time when they are still modern and in good condition rather than waiting 30 years when they are more rare and there are few examples in decent condition. All street lighting is important, it's just that time is running out faster for certain street lighting lamps and lanterns than others.


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions Thread
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:32 am 
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Maybe the whole 'General' category could go to the bottom of the forum so when members log on, they see the street lighting areas within the forum are first, showing that the forum is wanting people to post in the street lighting areas are more important? But there again the general sections are hidden anyway, aren't they?

Another forum I use has something like the below:

General Admin (Announcements, Rules, Introduce Yourself)
---
Specialist forums
---
General Forums
---
Members' Area

I just don't see how 'General Chat' can be seen as above street lighting, and only just below announcements...

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Remembering GEC.


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions Thread
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:49 am 
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A good point. Off topic discussion and archived postings should be down the bottom and more out of the way. "Competitions and games" should probably also follow "general chat" down to the bottom, given that it is more of a spin-off to the important stuff; the important stuff being street lighting discussion. I reckon "Rules, Announcements and Enquiries" should remain at the top though.


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions Thread
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:00 pm 
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sotonsteve wrote:
A good point. Off topic discussion and archived postings should be down the bottom and more out of the way. "Competitions and games" should probably also follow "general chat" down to the bottom, given that it is more of a spin-off to the important stuff; the important stuff being street lighting discussion. I reckon "Rules, Announcements and Enquiries" should remain at the top though.


Yeah, I agree. It would show that the forum has its priorities correct, and perhaps takes itself a bit more seriously.

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"I used to rule the world... Now I sweep the streets I used to own."
Remembering GEC.


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions Thread
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:11 pm 
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sotonsteve wrote:
Urbis Saturn Land, what is the difference between preservation and collection? Preservation is a form of collection and collection is a form of preservation. The two go hand in hand. If you don't preserve lanterns they end up in the scrap pile, and if you don't collect lanterns, they also end up in the scrap pile. Or are you referring to whether enthusiasts leave lanterns in original condition or clean them up or restore them or even make up new parts whilst fully restoring them? On the one hand, restoring lanterns could be seen as preservation, because they are being brought back to a good condition that should be good for many years. But on the other hand, leaving lanterns in their original condition is preservation, because you are preserving their as-acquired condition.


I'm refering to whether enthusiasts leave lanterns in original condition as well as more to do with restoring them like creating new parts when they are being restored. I understand its not all about Mercury but i have refered to that  as a starting point, in which we could then expand on.

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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions Thread
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:51 pm 
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We already have a restoration thread though, so I don't see how splitting things up any more would make things better. At the end of the day, what we don't want is dozens of subsections for lots of very specific things. On another forum I use there are far too many subsections, and you just don't know where to post. It's difficult to explain without going too deep, but basically you end up with a bit of information you want to post, and perhaps four different subsections of the forum where it would be equally appropriate to post the information. Similarly, if you're looking for a specific piece of information, it could be in any number of different subsections, because of the near-duplication issue.

Effectively there are lanterns that get preserved and lanterns that get restored, although there are degrees of restoration. Does cleaning a lantern count as restoration? Does merely changing a broken lampholder count as restoration? Or does preservation mean not cleaning a lantern, leaving the lampholder broken and dangling and such? I think that if we split things down further than "collections" that things could get too complicated. I personally feel that the "collections" thread serves its purpose, because restoration is one aspect of collecting and not something in its own right.


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions Thread
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:56 pm 
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Mine wasn't to do with a thread, it was to do with the page 4 on the home page. which is mentioned on the page before this one.

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From streetlighting to radio, dance through the night whilst the streetlights are glowing outside.


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions Thread
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:33 pm 
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Urbis Saturn Land wrote:
Mine wasn't to do with a thread, it was to do with the page 4 on the home page. which is mentioned on the page before this one.


Ah, I see. The things I said are probably still relevant anyway, clarifying the meanings of what preservation is and such, because preservation could mean different things. I think preservation would be best viewed as "preservation of history for the benefit of future generations", rather than preservation in terms of restoration or lack of restoration of lanterns, if you see what I mean.


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions Thread
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 2:24 pm 
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I think if this forum wants to attract new members it has to be accessible. Some people may have a slight interest in streetlighting which they may want to expand upon but might be put off by all the technical jargon that appears on here. To that end I think we need to have a glossary which we could all help write entries for and maybe PM our entries to one of the admins and the best ones could be used. When the lantern factfiles return perhaps we could have a few photos and descriptions of some of the more common lanterns so newbies can identify lanterns they might see everyday.


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