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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 10:47 pm 
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Manufacture of concrete columns is a complicated process, using pre-stress steel reinforcement rods set into jigs and placed inside  centrifugal two-part moulds. Concrete pouring being achieved using a long tube that penetrates the spinning mould, injecting concrete as it moves through the mould. Setting of the concrete is another drawn out process, and that's before the columns can be fettled and inspected.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 12:20 am 
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Claire wrote:
Manufacture of concrete columns is a complicated process...


Having been unfamiliar with how concrete columns were actually made, Claire's insight makes interesting reading. Whilst it is a complicated process to start up again today, the industry was obviously very well designed for mass production, hence the huge (albeit shrinking) quantity of columns surviving today.

Since concrete columns are now out of fashion for a number of reasons, all the skill, plant and capability that has been in place since the 30s, has since become as extinct as the columns themselves.

It could be argued that our open air museums have managed to omit concrete columns and their accompanying risks, by selecting the time period they seek to recreate.  Crich is in a difficult position, due to the long, evolutionary process their tramcar fleet illustrates. They have had to adopt a compromise streetscene in which all the vehicles will feel at home.

Whilst many streets were indeed lit by former gas columns (or traction poles, as demonstrated at Sandtoft), the fact remains that postwar concrete columns were as much a part of the local streetscene as they were, yet they seem to be poorly represented in this area.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 10:54 pm 
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Alex wrote:
Just looking on Davy Warren's recent flickr additions, I found out something rather interesting that I hadn't realised was the case before. The concrete installation you see here (along with many others) was installed in the late 1980s. Surely these must have been some of the last concrete installations in the country?


South Bedfordshire (where I live) were still installing concrete columns into the 1980s.  There was a housing estate in Houghton Regis which sprung up in about the early-mid 1980s, and that included a lot of Stanton 20s (8m and 5m), several Highways (8m) and some 6m Byways.  Also there were some 8m Highways installed in Houghton Regis centre in about the mid-1980s.  In the housing estate where I live in Leighton Buzzard individul Stanton 20s were used to replace any Stanton 18 which failed up until the late 1980s.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 10:57 pm 
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Gramma6 wrote:
Indust wrote:

Interestingly all the Stantons installed under the former Lytham St. Annes UDC have a red sandstone-type tinge to them which disappeared on columns installed when Lancs CC took over (philistines!  :mrgreen: ).


The Stanton 6Bs in Leighton Buzzard and the Stanton 8s in Aylesbury I remember as being kind of reddish.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 5:38 pm 
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Having recently returned from my holiday in the Suffolk and Essex areas, I thought I would share a couple of snaps of the lighting in Frinton on Sea.

As well as some delicacies which I thought would have disappeared long ago, I also came across some concrete post top columns which were of a type obviously never popular in my neck of the woods.

Expecting the columns to be some early model and therefore a rare "cop", further research courtesy of Mr Barford's website indicates that the "Edinburgh Column" by Concrete Utilities wasn't such a significant find after all, certainly in terms of having a great age to them.

Frinton seems to have a few of these left, but do they survive elsewhere? They do have a pleasing outline and are not "in your face" reproductions, which is a bonus.

Considering it was obviously aimed at the 70-80s decorative market, I would have expected there to be more examples of these columns elsewhere, unless the PFIs have seen them off.

Perhaps there was also a stronger argument for councils to re-use their own cast iron examples, plucked fresh from the local streets as in the case of Stockport and Manchester.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 12:39 am 
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As I recall, the last concrete columns were made in the 1990s.... up this way the Oakdale Road housing area at Clifton Moor was built in the very early 90s and was lit with slimline Stantons holding GEC Z9530/36 lanterns (the Z9530s now replaced by new style TerraLEDs).

One thing concrete columns still have in their favour is that they never seem to fail underground - it's always from the top down, compared to metal columns which fail below ground level and could go unnoticed.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 10:11 am 
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That's the funny thing that you used to see in West Sussex, concrete columns fitted with "modern" GRP lanterns like SGS203s, MI26s and Z8832s from new. I believe West Sussex used concretes into the 1990s.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2021 6:58 pm 
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Location: Western East England
Bedfordshire has used oversleeve columns for replacement schemes, mostly by Central Bedfordshire Council and these are made by local company Hardie Lighting of Filtwick.
Here is their website: http://www.hardiestreetlighting.co.uk/

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