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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 3:43 pm 
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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?


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:11 pm 
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I believe Blackpool and a few other places were still installing concrete columns into the mid-90s till they ceased production. In Trowbridge, the last concrete column (5m) was installed in 1988 and was a Highway X column (I think) although by then the steel columns were used in massive numbers. It's weird, the concrete on it is still really pale and smooth!

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:27 pm 
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West Sussex was using Concrete Utilities columns until the late 90s. There are examples in Chichester that date from this period. A friend of mine bought a new house at that time complete with new concrete columns along the road.  :shock:


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:30 pm 
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The last time Calderdale installed any concrete columns was in 1996.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:27 am 
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Indust wrote:
I believe Blackpool and a few other places were still installing concrete columns into the mid-90s till they ceased production. In Trowbridge, the last concrete column (5m) was installed in 1988 and was a Highway X column (I think) although by then the steel columns were used in massive numbers. It's weird, the concrete on it is still really pale and smooth!


Indeed, Blackpool were still installing concretes right up until 1996 although steel columns had started to creep in a few years earlier, especially on new housing estates. All concretes installed in the resort from 1994 onwards were CU columns and were sleeved from the start.

It seems all the local concrete columns installed from the mid 80s onwards still look pale and smooth too. It must have been something they mixed into the concrete as when I was a kid, concretes which back then would have been of a similar age were brown and rough (as they still are).

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: ).


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:02 am 
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A lot of houses in the Clifton Moor area of York were built early-mid 1990's and the roads got concrete columns fitted. On the corner opposite my old house is what looks like a mid 90's concrete with a still rather new looking MI26 fitted. Although since I moved house, it has now lost its bowl.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 6:20 am 
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As with most places, Durham have been testing the concrete columns, one on a 1970s housing estate had a crack running full length was cut and bagged. All other concretes in the area have been replaced with 6m Stanton columns supporting Thorn Oracles running 45 or 60W Cosmo. The relplacements in this area were due to regeneration. I believe the reason this one lasted so long was because it required NEDL to do a transfer. In most cases the concretes are having Oracles fitted.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:21 am 
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We had a lot of structural testing here in Lancashire in 2008/9 which resulted in a lot of seemingly-fine concretes being replaced but the pace has slowed down recently with many concretes dating back to the 40s and 50s having new lanterns fitted in the last 18 months ensuring their survival for a while longer  :D


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:38 am 
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2 columns in my road are 1970s Stanton and Staveley CS1805 columns, now fitted with sleeves.

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Following the failure of the lamp in the Beta 5 of one of them, I was luckily enough to catch Balfour Beatty when they came to relamp it. The friendly operative was kind enough to share the following info.

The backboard confirms the column as mid 1970s - my house dates from 1978, and the column is a couple of years older - 3rd July 1975.

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Note circular cut out near top of right edge of door aperture. These are normally filled with a concrete plug. They are in fact a safety indicator for the state of the column. As the steel reinforcing bars rust, they expand and this pops the plug out. If its missing, it means the column is due for replacement.

Sure enough , the rebar is corroded.

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Just visible in the base of the column is the plug - inside red square.

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So it looks like this columns and its neighbour will soon be replaced -it probably won't see its 40th birthday.  :cry:

The green sticker on the backboard is the Southern Electric (as it was then) safety test - 1997.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 12:13 am 
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Gramma6 wrote:
In my home town of Thornton Cleveleys...


The use of concrete columns in the Fylde area was prevalent as has been discussed by "Gramma6". I suspect the selection of concrete was partly down to fashion and price, but also a more practical reason in that the columns would be less susceptible to decay in the salty environment and battering from the high winds often encountered. It is interesting how steel columns even with their disadvantages are now replacing the concrete variety.

However, concrete is not totally dead in these parts. When the tramway was recently modernised, many of the 1930s concrete fence panels which run both sides of the central reservation were badly spalled. Rather than being replaced with routine steel panels, new concrete copies of the art deco originals were cast to replace them. Its a pity that there is no demand for new copies of original concrete columns, like has been achieved with the cast iron variety.

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