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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:23 pm 
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Hi All,

Whitehaven in Cumbria still has a few of these old gas columns with swan necks fitted with Beta 5s.

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@54.55337 ... 312!8i6656

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@54.55338 ... 312!8i6656

Regards,

Andrew.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:44 am 
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Many thanks for the replies and interest in our campaign. Claire - I stand corrected :) (to be fair the archive pictures I've found aren't very clear so it would need some expertise to identify the lanterns. I'll try posting some links later.)

We've been sent some costings for refurbishment of the two different types of column and retrofit of a new swan neck bracket (from AC Ford).

As expected a major cost is for SSE to disconnect and reconnect the supply cables. We're trying to calculate the exact NET cost of refurbishment vs installation of a new cheap steel column - I know that contractors generally install a new column alongside the old one and presumably SSE will come back later to remake the connection (in the case of one near us that's been nearly 6 months and it's still not lit!)

I imagine the council would still have to pay for disconnection and reconnection when a new column is installed - or is there a cunning cheaper way to do this? Either way the isolator would have to be replaced and the supply cable shortened as necessary, so I guess that cost is incurred regardless. Plus for refurbishment of a Revo column the cost of digging up the pavement is saved. Or am I missing something?


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:05 pm 
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SSE have a fixed charge for service transfer, regardless of whether its from old column to new, or old to feeder pillar. This includes cost of pavement digging up and reinstatement. Only the DNO is permitted to work on the supply cable and its termination.

I doubt the cost of refurbishment of an existing column (corrosion removal e.g media blasting probably couldn't be done in situ due to H&S issues) plus made to order swannecks and labour to do all the work, will be less than a new column.

There is then still the issue of siting - those immediately behind the kerb, and spacing - probably too large to meet the optical performance of LED light sources, to consider.

There are also future maintenance liabilities for non galvanised columns, as well as safety considerations for continued use of older columns. The South Coast PFI were required to test for hidden cracks on cast iron columns they retained to meet public liability insurance requirements.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:50 pm 
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We've clarified costings with the council and they agree that the same charge would be made for disconnection and reconnection when a new column is installed. The cost estimates we've received include a test for soundness and visual inspection.

Apparently SSE's charge includes trenching up to 1m - the old columns that are at the kerbside would probably mostly fall outside this but I'd have thought that since the extra distance is marginal (just measured one near my house - it's 1.25m) and the supply cable doesn't need to be lengthened the council might have a bit of room for negotiation there.

I agree that we're very unlikely to get down to the cost of a new column, but we're hoping to persuade the council that the difference is worth it. I understand the DfT funding will pay for most of the cost of a new column or refurbishment so the actual marginal cost, particularly for the Revo columns, is pretty small. We just need to see how many of the Victorian columns we can persuade the council to find the money for. Wish us luck :)

Edit (slightly OT!) One for Claire perhaps - here's a picture from 1940 showing a converted gas column with reflector lantern http://collections.readingmuseum.org.uk/images/s1108180.jpg - I thought the top looked a bit narrow for a GEC lantern, so was wondering whether it was made by Revo, as Reading bought lots of equipment from Revo including swan neck brackets and Moseley columns.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:27 pm 
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Another year on, and we have an update - with some good news! With a lot of campaigning we've managed to save at least 40 of the original gas columns in Reading, along with about 180 Revo Moseleys. We managed to get £25k of CIL money and some more from a small underspend on the LED lighting project (anyone that has been to Reading recently will notice that the this project is almost complete now).

The council did a structural check of all the remaining cast iron columns in the town in early 2018 and found them all to be in sound enough condition to keep, although their contractors weren't willing to correct any that leaned excessively so a few were lost at that stage. We have been working with the Conservation Area Advisory Committee to define a list of gas columns to be retained, and the replacement programme has nearly finished.

The refurbishment programme for the remaining cast iron columns is due to start at the end of February. All of these will have new custom-made swan neck brackets and be fitted with V-Max lanterns, and the old gas columns will be rewired with a small bollard nearby. The Revo Moseleys have a door and will just be rewired internally.

There is funding to paint all the refurbished columns starting in the spring, so we hope the end result will look pretty smart. The column shown in my profile picture happens to be first on the list for refurbishment so I hope to be able to post a 'before and after' picture of this soon.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:56 pm 
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Good news. Do you know if this one is being retained?

Its in a fairly nondescript post war estate,  one of several in that location. Any idea why these columns were used at that time/location, rather than something more conventional? Did post war shortages mean cast iron columns were more readily available than steel?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:02 pm 
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Phosco152 wrote:
Good news. Do you know if this one is being retained?


Looks like good news for your column, Phosco152 - I've seen a list from the council and it's on the list for retention.

The refurbishment programme ended up being delayed by three months because the swan necks didn't fit the old gas columns and they needed to order reducers. Some of the former gaslight columns have now been fully refurbished and repainted and look pretty good. They have been fitted with a new swan neck bracket made by Pudsey Diamond and a V-Max lantern, and you can see the new isolating pillar alongside the column in the photo - the programme is underway right now and most of these will be finished in early July.

The Revo columns are following a little behind and I would expect these to be done in July-August - I've just seen one near me that looks complete but it isn't working yet because apparently they need to replace a broken cutout. The column has now been painted. I don't know why Reading went through a phase of installing lots of Revo cast iron columns around the 1960s (perhaps someone else such as Claire might know a bit of the history), but I'm glad they did and it's pleasing that so many still survive in a serviceable condition.

Overall we're pretty happy with the outcome of our campaign - we've managed to save about 50 mostly Victorian-era gas columns and 180 Revo Moseleys, and hopefully these will grace Reading's streets for many years to come. Here are a couple of pictures - one of the column in my avatar after refurbishment and the other of the refurbished Revo Moseley nearby.


Attachments:
File comment: Revo Moseley column refurbished
column2.jpg
column2.jpg [ 130.44 KiB | Viewed 357 times ]
File comment: HC Goodman Reading gas column refurbished
column1.jpg
column1.jpg [ 234.81 KiB | Viewed 357 times ]
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