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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 11:00 pm 
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jamesbrf wrote:
I have some fantastic news to report about these lights. The council have contacted me today to say this is now a project they are interested in pursuing.  They have spoken to the lottery about a heritage grant and the lottery have expressed interest in the project. The council are having a company survey all they lights to get an exact quote for the full cost of the restoration project. This will take place in September. Once this has been done they will contact me again to let me know the update and how they will fund this. They are hoping to have the project complete for next year. Lets see what happens, i will keep you all updated.

That is fantastic news!

Well done for pursuing this as hard as you have - e.g. with your online petition - and putting these old lights back on the Council's agenda, seemingly against all the odds and after it looked like the Council themselves had given up on them. I do hope that the Council can secure Heritage Lottery funding as they did last time and that it covers the bulk of the costs, so that they do not spend too much of their own funds in these straitened times.

But many congratulations and well done again! I hope the Council can stick to their plan and get Clacton's fabulous greenswards lit up ready for a flood of new tourists when Coronavirus has finally been conquered!


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 11:05 pm 
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As it's been a while since I last posted, here is a round-up of four more street lighting stories that have made the local newspapers in the north east corner of Essex in the last few months.

The first is not quite in my corner of Essex, but comes from the nearby maritime town of Maldon – perhaps most famous for its Maldon Salt which is produced in the town to this day. A mistake on a new housing development in the town has left a family with two lamp posts in their front garden in the first instance, but much more worryingly the family have also discovered that their front garden will now be 3ft narrower due to an error in the plans. The story appeared in various local newspapers like the Colchester Gazette and some of the national papers also ran the story, e.g. the Daily Mail.

The second story is from Colchester itself has both good news and bad news. First the bad news. Colchester still has a rich heritage of cast iron lamp posts from local foundries, but the heritage is dwindling. Cast iron lamp posts from local foundries numbered circa. 555 in 1983, but this number has been nearly halved to 300 at the time of the last Colchester Civic Society survey in 2018. The survey can be viewed on the first two documents of this page on the Colchester Civic Society’s website. The 2018 survey noted that nameless cast iron lamp posts had also dwindled from 46 to 11 in those 35 years. The 2018 survey also included for the first time cast iron lamp posts from other foundries, adding 78 No. additional cast iron lamp posts to the 300 named and 11 unnamed columns above.

The good news is that the residents of two roads which is still blessed with a near-complete installation of gas columns – which have been retrofitted with GEC rhythmatic control boxes and swan-neck brackets, or Pudsey Diamond swan-neck brackets or equivalent – have come together to strip and repaint the lamp posts to bring them back to their former glory. The Colchester Civic Society are now keen for similar local schemes to happen elsewhere in the town. The Colchester Civic Society also had a more detailed report on their web site.

Also connected to Colchester’s heritage, this story in the Colchester Gazette reveals that one of the four remaining tram traction poles in Greenstead Road, Colchester has been removed. To my knowledge, this is the only road in Colchester which still has tram traction poles used for street lighting. The four remaining posts are listed in the document named “Colchester Borough Tramways” available from the Colchester Civic Society’s website. The Colchester Civic Society are calling for the last three remaining tram traction poles to be preserved by moving them to a new student accommodation block in Magdalen Street when they reach the end of their lives. The student accommodation block was built on the site of Colchester's tram depot which was demolished in 2018. The redundant tram tracks inside the depot were incorporated into a new footpath running through the middle of the new development, and it is hoped that the last three remaining tram traction poles can be erected along this path.

In April 2013, David wrote:
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One of a handful of the town's old tram traction poles which were converted to street lamps when the trams stopped running. These columns date back over 100 years.

Ironically, it is this pole in the photograph that has been removed – unceremoniously replaced with an 8m unpainted tubular column with an ASD Lighting Highway Diamond Elite.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2020 1:00 am 
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I’ll start a new post for the fourth story, as it will be accompanied by a large number of photographs.

In February 2019, David wrote:
Although it is terrible to witness the demise of large-wattage SOX in the town, there is currently no wholesale replacement of street lighting on side roads. These are generally 80 and 125W MBF/U, 35W SOX and 50 and 70W SON in Clacton-on-Sea and the surrounding areas including St. Osyth, Jaywick, Holland-on-Sea, Frinton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze, and generally 35W SOX and 50 and 70W SON elsewhere in Essex, noting that there could be pockets of mercury elsewhere in Essex that I am unaware of. Having said that, I understand that there is much-reduced or even no re-lamping of side road lanterns. Instead, new LED lanterns are being fitted to side road columns with expired bulbs.

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The junction of Valley Road and Mountview Gardens in Clacton-on-Sea, as photographed on Tuesday night (12th February 2019).

The Philips MA50 on Valley Road (the main road) has just been replaced with a Philips DigiStreet LED lantern, column one on Mountview Gardens with the MA50 will surely suffer the same fate very soon, but the GEC Z5641 will not be touched until the mercury bulb expires, the lantern falls apart from old age or the Concrete Utilities "Utility Major" column is struck by a vehicle.

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Here is a mobile ‘phone photograph taken earlier this week at the junction of Valley Road and Mountview Road in Clacton-on-Sea (incorrectly referred to as Mountview Gardens in the earlier post). The photograph shows that the Philips MA50 on column 1 in Mountview Road has become a Philips DigiStreet lantern and the GEC Z5641 on column 2 has become a Phosco P852.

Clacton once had thousands of GEC Z5641s, but their numbers started depleting away as soon as the last ones were installed in the late-1960s. I first became aware that they were starting to disappear – along with the town’s GEC Z5671s – in the mid-1980s. In 1985 and 1986 for example, all of the GEC ZP3000 reinforced coloured plastic “plastopoles” with GEC Z5671s were removed from the housing estate I grew up on, around 80 in total. The housing estate was built in two halves, and the street lighting on the older half of the estate – which had about 50 GEC Z5641s on Concrete Utilities "Utility Major" columns – were left untouched. By the late-1980s, when I would have been about 15 years old, I was certainly aware that the rot was setting in, and in the first instance I borrowed my Dad’s camera to get some of these old installations on film.

Fast forward more than 30 years to 2020, and I estimated earlier this year that there were perhaps between 100 and 200 GEC Z5641s on Concrete Utilities "Utility Major" columns still in nightly service in Clacton-on-Sea, nearby Holland-on-Sea and Jaywick. As we approach the end of 2020, we perhaps still have over 100 that are still hanging on, but not much over 100. I am now in my late-40s, and although I'm not enjoying seeing LED technology hasten the demise of the street lighting from my childhood, I am nonetheless very grateful that the street lighting of my childhood has lasted this long.

Noting that I have spent 35 years being mildly unsettled by the decline of Clacton’s old favourites (this blog post by Ian Waites describes this mild discomfort rather well), the fourth street lighting-related story that was recently in the press comes from an unexpected source. A 15 year old lad in Clacton is campaigning to save some of Clacton’s old street lamps, and one GEC Z5641 in particular.

When I was Nathan’s age, Mountview Road (as featured in the photographs above, and also the location of the street lamp Nathan wants to save) was lit entirely with GEC Z5641s on Concrete Utilities "Utility Major" columns, with the exception of the first column which was a 35ft Concrete Utilities "New Highway" column (one, and possibly more of these columns, still survives in Clacton’s Highfield Grange Holiday Park). This column held a deep bowl Thorn Alpha Five running a 135W SOX lamp if I recall correctly (I do not recall any of Clacton’s group A10 lanterns striking up in pink like Colchester’s SLI lanterns did).

At night, Mountview Road originally looked a bit like my avatar, which is Jubilee Avenue in Clacton-on-Sea, photographed in 1995 when the road was still lucky enough to have a complete installation of Z5641s. Mountview Road today has an eclectic mix of one MBF-U lantern, one SOX lantern, one SON lantern and four LED lanterns, and this mixing of light sources is typical of a number of residential streets in Clacton today.

Below is the circa. 35 year journey, in approximate chronological order, of how Mountview Road changed from a uniform installation of GEC Z5641s to the mix of street lights it has today.

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The first column to go in Mountview Road was column 7 which went sometime in the mid-1980s. It was replaced with this Thorn Beta 5 on a 5m octagonal pole. The Beta 5 has a plastic bowl clip, which were new at the time (the early 1980s Beta 5s had metal bowl clips). This photograph of column 7 (with column 6 behind) was taken in March 2017.

Column one was the next column to go when the whole of Valley Road (35ft Concrete Utilities "New Highway" columns with deep bowl Thorn Alpha Fives) was relit in the early 1990s with Philips MA50s on 10m tubular steel columns (as in the first photograph in this post).

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This is column 5 photographed in March 2017, with column 4 behind. At some point in the 1990s or 2000s, the Z5641 on column 5 was replaced with a wide-brimmed Thorn Gamma Basique which was itself replaced with this SON-running Phosco P567 when the Basique lost its canopy in circa. late 2014 (information from Google Street View!).

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In 2009, column 3 was replaced with a 5m tubular steel column with a SON-running Phosco P111 (Google Street View shows both columns side by side). This photograph of column 3, with columns 2 and 1 behind, was taken in October 2013.

Sometime between early-2019 and this year, column 6 was replaced by a 6m tubular steel column with a post-top mounted Phosco P852. Also sometime in this time period, the SON-running Phosco P111 on column 3 was replaced with an LED P111. Just one of the original eight GEC Z5641s survive to this day, on column 4.

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A photograph of the junction of Mountview Road and Valley Road taken in fog in February 2019. In this image are column 2 (in the foreground) and column 1 in the background. Also in this photograph is a Philips DigiStreet LED lantern lighting Valley Road and a SON floodlight on the window showroom on the other side of the road. From left to right we have SON, LED, MBF-U and SOX.

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Another photograph of Mountview Road taken in fog in February 2019. In this image are columns 5, 6 and 7. From front to back we have SON, MBF-U and SOX.

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This photograph is of the junction of Clarendon Park and Mountview Road, also taken on the same night as the above two photographs. The column in the foreground is in Clarendon Park and the column in the background is column 4 in Mountview Road – the last surviving GEC Z5641 in that road and the lantern Nathan wants to save. The lantern in the foreground is also a GEC Z5641 on a Utility Major column.

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The same junction in the daytime. This photograph was taken in March 2017.

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The same scene as above, also taken on the same night in February 2019, with the paving slabs included for added nostalgia.

40 years ago, most of Clacton’s residential streets looked like this at night (Z5641s on Utility Major columns, or Z5671s on GEC ZP3000 columns), albeit our eyes would do a better job of removing the fluorescent green colour cast (it is of course possible to "Photoshop" the green colour cast away, but I prefer to leave it in!). From about the time of the energy crisis in 1973 and/or the control of street lighting transferring from Clacton Urban District Council to Essex County Council in 1974, new street lighting in Clacton-on-Sea and nearby Holland-on-Sea and Jaywick was switched to SOX.

The newspaper report also refers to Nathan’s desire to save some of the Victorian street lighting in Clacton. Although there is very little Victorian street lighting left in the town, the town does have a small quantity of part-adopted and unadopted roads, and these have some fabulous locally-cast cast iron columns. Holland Park, Boley Drive and even the end of Mountview Road itself are part-unadopted. A dedicated layer on the Essex County Council Highways Information Map can be switched on to indicate unadopted roads and the location of Essex County Council’s street lighting columns. Clarendon Park is not adopted, meaning the street light in the foreground of the above three photographs is maintained by Tendring District Council, but the section of Mountview Road in the above photographs is adopted, meaning the street light in the background is maintained by Essex County Council.

Further along Clarendon Park, at its junction with Carlton Road, there was this magnificent locally-cast column maintained by Tendring District Council:

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This locally cast column was manufactured by F.W. Lewellen and Co Engineers of Clacton-on-Sea. This photograph and the next five photographs were taken in September 2008.

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This ladder bar must be the most exquisite ladder bar I have ever seen! I haven’t seen this magnificent ladder bar on any of the other local cast iron street lights in Clacton-on-Sea or Holland-on-Sea.

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F.W. Lewellen and Co still have a hardware shop in the town to this day.

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This additional photograph of the same column and the two photographs below were taken in March 2017.

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Why so many photographs of this one particular street light you may ask? Sadly this magnificent locally-cast column has just been destroyed in a road traffic accident. An absolute damn tragedy in my opinion. The four photographs below were taken last week (October 2020).

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If the above street light was maintained by Essex County Council, I could easily foresee a prosaic 6m tubular steel column with a Phosco P852 arriving quite soon.

As this knock-down is the responsibility of Tendring District Council, there may be a little more variety in its replacement – perhaps a prosaic Holophane S-Line LED lantern on a 5m tubular steel column.  :lol:

In an ideal world, a good-condition cast iron column and swan-neck could be sourced by the local Council from a reclaim yard (perhaps the same reclaim yard where the sea front's top-entry GEC Z8430CMs ended up!), and perhaps if the exquisite ladder bar survived the accident, it could be detached from the original column and reinstated on the new column. All of this is a complete fantasy of course. Back in the real world, Local Authorities have very little spare cash or the time or resources for such a faithful restoration, and furthermore it is likely that only a tiny fraction of Clacton's population may have noticed this magnificent street lamp when it was in situ, and even fewer would care enough to want to see a sympathetic replacement.

There are a few other cast iron columns in the roads around this destroyed cast iron column. Thankfully these other ones aren’t as exposed as this one was. It's worth adding them here for the record. The bases of these other columns below are highly similar to the knocked-down column, but do show some variations. They were also made by Lewellen's of Clacton.

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The unadopted section of Boley Drive has three street lights. There used to be two of these cast iron columns, both with modern hockey stick-style brackets and Thorn Beta 5s. This photograph of one of them was taken in September 2008.

The third street light used to be a local authority-spec GEC Z5641 on a Utility Major column, latterly replaced with a Thorn Gamma 6. I believe two, or possibly all three columns have gone now, replaced with 5m tubular steel columns with Thorn Gamma Basiques.

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This street light, photographed in March 2017, is one of two in the unadopted section of Holland Park. The bracket is from Bleeco in Brighton. The other street light in the unadopted section is a modern-day hockey stick with a side-entry Thorn Beta 5.

Further afield from the Holland Park area of Clacton-on-Sea, there used to be four similar cast iron installations in Holland-on-Sea, but two have had their swan necks removed.
In February 2010, David wrote:
Phosco152 and I also passed this old cast iron column, which also came from local firm Lewellen's, although sadly sporting a Thorn Beta Five casual replacement (photo taken November 2008)…
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The column looked even worse when Phosco and I passed it last weekend. The swan-neck had vanished and a post-top Phosco P567 had been put on the column. It looked such a sorry mess that I may have to return and get a photo of it.

There are two cast iron columns in unadopted Merrilees Crescent in Holland-on-Sea, the first is the shorter column above and the second is identical to the taller column in Holland Park as photographed above. Both have had their swan necks removed since then – one has a Phosco P567 SON lantern and the other has a Holophane S-Line LED lantern.

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Holland-on-Sea has two remaining installations identical to the street light in the Holland Park area of Clacton-on-Sea. The one above (photograph taken in November 2008) is at the junction of The Esplanade and Haven Avenue (both unadopted roads).

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The second is in unadopted Norman Road, as photographed above in December 2017.

Norman Road has two more cast iron posts – one at the junction of Merrilees Crescent and the other at the junction of Kent’s Avenue.

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This cast iron column at the junction of Norman Road and Kent’s Avenue (photographed in March 2014) is the only remaining cast iron column with a wider base.

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A close-up image of the elaborately-decorated wide base, as photographed in November 2008.

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This cast iron column is at the junction of Norman Road and Merrilees Crescent (photograph taken in August 2015). The hoop bracket is highly unusual, apparently formed of two swan-neck brackets with a double-ended finial at the top.

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It is certainly an unusual arrangement, and looks like this at night. Photograph taken in December 2017.

I do have a childhood memory of the next lamp in the street (the column with the wide base and the Thorn Gamma Basique, as pictured earlier) also having the same unusual hoop bracket, but if it was there, it's now been gone for years and years.

These are the oldest lamp posts still in nightly service in Clacton-on-Sea and Holland-on-Sea. Long may they continue if they can. I'm also sure that everyone at UKASTLE wishes Nathan well in his endeavour to save some of Clacton's historic street lighting, and especially the (or a) GEC Z5641.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2020 8:23 am 
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David as ever, thanks for your informative posts and brilliant pics.

It is a shame that officialdom in the example of the columns with the new build house and Nathan's attempt to secure a vintage GEC make such a mockery of authority.

In the latter case, its is good to see the younger generation taking such an interest in their surroundings. The council could easily donate a lantern, without lamp and its "noxious chemicals" to him. The whole point of current waste disposal policy is to avoid material going to landfill by reusing where possible.

The cast iron column montage is another wonderful record of history. Good to see some local action taking place to preserve some. of them.

Have you approached Colchester Civic Society to have a street lighting page on the website so that your historical knowledge and digital documentation of lighting in the town can be made available to a wider audience? You really ought to approach other local history groups in Essex in a similar vein for other localities.  :)


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2021 3:42 pm 
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I am quite sad to see these historic mercuries disappear forever and get LED in its place, but that is quite a mismatch, especially with that Z5641 on column 2 being overpowered by the neighbouring MA on column 1.  :lol:

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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2021 12:22 pm 
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Does anyone know that Essex County Council is going to replace 85.000 residential street lights to LED! It's on their website and I am curious where they have started aswell.

I'm also new here.


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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2021 6:10 pm 
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In October, Phosco152 wrote:
It is a shame that officialdom in the example of the columns with the new build house and Nathan's attempt to secure a vintage GEC make such a mockery of authority.

In the latter case, its is good to see the younger generation taking such an interest in their surroundings. The council could easily donate a lantern, without lamp and its "noxious chemicals" to him. The whole point of current waste disposal policy is to avoid material going to landfill by reusing where possible.

Yes, the response to Nathan does seem a bit mean-spirited. It was only about 10 years ago that filament lamps were banned by the European Union and, as domestic LED lamps were still in their infancy and often horifically dim, we had no alternative but to light every room of our homes with “noxious” low-pressure mercury compact fluorescent lamps!

Today, I can see Nathan would have at least two options to keep the original appearance of any saved "mercury" lanterns and get them back into light without using MBF/U lamps.

Firstly, a seller on Ebay called Casjenks has been selling “BT75” oval-shaped 4W 4000K LED lamps with B22 (here) or E27 (here) caps for about a year now. I can certainly confirm that they are highly similar in appearance and size to the 80W MBF/U lamp, as I have purchased a small quantity of each. I cannot vouch for their longevity as I don’t have them in nightly service. They do seem to put out a large quantity of light for 4W – perhaps easily enough to light a small room or to put in a street lantern for display purposes.

Secondly, Philips Lighting have their TrueForce Core LED retrofit lamps designed as a low-cost alternative to replacing a whole lantern, in a similar vein to the various SOX LED retrofit lamps which have been adopted by many of the Parish Councils in my corner of Essex. They come in 6 varieties, 13W in 3000K and 4000K, with the 4000K version being equivalent to a 50W MBF/U lamp, 18W in 3000K and 4000K, with the 4000K version being equivalent to an 80W MBF/U lamp, and 26W in 3000K and 4000K, with the 4000K version being equivalent to a 125W MBF/U lamp.

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This photograph was taken in May 2021 and shows a traditional 80W MBF/U lamp next to a BT75 4W 4000K LED lamp from Ebay and a Philips TrueForce Core LED 18W 4000K lamp.

The BT75 lamp is slightly larger than the traditional 80W MBF/U lamp whereas the Philips TrueForce Core LED 18W lamp is about the same size as a 125W MBF/U lamp.


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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2021 6:39 pm 
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In October 2020, David wrote:
Further along Clarendon Park, at its junction with Carlton Road, there was this magnificent locally-cast column maintained by Tendring District Council:

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This locally cast column was manufactured by F.W. Lewellen and Co Engineers of Clacton-on-Sea. This photograph and the next five photographs were taken in September 2008.

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This ladder bar must be the most exquisite ladder bar I have ever seen! I haven’t seen this magnificent ladder bar on any of the other local cast iron street lights in Clacton-on-Sea or Holland-on-Sea.

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F.W. Lewellen and Co still have a hardware shop in the town to this day.

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This additional photograph of the same column and the two photographs below were taken in March 2017.

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Why so many photographs of this one particular street light you may ask? Sadly this magnificent locally-cast column has just been destroyed in a road traffic accident. An absolute damn tragedy in my opinion. The four photographs below were taken last week (October 2020).

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If the above street light was maintained by Essex County Council, I could easily foresee a prosaic 6m tubular steel column with a Phosco P852 arriving quite soon.

As this knock-down is the responsibility of Tendring District Council, there may be a little more variety in its replacement – perhaps a prosaic Holophane S-Line LED lantern on a 5m tubular steel column.  :lol:

In an ideal world, a good-condition cast iron column and swan-neck could be sourced by the local Council from a reclaim yard (perhaps the same reclaim yard where the sea front's top-entry GEC Z8430CMs ended up!), and perhaps if the exquisite ladder bar survived the accident, it could be detached from the original column and reinstated on the new column. All of this is a complete fantasy of course. Back in the real world, Local Authorities have very little spare cash or the time or resources for such a faithful restoration, and furthermore it is likely that only a tiny fraction of Clacton's population may have noticed this magnificent street lamp when it was in situ, and even fewer would care enough to want to see a sympathetic replacement.

The destroyed lantern now has a replacement, and it’s a genuine surprise! It’s a Victorian-style post-top lantern on an embellished 5m post:

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Tendring District Council's replacement column and lantern. This photograph and the next three photographs were taken in May 2021.

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The new lantern appears to be running a Philips CosmoPolis CDO-T metal halide lamp.

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A long view along unadopted Clarendon Park in Clacton-on-Sea showing how the new post-top fits into the street scene.

The column and lantern in the foreground were probably installed around 60 years ago and are still going strong apart from the lantern's yellowed cone. This is also a Tendring District Council lantern, so it may outlast the far greater number of Essex County Council-owned GEC Z5641s that have graced Clacton-on-Sea, Holland-on-Sea, Jaywick and Great Clacton for the last 60+ years.


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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2021 7:47 pm 
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A car service a few weeks ago gave me a few hours to spare to track down the remaining cast iron street lights in Clacton-on-Sea and nearby Holland-on-Sea - as mentioned in the post back in October 2020 - to see if they were still there.

Thankfully they were!

All the new photographs in this post were taken in May 2021.

In October 2020, David wrote:
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This street light, photographed in March 2017, is one of two in the unadopted section of Holland Park. The bracket is from Bleeco in Brighton. The other street light in the unadopted section is a modern-day hockey stick with a side-entry Thorn Beta 5.

This street light is still going strong:

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In October 2020, David wrote:
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Holland-on-Sea has two remaining installations identical to the street light in the Holland Park area of Clacton-on-Sea. The one above (photograph taken in November 2008) is at the junction of The Esplanade and Haven Avenue (both unadopted roads).

This street light is also still going strong:

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In October 2020, David wrote:
Holland-on-Sea has two remaining installations identical to the street light in the Holland Park area of Clacton-on-Sea. The one above (photograph taken in November 2008) is at the junction of The Esplanade and Haven Avenue (both unadopted roads).

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The second is in unadopted Norman Road, as photographed above in December 2017.

Norman Road has two more cast iron posts – one at the junction of Merrilees Crescent and the other at the junction of Kent’s Avenue.

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This cast iron column at the junction of Norman Road and Kent’s Avenue (photographed in March 2014) is the only remaining cast iron column with a wider base.

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A close-up image of the elaborately-decorated wide base, as photographed in November 2008.

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This cast iron column is at the junction of Norman Road and Merrilees Crescent (photograph taken in August 2015). The hoop bracket is highly unusual, apparently formed of two swan-neck brackets with a double-ended finial at the top.

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It is certainly an unusual arrangement, and looks like this at night. Photograph taken in December 2017.

All three of these street lights are also still in service:

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This photograph of Norman Road from its junction with the B1032 Frinton Road has all three columns in the same photograph. The column with the hoop bracket column is on the left and the column with the wider base and the Thorn Gamma Basique is further down the road on the right.

Unadopted Norman Road has five street lights in the control of Tendring District Council. The fourth is a Philips MI26 on a hockey stick column at its junction with Hucklesbury Avenue and the fifth is a GEC Z5641 on a Concrete Utilites "Utility Major" column. There aren't many GEC Z5641s in the control of Tendring District Council (another example is in the last photograph of the previous post).

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Sadly the vandalism to the Z5641 on column 5 in Norman Road will reduce that count by one.

In February 2010, David wrote:
Phosco152 and I also passed this old cast iron column, which also came from local firm Lewellen's, although sadly sporting a Thorn Beta Five casual replacement (photo taken November 2008)…
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The column looked even worse when Phosco and I passed it last weekend. The swan-neck had vanished and a post-top Phosco P567 had been put on the column. It looked such a sorry mess that I may have to return and get a photo of it.
In October 2020, David wrote:
There are two cast iron columns in unadopted Merrilees Crescent in Holland-on-Sea, the first is the shorter column above and the second is identical to the taller column in Holland Park as photographed above. Both have had their swan necks removed since then – one has a Phosco P567 SON lantern and the other has a Holophane S-Line LED lantern.

The above column is in fact the column with the Holophane S-Line LED lantern:

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The other cast iron column in Merrilees Crescent, which appears to be about 3ft taller than the above column, has the Phosco P567 lantern on it:

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In October 2020, David wrote:
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The unadopted section of Boley Drive has three street lights. There used to be two of these cast iron columns, both with modern hockey stick-style brackets and Thorn Beta 5s. This photograph of one of them was taken in September 2008.

The third street light used to be a local authority-spec GEC Z5641 on a Utility Major column, latterly replaced with a Thorn Gamma 6. I believe two, or possibly all three columns have gone now, replaced with 5m tubular steel columns with Thorn Gamma Basiques.

The good news is that one of the three unadopted columns in Boley Drive is still there and is now painted white:

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The first two columns in the unadopted section of Boley Drive are modern 5m columns with SOX-running Thorn Gamma Basiques:

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We of course hope the cast iron street lights continue to be maintained to a good standard as they currently are and will have many decades of life left in them.


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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2021 9:27 pm 
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Location: Colchester, Essex
Im May 2021, Leds are alright wrote:
Does anyone know that Essex County Council is going to replace 85.000 residential street lights to LED! It's on their website and I am curious where they have started aswell.

I'm also new here.

Welcome to the forum LEDs are alright!

Yes it's true, the fourth and final phase of Essex County Council's street light replacement programme started last month, and it will mean the remaining 85,000 street lights that are currently not LED will be replaced.

Page 24 of this document suggests the programme will start in Basildon and Chelmsford. Basildon will lose a lot of vintage 55W SOX lanterns like GEC Z9484s, Z9538s and Eleco GR501s, and Chelmsford will lose all their 35W post-tops like the Z5646 and the Z5647.

The programme is expected to take 3.5 years to complete, so that is effectively the rest of 2021, and 2022 through to 2024, meaning Essex County Council's street lighting will be MBF, SOX and SON-free by the end of 2024.

I haven't yet seen any evidence of an LED roll-out beginning on side roads in my corner of Essex (Colchester Borough and Tendring District).

Having said that, eight out of nine residential roads in Holland-on-Sea that were converted from SOX to SON sometime in the 2000s have recently had those SON lanterns replaced with LED lanterns, but this "LED roll-out" appears to be confined to a small area of the town, with no wholesale replacements of existing street lighting stock outside this area.

This replacement of Holland-on-Sea's newest SON lanterns with LED lanterns is a surprise to me as there are plenty of roads in Holland-on-Sea lit with mercury lanterns from the 1960s and low pressure sodium lanterns from the 1970s that could have been replaced instead. But this small-scale LED roll-out does give us an opportunity to look forward to what the future LED roll-out might look like. All the photographs below were taken in May 2021. Warning: long post!

Holland-on-Sea is a rare example of a town that hasn’t expanded in size since the 1970s. In fact it simply cannot expand in size. It is bounded by marshes and water courses to the north west, north and north east, the North Sea to the east, south east and south, and Clacton-on-Sea to the south west and west.

The town is split down the middle by the B1032 which links Clacton-on-Sea to Frinton-on-Sea, and this road splits the town's street lighting into two halves as well.

The residential street lighting north of the B1032 are 1960s GEC Z5641s and GEC Z5671s on Concrete Utilites "Utility Major" columns with a few exceptions, e.g. unadopted roads, and latterly GEC Z5671s and (on Viking Way alone) Z5674s on GEC ZP3000 reinforced coloured plastic “plastopoles”.

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Typical street lighting north of the B1032 in Holland-on-Sea are GEC Z5641s and GEC Z5671s on Concrete Utilites "Utility Major" columns.

Although many of the roads south of the B1032 existed before the 1970s, the residential street lighting south of the B1032 are invariably Eleco GR501s on Eleco hockey stick columns - a column and lantern combination typically installed in the 1970s. The only exception I remember to this standard was three random GEC Z9484s in Princes Road, also on Eleco hockey stick columns, which were replaced with Philips MI26s in the late 1980s or early 1990s.

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Typical street lighting south of the B1032 in Holland-on-Sea are 1970s Eleco GR501s on Eleco hockey stick columns.

The 1960s and 1970s street lighting on both sides of the B1032 has been eroded by casual replacements over the last four decades, and the depletion of GEC Z5671s north of the B1032 is particularly noticeable nowadays.

The GEC ZP3000 “plastopoles” were also removed en masse in the early 1990s and replaced with Philips MI26s on hockey sticks.

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A photograph of an early attempt to upgrade some of the SOX street lighting south of the B1032, with some streets seeing the wholesale replacement of the GR501s with Philips MI26s in the late 1980s or 1990s.

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In the 2000s, nine roads in the east of the town that were previously lit with GR501s were upgraded to Thorn Rigas. Today only one of these nine roads - Edison Road - retains their Thorn Rigas. All the other roads have recently been upgraded to LED.

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The majority of the Thorn Rigas were replaced with Philips DigiStreet Micro lanterns.

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A close-up of one of the new Philips DigiStreet Micro installations.

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A minority of the roads that used to have Thorn Rigas were fitted with ASD Highway Diamond Elite lanterns instead.

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A close-up of one of the new installations.

Although north east Essex is awaiting phase 4 of Essex County Council's LED roll-out, LED lanterns are now being used for expired lanterns and knockdowns.

In the mid-2000s, Essex fully switched away from installing new low pressure sodium casual replacements in SOX-lit streets in favour of high pressure sodium, and Phosco P567s, Thorn Rigas, SON-running Thorn Gamma 6's, Philips SGS101 "Streetfighters" and Philips SGS203s initially appeared in such streets. In my corner of Essex, the quantity of different lanterns was eventually whittled down and the Phosco P567 and latterly the Phosco P567A became the side road lanterns of choice for casual replacements. LED casual replacements have also got off to a similar start, but may settle down in the future.

A recent walk around Holland-on-Sea and parts of Clacton-on-Sea revealed that quite a variety of LED casual replacements have been installed. The photographs below were taken in May 2021.

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Philips DigiStreet Micro lanterns are a popular choice for replacing expired GEC post-top mercuries as well as expired side-entry lanterns. Phase Three of Essex County Council's LED roll-out (replacement of all part-night high-wattage lanterns) deployed the Philips DigiStreet series of lanterns.

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ASD Highway Diamond Elite lanterns are also a popular choice for replacing expired GEC post-top mercuries. Phase Three of Essex County Council's LED roll-out also used the ASD Highway Diamond Elite series of lanterns.

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This ASD Highway Diamond Elite lantern in Clacton-on-Sea required a double-take. It appears to be the side-entry version of the lantern making use of the Phosco P567 post-top adapter.

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Making the short hop across from upmarket Frinton-on-Sea, the Phosco P111 has also made its debut in Clacton-on-Sea and Holland-on-Sea as a casual replacement for expired GEC post-top mercuries.

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Also from CU Phosco, Phosco P852s have been used as casual replacements.

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The most recent LED lantern from CU Phosco to make an appearance in my corner of Essex is the diminuitive Phosco E950.

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Like the Indo Air 1, the Phosco E950 looks a bit lost when used atop a new 6m post.

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Having mentioned the Indo Air 1, these were the first side road LED lanterns I spotted being deployed in Clacton-on-Sea, back in November 2016.

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Paying homage to Phase One of Essex County Council's LED roll-out (the LED trial), the Schréder Ampera Micro has also been spotted, but not in great numbers.

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New from Schréder is the Axia 3.1 which has just put in an appearance in Holland-on-Sea for the first time.

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Paying homage to Phase Two of Essex County Council's LED roll-out (the replacement of all full-night high and low-wattage lanterns), the Philips Luma is also in use on side streets in Clacton-on-Sea. This photograph was taken in August 2017.

So in quick summary, the side road lanterns of choice for casual replacements back in the final days of SON were invariably the Phosco P567 and P567A, but since the switchover to LED, we have seen the following long list of lanterns installed by Essex County Council in Clacton-on-Sea and Holland-on-Sea:

⦁        ASD Mini Highway Diamond Elite;
⦁        CU Phosco E950;
⦁        CU Phosco P111;
⦁        CU Phosco P852;
⦁        Indo Air 1;
⦁        Philips DigiStreet Micro;
⦁        Philips Luma Mini;
⦁        Schréder Ampera Micro;
⦁        Schréder Axia 3.1

In addition to the nine LED lantern types currently found in Clacton-on-Sea and Holland-on-Sea, we also have this Holophase S-line lantern from my last post which was installed on an unadopted road by Tendring District Council.

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A Holophase S-line lantern in Merrilees Crescent in Holland-on-Sea.


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