Over the next few months, I'll be posting examples of dreadful streetlights to
the mailing list for discussion (and, perhaps, a good laugh).
Open Reflector Lantern on Swan Neck Bracket
Apart from the swan neck being almost the same size as the column, the scrollwork being
small and insignificant, and the fuses and timeswitch being housed in an ugly box strapped to
the column, there's not much wrong with this street light...
Apart from the connection between the column and the swan neck. Or should I say, lack of it?
Despite being ugly, this street light also looks utterly dangerous.
And to add insult to injury, the column itself is nicely positioned as part of the wall. There
was probably a nice looking gas lantern here at one time.
"That old lamp post - the bracket looks like it will fall off any minute." - Wayne
"All I can say at the moment is I wouldn't like to be standing under that!" - Adam
"You haven't told us where the pictures were taken. From the road sign the
first one is presumably in the Cross Roads area of Haworth, West Yorks" - Peter
"Madam, there really is no need for any concern, the lamppost is due for replacement under the 2005 PFI scheme!" - Claire
Gas Windsor Lantern on Angled Bracket
This bizarre angled bracket was probably designed to move the lantern away from the power
lines above it, but it appears an inelegent and cumbersome solution.
"I wonder if the heavy duty column for the gas lamp was
originally intended for a symmetrical pair of lanterns of some kind, with a
more sophisticated bracket. [As for the location] I would guess though that it's in the
north of England or possibly Scotland as gas lanterns with that kind of
chimney weren't often found in the south." - Peter
"Iím from the TV show 'Rogue Traders'; Iíd like to talk to you about this
lamppost conversion youíve undertaken for the Parish Council!Ē - Claire
"That is what I call extreme offset! - Tom
Brighton Seafront Streetlight
The frankly bizarre cones added to the column were duly noted, ruining the Victorian lines of this
seafront street light. The lantern is still there today, whilst the cones are not.
"Very futuristic George, but thatís not quite what I had in mind when we spoke about a
streetlighting modernisation scheme!" - Claire
"Observe that the awful growth was not yet manifest. Could it be something to
do with keeping out rats? In old pictures of cargo ships tied up in the
docks I've seen something similar on the mooring lines?" - Mike
"We will eventually change the failed lamp Madam; itís just that following the last
two attempts the engineer has ended up in hospital!" - Claire
"Clearly a little potty" - Peter
Interestingly the modern building behind the lantern also caused comment. I'd often noted this
appalling mess whilst in Brighton - the building was near derelict, concrete was spalling off to such
an extent that netting was erected, and the whole thing look ripe for urban exploration and then
demolition. However, thanks to Mike's comments on the list, I now know it as Embassy Court
and it's a very interesting building indeed (and being restored).
"By jingo its worked; since the conversion, no one has dared park under it!
" - Claire
"Okay, so who's nicked the other five rings from my giant 'Tower of Hanoi' puzzle....? - John
Gas Rochester Lantern on Statue
The civic vandalism here is appalling: did a council really allow the lopping of a statue's extremities to install
an oversized gas lantern? Or is it an example of the most ornate column ever?
"The USA might have the statue of liberty, but now I see we have a statue
of Rochester or whatever you want to call it. Truly awful Simon. Individually the bits are all fine but it really
seems to be a case of the sum being less than its parts." - Tom
"You must agree that these are the most stylish ladder
bar-equivalents you have ever seen." - Mike
"Right lads; now it says on the job sheet that we have to fit that light there, come what may." - Mike
"D'you know it's also a fountain? It'd look good in a lottery winner's driveway, it's that understated! - Phil
"Well, it's obvious what the problem is here. How could they put that
overlarge direction sign so close that it obscures appreciative views of the
setting of the sculpture upon the plinth? The photographer should have known
better too, and moved a little to one side, so it didn't look as if the
lighting column emerged from the head of the statue. Oh, hang on ..." - Mike
"I should imagine it would be quite disrespectful to
the statue for just plonking a lantern on top." - Wayne
GEC Bridge Lighting
(Chelsea Bridge, London)
This lantern can also be viewed in glorious technicolour on Jon Salmon's site.
The Chelsea Bridge was built in the 1930s, and these huge columns, massive upsweeping brackets, and art-deco style lanterns make an impressive
addition to the bridge's superstructure. As such, I don't think they're in any way 'dreadful', but reflect the fashions and styles of the time.
I hope they're protected, and will continue to light the bridge for years to come.
""OK lads, we've to check this for metal fatigue.... but just where do we start???" - Steven
"That's the most peculiar looking pair of scales I've ever seen." - Adam
"I too think they look interesting. Nice 1930s style which would've had a nice Osira MA/V lamp fitted" - Colin
London Underground Island Lighting
Both diffusers have dropped out of this double armed lantern just leaving the bare GLS
bulbs dangling in the wind. Not very effective! Nor attractive.
The road island itself is also incredibly cluttered with six bollards, two traffic lights
and the oversized column itself on a huge pedestal.
"Not really fair to call it a dreadful, as to me it looks like it's
incomplete! They look like bare 1kW incandescent lamps, that sort of
fixture looks like it should have spherical glass globes hanging down...
Anyone see the same?" - Phil
"I haven't yet been able to find a photo to prove it but I am sure
Phil is right. Frank Pick, the manager of
London Transport from its inception, was very particular about the
appearance of anything which had the LT roundel on it. The underground stations
at Southgate and Turnpike Lane had a specially designed four way lamp for
this purpose, of a different design. See Christian Barham's
biography of him, "The Man Who Built London Transport", published in 1979" - Peter
"To me the lights look like they have MAT/V lamps as if you look at
the lamps carefully you can see two black shadows in the neck which
would be the Arc tube support's I guess the round bulb is where the
filament is located, I agree the lights look as if they would origionally
have had globes fitted" - Colin
"...the London Transport 'lamp' that
used to sit in Euston Road was one of several such that originally
carried Metropolitan Railway signage and that must have been adapted
post-1933 and the LPTB takeover. I think, from memory, that the company
collections may have before and after shots and when I get the chance
I'll check." - Mike Ashworth, London Underground
GEC Dioptrions on extended brackets
The semaphore signal on the right of the road elected most comment, but these gangly Dioptrions
were definintely installed badly. Appalling daylight appearance, all the columns were linked with
overhead wiring, and the brackets were far too big - probably against the maximum as laid down in the
MOT Report. Oddly, the Dioptrions were installed over the centre of the road - not good
for a non-cut-off lantern. And they were only installed on one side - probably why they were on such
huge brackets, it was an attempt to throw the light over to the opposite side of the road.
"I see the brackets are huge (to support the lanterns above the centre of the road), and
the look as big as the columns, which I see have overhead supplies and gear boxes at the top of
the columns. Bear in mind if you were thinking of borrowing Dr. Who's Tardis or H.G Well's Time Machine
to go back in time to pinch them, watch out for the policeman by the first column on the photo." - Colin
"Look out! There's a train coming! Oh, wait....it's a road.
So my guess is - the totally random inclusion of a semaphore signal on
what would otherwise seem to be a road...
Unless of course you have a irrational fear of brackets longer than 8 foot" - Phil