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revo city #1

This is one of my favourite installations for the simple reason that it shouldn't be here anymore. Originally a 1930s REVO installation, enough remains for it to still be accurately discerned. Add to this a secondary ELECO installation from the same period, post-war concrete infill and sprawl where GEC were selected, a sporadic replacement scheme over the years and you're left with a unique section through mercury street lighting history.

These pictures are a fraction. Whenever I visit REVO city, I always find more; something else unique, something else old, something else that's gone an odd shade of blue over the years.


A general suburban view of REVO City on a dark January day. These swan necks are original but have lost much of their decoration. The Thorn Beta 7 is the most modern replacement - and it's good to find one that's still got its bowl.

The replacements have now gone past their 25 years Use-By date.

(Click on the picture to download the insane sized one - marvel at the swan neck in the background.)

gec z5580

A casual replacement from the 1960s, now so old itself that the bowl has gone green. (Probably Diakon then).

Then again, I found a blue one down a side-street once. I have absolutely no idea what weird plastic that was.

eleco welwyn

Original cast iron column, 'new' swan neck and lantern. Probably an ELECO Welwyn from the 1950s.

The column is a simplified REVO Hull, the 1930s original.

gec z5580

A GEC Z5580 with a polycarbonate bowl, now ear-wax yellow from exposure to the mercury bulb inside. What character!

Then again, that cast iron column is amazing. It's got something on the cast iron door - but I'll stop and look another day. I think it could be an ELECO as ELECO columns grace another part of this ancient installation.

I wonder what gear they have.

gec z5580

Another varient of the 1950s bracket, complete with 1950s GEC Oxford lantern. There are hundreds of these deep bowl GECs in REVO City.

gec z5580

Extreme close-up.

gec z5580/cu column

It's not just amazing old cast iron - many of the streets, either from the late 1940s/early 1950s and from the 1970s, feature concrete columns with GEC Z5580 lanterns. And none are sleeved. Superb!

eleco welwyn/cu column

There's an entire estate lit with these beasts... an entire estate! But the modern photocell doesn't bode well for any old timeswitches lurking inside.

I'll take a CU key and sneak a look the next time I'm in the area.


Enough of the modern replacements. Time to look at the original installation.

This street is narrow and has no grass verges. So the lighting engineer installed this REVO Hull column with a REVO B7290 bracket. The original lantern has partially failed - the shade and refractor having dropped out.

revo c7184

And, finally, here's the original lantern in all it's glory:

  • REVO C7184 lantern
  • REVO B7458 bracket
  • REVO Hull column

There are a significant number of these complete examples left.

revo c7184

Another example, this time a day burner.

revo c7184

And now some close-ups of yet another example.

revo c7184

The original lighting engineer was rather lazy. The illustration of the B7458 bracket in the catalogue shows the C7184 lantern.

revo c7184

And the 'square' B7290 bracket is on the same page, with the same fitting.

revo c7184

REVO City is probably doomed - the council have a PFI, and new Thorn Beta 2s are started to encroach. But somehow, all this wonderfully, ancient stuff is still hanging on... and still working.