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Concrete Utilities Limited
Great Amwell

Made the first reinforced concrete columns in Europe in 1931. They were installed in Liverpool. - [Public Lighting, Golden Jubilee, 1974]

They issued their first list in 1931 which showed 7 designs of columns up to 15' high to spigot. - Catalogue 1938

Produced the first fluted concrete columns in Europe in 1935 for the Gas Light and Coke Company. - [Public Lighting, Golden Jubilee, 1974]

In 1936 produced the first 25' concrete columns in Europe for Blackpool. - [Public Lighting, Golden Jubilee, 1974]

There are 18 designs of column by 1936. - Advert 1936

The firm exhibited four columns and brackets at the APLE's Conference in Folkestone. They were described as distinctive and modern giving dignity to any lighting scheme. The flat surface of the column reflected the light from the lantern and from the headlights of vehicles and so increased their safety value as beacons. (The beacon effect most useful to motorists in the early hours of the morning when lamps are extinguished.) They noted the wide range of columns and brackets to suit particular environments. All were scientifically designed with necessary reinforcement to give a strength equal to withstand severe shock - they were spun and vibrated. When raising and lowering gear was used then all cables and the winch are totally enclosed and no unsightly clips spoil the lines of the column. - APLE Conference Programme 1937

The firm are exhibiting a 5' projection Shakespeare Bracket and a 4' projection New Arc bracket. A well-produced brochure has just been issued. The firm has had many years' experience in design and manufacturer of Concrete Lamp Columns and many thousands have been installed in this country and some abroad. - APLE Conference Programme 1938

Two brochures were issued in 1938. "Modern Lamp Columns" includes the high columns whilst "Modern Lighting" includes short columns. - Catalogue 1938

Described as the "pioneer of Concrete Lighting Columns", the firm are showing two columns of the Avenue design which have been given approval by the Royal Fine Arts Commission. The flat surfaces of the colums reflect the light from the lanterns and from the headlights of vehicles, so increasing their safety value as beacons. (The beacon effect most useful to motorists in the early hours of the morning when lamps are extinguished.) New features are columns giving 25' mounting height taking up on 12¼" and 9½" pavement width. Columns can be supplied in rubbed, ground or polished terazzo finish. - APLE Conference Programme 1939

Have supplied 50,000 concrete columns to hundreds of boroughs around the country. - [Public Lighting #17, 1940]

Have started production of concrete bollards and smaller Tom Thumb units. - [Public Lighting #17, 1940]

The "originators of the Reinforced Concrete Column for street lighting" are displaying a set of water colours of their designs including the "Arc" series of brackets, two of which have been approved by the Royal Fine Arts Commission. A column base is on display showing the reinforcement and door fitting which only occupies 9½" across the pavement. A composite concrete lantern head is mentioned, which the firm have the patent for, and which is being developed in conjunction with Siemens Electric Lamps And Supplies Limited. The firm are also proposing the manufacture of a series of concrete bollards.- APLE Conference Programme 1945

Partnered with Sugg to produce the Sugg C.U. bracket and column for the Sugg 8000. A full-size sectional model of a 1' 6" bracket illustrates the method of taking the cable through to the lantern, patented tension bolt fixing, and safety tube. - APLE Conference Programme 1946

Are showing their patented method of fixing concrete brackets. Also on show are scale models of their latest diesng of columns with several sections of concrete showing various finishes available. They claim a distinct feature in their bracket fixing which incorporate tension bolt and safety tube. The narrow base pole (Avenue 3DNN) is shown which occupies only 9½-in. across the pavement. The firm have always used rubbed cement finish as the concrete column should have a chance to weather and eventually match the surroundings, and not have an artificial smooth surface produced by grinding. - APLE Conference Programme 1946

They claim a distinct feature in their bracket fixing which incorportates tension bolt and safety tube. This ensures a rigid and secure fixing, with safety and long life, as minimum strain is imposed on the concrete surfaces under compression at the junction of shaft and bracket. The company is also exhibiting some special units developed with Sugg Limited showing a special bracket on an Avenue 2D column enclosing a box which houses the control equipment. Also included will be some of the latest fluorescent lantern types with columns designed in collaboration with the manufacturers. - APLE Conference Programme 1947

On the demonstration site at Princess Park, the firm erected 10 Group "A" columns with "Arc II" and "Avenue" type brackets, ranging from 2 ft. 6 ins. to 6 ft. outreach. They also demonstrated two columns with 2 ft. 6 ins. double arm brackets and four types of Group "B" columns. The firm can offer delivery from four works at Ware, Cardiff, Ipswich and Liverpool. With the exception of one column, all exhibited showed the rubbed cement finish. Although a ground finish can be supplied, atmospheric corrosion will remove free cement and give a natural pitted appearance - this is not detrimental to the column and enables it to weather to tone with the surrounding buildings. Also exhibited were columns designed to take the latest designs of fluorescent lanterns by the General Electric Co. Ltd. and British Thomson-Houston Co., Ltd.. William Sugg & Co. Ltd. have also been developing brackets with the firm and the Sugg C.U. Avenue 2D Column with special bracket arm was shown. - [Public Lighting #48, 1947]

Manufactured the first British made high masts in 1966. These were installed at the Severn Bridge approaches. - [Public Lighting, Golden Jubilee, 1974]

Installed the longest high mast installation in the world, near Melbourne in Australia, in 1971. - [Public Lighting, Golden Jubilee, 1974]

Also in 1971, developed the first world desgin of a double drum winch for high masts. - [Public Lighting, Golden Jubilee, 1974]

And, also in 1971, developed the first Frangible Joint Columns as developed by the Road Research Laboratory. [Slightly disputed - see Sugg's Automatic Cut-Off Bollards in 1938 - but CU hold claim for columns]. These are installed on the A1 near Doncaster. - [Public Lighting, Golden Jubilee, 1974]

Established a Museum Of Street Lighting in 1975 as part of the celebrations surrounding the firm's Golden Jubilee.

APLE Exhibition Catalogue Folkestone 1937
APLE Conference Programme Bournemouth 1938
APLE Conference Programme Glasgow 1939
APLE Conference Programme Glasgow 1945
APLE Conference Programme London 1946
APLE Conference Programme Southport 1947

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