101. Castle Street, Tipton, Sandwell, West Midlands. Located at the junction of High Street is an un-sleeved Revo concrete column supporting an Alpha 1 lantern. Considering that the Revo company was based in Tipton, this column has not travelled far! A number of these columns were installed in this area at the time when concrete columns were popular - now, very few 'original' examples exist. It is probably only a matter of time before this example also fades into history as the original door has been replaced with one retrieved from a tubular steel column, and the concrete is beginning to crack near ground level. The other columns nearby are the Stanton equivalents of this column - these are also un-sleeved, and also support Alpha 1s.

The Revo column has a more curved bracket than the Stanton version has (two examples of these are visible in the background); the bracket also provides additional height to the column.

The old tubular steel column door fits reasonably accurately into the aperture of the concrete column.

Sure enough, by July 2012, a new aluminium column supporting a WRTL Vectra lantern was in place at the concrete column's position. Eight years later, I paid a return visit and was pleased to see that most of the remaining Alpha 1s here (along with some on other, nearby streets) remained in nightly service.

Somewhat surprisingly, the Stanton columns are showing little to no signs of visible structural failure at the bracket joint.

The column at the junction of Castle Street and the A457 featured a shorter outreach bracket.

This lantern's Opticell unit was in rather grubby condition, despite not being near enough to any trees for their deposits to fall onto it.

The second Alpha 1 had an Opticell that was clean externally, but thanks to a break in the underside, was in poorer condition internally. Behold, the magic wood pigeon...

By contrast, the next lantern along was in immaculate condition.

The lantern had received maintenance relatively recently, judging by the new-style Royce Thompson Oasis 1000 photocell that was fitted.

A medium-sized outreach bracket supported the lantern on the following column.

The tape wrapped around the end of the bracket seems to be used for some sort of identification purpose - perhaps, it represents a colour-code system to determine when a lantern was re-lamped.

The sleeved column in the background, to the right in the picture below, had lost its concrete bracket by July 2014. Google Street View imagery made prior to this date indicates the reason - heavy spalling was present at both ends of the bracket, necessitating its replacement.

The foreground Alpha 1 was switched with an Oasis 1000 photocell too.

One concrete column on the adjoining High Street was set to be removed imminently; its service having been transferred to a new 8 m tubular steel column supporting a Philips LumiStreet gen2 LED lantern.

All that remained of the Alpha 1 was the aluminium rear casting - the Opticell, lamp and photocell having been removed.

The sealing plug that carries the Alpha 1's lampholder can be seen tucked into the casting.

The outgoing column has a slight lean to it; perhaps it was struck by a vehicle at low speed, and this was what determined that it required replacing.

The column's inspector door was missing, revealing the Thorn G.53232.4 ballast, and capacitor below it.

The Stanton 18## range of columns tended to have their manufacturing date stamped on the backboard - as can be seen here, this column was made on Thursday, 13th April 1978.

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