11c. Murray Road, Mickleover.  About half way along this road is an unsleeved Stanton 7 column with a curved bracket as opposed to the swan neck seen on the previous page. Owing to column replacement works nearby, this is now (as far as I am aware) the last unsleeved column on the estate - and perhaps the last unsleeved, council-owned column in Mickleover. It will probably be replaced before the end of 2006, which will truly be the end of an era...

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Well, the lantern survived for a few more years than I thought it would - only when the Street Lighting PFI arrived in 2010 did it finally disappear:

Thanks to Jeremy for giving me details as to the history of the columns on this estate. He told me the following after rescuing one of the old contactors for me: "The contactor is one of the originals from Brisbane Road, Mickleover - installed in the mid-1950s when the estate was built. (It was in the column opposite the junction of Murray Road.) Several of these were used to group-switch all the lamps from the junction of Western Rd up to Rangemoor close; including Murray Rd and all the closes off Brisbane Road (and Darwin Rd and its closes). A Sangamo clock (in the first column on Brisbane Rd from Western Rd) switched the first 8/10 columns. In the last one, the switched feed would switch the coil of one of these contactors. The contactor would switch an electricity board service on to the outgoing cable which would switch the next 8/10 columns. This would be repeated in the last column, and thus, five or six of these contactors would switch, virtually, the whole estate from one clock.

Interestingly, when the whole system was made permanently live (around 1991) and individual photocells fitted to each lamp (that's when those little GEC lanterns were fitted - before this there were 'old' type less-gear Beta 5s; fitted around 1971, and before this ESLAs with 100 W tungstens) - all they did was to remove the control-point clock and make this permanently live. The contactors were left alone but with the coils permanently energised. This meant that if, as occasionally happened, a fuse went, the contactor would 'drop' out and all the contactors 'upstream' would also switch off; plunging whole parts of the estate into darkness.


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