12g. Constitution Hill, London. Located at the western (Hyde Park Corner) end of the road that separates Green Park from Buckingham Palace Gardens is a 35 ft (10 m) tubular steel column supporting a 1960s' Atlas Alpha 8 twin-lamp lantern. This is the last-surviving example of a larger scheme of Alpha 8s that continued up to the Marble Arch junction - indeed, the example in my Collection is believed to have been removed from this area. The twin-lamp configuration appears to have been stipulated here, owing to the considerable width of the roadway. Indeed, the replacement columns are installed in an 'opposite' configuration, with every column supporting two lanterns. Owing to the bowl on this example requiring cleaning, the number and types of lamps fitted in the lantern today are unknown, although, unlike the setup employed with Derby's Atlas Alpha 8s, the London examples are believed to have run twin 400 W high pressure sodium (SON) lamps from day one; SON being the brand-new lighting technology at the time that these were installed.

The column is situated alongside the Commonwealth Memorial Gates, which date from 2002.

 

Despite the accumulated detritus within the bowl (not helped by the adjacent tree), the two sets of curved reflectors are partially visible from this angle.

 

The lantern peeks out from behind one of the Memorial's pillars.

 

Just visible on the rear section of the canopy is a Royce Thompson photocell - the conversion to photocell control being the only modification made to these lanterns over the years.

 

A rather substantial clamping mechanism secures the lantern to its bracket.

 
 

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