12JF. The Avenue, Beckenham, London Borough of Bromley Located a short distance from Westgate Road, the section of The Avenue from here to Downs Hill is an un-adopted, private road, with considerably different street lighting to that seen on the surrounding, adopted streets. In 2022, this comprised wide-canopied Thorn Gamma Basique post-top lanterns attached to 5 m tubular steel columns; however, some years earlier, fellow Collector Simon Cornwell paid a visit, and pictured the vintage installations that remained in nightly service at the time - these images can be viewed here. One installation from this older scheme remains in place, although it is no longer in operation - a two-way ESLA "Bi-Multi" Group A lantern attached to an even older sewer gas vent pipe.
The old and new installations are pictured side-by-side - neither is particularly practical for providing adequate light coverage over what is a (surprisingly) wide road.
The ESLA is an unusual design - the long, narrow neck seen on my own example is replaced with a wider, shorter neck on this example. This may signify that it is a later, aluminium-cast example. Notice that the bracket outreach is so limited that the back of the lantern rubs against the vertical section of the pipe, making me wonder how the lantern would have been screwed into place originally.
The Gamma Basique dwarfs the tiny older lantern.
This view reveals that a small notch has been cut from one of the lantern's 'wings', although I cannot think of a reason that this would be required.
The cast iron control box was situated at a low enough height for me to reach it relatively easily. The door locking bolt was missing, allowing the contents of the box to be inspected from the ground. A modern Sangamo Q550 time switch (minus its transparent plastic cover) would have switched the lantern in its latter years, while below, now-empty porcelain fuse bases for both the live and neutral conductors (as were the requirements back when this installation was commissioned) remain connected. The time switch indicates that it was deactivated at around four o'clock in the morning, although this is likely to be when the time switch's internal power reserve back-up became unable to turn the motor any longer - possibly, through the added friction of the 'off' lug pressing on the associated switching lever.
Looking up at both lanterns creates a rather unusual (and probably, unique) view.
On the junction of Westgate Road, another sewer gas vent pipe is visible through the trees. Formerly, a square-based gas lantern was fitted post-top here, with a four-way ESLA positioned within the gas lantern housing.
Only the lower frame for attaching the lantern to the pipe now remains.
Another headless vent pipe (this time, one that had been repainted relatively recently) was seen on Foxgrove Road, which runs parallel to The Avenue.
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