14. Off Meadow Lane, Alvaston. Installed near the junction of the road leading to Alvaston Park is an abandoned Stanton 7 concrete column supporting a Wardle 'Murray' top-entry lantern designed for tungsten lamps. Derby had many of these tiny 1950s' lanterns in the past; this now being the last known example. The reason that this example has survived is because it is not listed on any street lighting inventory records, nor does it even contain any maintenance number. For saying that the installation had been abandoned for so long, it is in remarkably good condition, with the Perspex refractor ring still being intact when the installation was first discovered, albeit slight cracked and containing at least one bullet/catapult hole, but I don't think this damage is recent. The remains of a GLS lamp could still be seen within the lantern, although this provided no clues as to when the lantern last operated. At the time of original photographing in 2003, street lighting operative Jeremy was going to see whether the old installation could be brought back into service. The only issue that may have prevented this from happening would have been if the supply cable was no longer live; however, as you will see further down the page, it (thankfully) was still connected to a live supply. Since the column was installed, a steel fence has been erected around the perimeter of a caravan sales company whose land the column is nowadays situated upon. Although close to the column's inspection door, there was just sufficient room to access the column's base.
These first pictures were taken on Tuesday, 3rd June.
The lantern returned to operation on Wednesday, 23rd July 2003. An Omega 'Pluslife' 100 Watt GLS lamp was installed, and a time switch fitted in the base (there had been a time switch installed already), but years of disuse meant that it was in poor condition).
The Wardle Murray lantern, lit for the first time in goodness knows how many years!
Sadly, the beginning of 2009 saw the 'Dielikon' refractor suffer irreparable damage.
Given that the lamp is undamaged, the fragile refractor may not have been the target of some mindless vandalism; instead, it may simply have fallen away from its mountings as a result of plastic fatigue.
A small section of the refractor was found at the base of the column - I took it away with me for safe-keeping:
The incomplete remains reveal the construction of the refractor - there are actually two concentric rings with refractor grooves moulded into them, with the top of the inner ring being cemented to the top of the outer ring.. The outer ring itself features vertical grooves on the inside of the curve; the inner ring features horizontal grooves on the outside of the curve. The 'accessible' side to each ring is smooth, allowing for easy cleaning.
The installation continued to soldier on in August 2015, albeit in a slightly more grubby condition.
A Crompton 'Permalife' GLS lamp now resides in the lantern, and possibly still works after nightfall.
A Wardle 'Murray' lantern (not this one) entered the collection in April 2011. Click here to read more.
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