14A. Off Good Hope Court, Alvaston. Situated in an area known as 'Bottle Wood' some distance beyond the road are two abandoned 10 m Abacus tubular steel columns supporting gear-in-head 135 Watt SOX Thorn Alpha 4 lanterns. From viewing older satellite photographs of the area, the columns appeared to provide lighting to a footpath that served a back entrance to the former Wilmorton (later Pride Parkway) college, which seems rather overkill for the task required. Presumably, the columns were forgotten when the college site was cleared in the mid-2000s, and so, have remained extant on (what is now) waste ground. I was a student at the college just before it closed, and have a vague recollection of seeing the nearest of the two columns at the time, but didn't investigate further, unfortunately! Back in 2008, Jeremy mentioned these in an email to me, although he seemed to think that there were more of them than I found, and assumed that they were eight metres in height:

"On the subject of curious columns standing out on their own in fields , - when you can have a look at the back of the field where Wilmorton College used to be. It’s a building site now but if you go into Alvaston park to the river footpath and walk along until you get to the railway bridge over the river you'll see the columns . There are three eight –metre columns with Alpha 4 s standing in the field ! I've never seen them lit , they’ve been there all the time that I've worked for street lighting . They're nothing to do with “our” street lighting columns on the footpath there. They may have belonged to the College, I'm not sure . Presumably they were to light that little bit of the footpath before the street lighting columns were installed on the footpath.

                   If you aren't already familiar with these columns it would be nice to get a picture of them on your website."

Well, it's fourteen years overdue, but hopefully, the fact that I have taken multiple pictures will excuse my tardiness somewhat!

Nature has been quick to return to what was once a marked, accessible footpath.

The Alpha 4s are both fitted with Zodion SS4 photocells - not that these are likely to switch very much these days!

The bowl is missing (as are the clips), and the lamp is smashed.

The metal surround to the bayonet cap remains fitted in the lampholder; owing to corrosion, this is now dull.

Another curious feature is that both columns feature double doors (which remain in place), despite only running single lanterns, and gear-in-head ones at that.

The second column is in a slight clearing, but still looks rather lost in such an (apparently) rural setting!

The bowl is missing from this example too, although the lamp is intact.

The construction of the Philips lamp's arc tube support at the cap end suggests that it was manufactured in the early-mid 1990s (and could be the original lamp that was fitted when the lantern was new). Perhaps, even by the time that the college closed, these lanterns had been abandoned for some time anyway.

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