170A. Frederick Parker, Canon Street, Leicester Located around the grounds of the 'Parker Plant', as it is known locally, are a number of notable lanterns, with the majority being Atlas / Thorn Alpha 3s of varying versions, although some wall-mounted SOX lanterns are situated around the rear of the site too; the buildings of which date from 1926. These, however, are not visible from any public areas, and are best viewed from trains passing along the railway lines to the east of the site, in lieu of seeing them in person (see rant below).
An original Mk 1 Atlas Alpha 3 attached to a relatively low column is located at the entrance to the site, adjacent the security office.
As with my own example when it entered the Collection, water ingress is a problem, owing to failed seals between the front and rear sections of the lantern.
Gear-in-head later versions provide illumination around the large travelling crane at the north end of the site. The background lantern is missing.
The bowl hinge has failed, with a twist of wire being used to hold it in place.
The brackets for these lanterns are square-based, save for the end section of the pipe, which is cylindrical, for attachment into the lantern.
Some wall-mounted examples exist too, with the brackets poking through holes in the corrugated asbestos panelling.
The bowl is missing from the next example along. A photocell is situated above the lantern, with some rather interesting methods employed to secure it to the panelling.
The third of the three still retained its bowl.
This final Alpha 3 was at the far end of the yard.
This too had a damaged bowl hinge, which had been repaired with wire, although, this appears to have worked loose, resulting in a small gap forming between the lantern and the back of the bowl.
An ELECO Silver-Ray was wall-mounted too, although its bracket is cranked at a rather sharp up-pointing angle.
Unfortunately, as the Frederick Parker company has zero Customer Service skills, and doesn't have even the courtesy to reply to polite emails and letters, but curiously, does send read receipts - all from one Harry Gregory, in case he happens to be reading this (there is a difference between the "Reply" and "Delete" buttons, just in case you didn't realise), I had to capture the lanterns around the back of the facility from trains passing to and from Leicester railway station. The video below details my findings...yes; the irony is not lost on me either, that people have accessed the site illegally to apply graffiti to some of the walls, but someone wishing to pursue their (far more innocent) hobby by going down the correct route is blocked!
These still images taken from the video reveal the lanterns. Another wall-mounted Alpha 3 is first.
The first of the possible two wall-mounted vintage SOX lanterns is next.
The second isn't far away. Judging by the marks running the length of the sheeting, the gutter here looks to be blocked - I wonder what state the lantern is in internally with it being right in the path of the deluge.
From the overall curved shape to the canopies and bowls, I am inclined to believe that these are BTH [British Thomson-Houston] Amber Mk III lanterns, dating from the 1950s, and designed for 140 Watt SO/H / SOI/H lamps; these being superseded by the 100 (later 90) Watt SOX lamp. Although the Perspex bowl has become rather translucent through age, an over-lamp reflector appears to be employed, suggesting that the lamp control gear is situated within the lanterns - this would make sense, considering that the lanterns are mounted in the way that they are.
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