172. Hilton Business Park, Off Egginton Road, Hilton Located on what was once an access road leading to the former Ministry of Defence central vehicle depot but nowadays serves only as a means of accessing a public footpath are three sleeved Stanton 8 columns supporting 1950s' GEC Z9450 90 W SOX (originally 140 W SO/H) lanterns. The lanterns will be original to the columns; however, the sleeves are replacements for the original concrete brackets - the fact that the original lanterns were re-used is slightly surprising - the MoD's budget clearly did not extend to renewing the lanterns ("if it ain't broke...")! The extensive depot closed in the late 1980s and much of the site was redeveloped for housing from the early 1990s onwards; indeed, my own Z9450, Z9454 and Z9464 lanterns all came from this site. Only a small portion of the site is now still retained for industrial use, with many of the former depot buildings (and identical lighting columns) still standing, though even much of this is set to be redeveloped for housing in the future, meaning that many of the existing columns within the Business Park will be confined to history within the next decade. Access to the Business Park is nowadays gained through a dedicated junction leading off The Mease.
The three columns on the closed-off access road are still in good condition, despite having lain derelict for some time. Wooden bollards prevent vehicular access to the roadway.
Unlike the later Z9454 model, the Z9450 features a distinctive 'stepped' aluminium canopy.
A large tree now envelops this installation.
The Perspex bowls fitted have turned slightly translucent from being exposed to years of ultraviolet light from the sun.
Overhead electricity transmission lines pass immediately above the third column - they look a little too close for comfort!
Another distinctive feature of the Z9450 is the flat-bottomed bowl; the Z9454 saw this replaced with a round-bottomed bowl.
The above lanterns were removed in 2018, though their columns remained.
The other remaining installations are pictured from The Mease. This 1980s' replacement column supports a Z9454, from which the bowl is missing.
The lamp is situated a considerable distance from the inside of the canopy, in order to allow for the control gear to be situated within the lantern. With these examples, the gear is located in the column base.
This early type of sleeve bracket is considerably chunkier than later sleeves were; these are believed to date to around 1987, and at the same time that they were fitted, the lanterns underwent slight refurbishment - their internal gaskets were replaced, and their reflectors re-painted.
The slightly diffused back of the bowl can be seen here.
Another example within the confines of the Business Park.
Notice that these lanterns have not been retro-fitted with individual photocells.
A Z9454 (or a more modern Z9464 - notice the shallow canopy) could be seen attached to a concrete wall bracket on one of the former army buildings. My own Z9464 would have been attached to such a bracket when in use.
The column positions here highlight a bend in the access road; its position has been obscured by the dense vegetation that has grown in the area since the site closed. A couple of abandoned railway lines can be seen to the right of the picture.
An integrally-geared Philips MA 90 lantern is the last to be seen on the undeveloped side of the fence. This must have been a very late replacement for a Z9450.
The non-tapering end to the sleeve is evident here.
The two bowl clips can be seen on the side of the Z9450 in the background of the above picture.
A redundant column survives on (what is now) a footpath between Avon Way, Thames Way and Hilton Recreation Ground. A lantern still existed on this column in September 2011, but this had been removed by April 2017.
The missing lantern allows for the end section of the bracket to be observed.
The inspection door remains attached to the column, which appears to have been the ninth column in a long-extinct sequence of lights, according to a number beneath the door lock.
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