180. Tir-Y-Fron Lane, Pontybodkin, Mold Thanks to fellow collector Arlen Moulton for informing me of these Survivors. Located a short distance from Corwen Road stands an 8 m Stainton sheet steel column supporting a (seemingly) disused Thorn Gamma 4 post-top lantern fitted with three coated elliptical lamps. Opening the column's inspection door revealed that these will be 150 W SON-E each, owing to the control gear installed in the base. The Gamma 4's bowl was missing at the time of photographing in April 2019, but Google Street View imagery captured in 2011 shows that it was still in place then. No fragments of it were visible in the surrounding grass verge, suggesting that it may have been removed, although as the construction of the Gamma 4 makes this a difficult procedure, this is unlikely. The use of the high-wattage, multi-lamp post-top lantern at this location seems incongruous; there may have been something here in years gone by that warranted the installation of such a lantern, with the column being left after this business closed.
The galvanised column shows no signs of corrosion or even surface rust, making dating the installation difficult.
All three lamps appear intact within the lantern.
This is the 'smaller' of the two sizes of Gamma 4 that were produced; 'smaller' meaning a diameter of 914 mm (3 ft) in this case!
The one advantage of the missing bowl is that the lantern's internal construction is revealed, with three struts providing rigidity to the lantern.
Under normal circumstances, the outer core of the lantern's base casting unscrews, and slides a short distance down the column shaft until being stopped by three pegs inserted into the column. In loosening this section, the bowl lowers too, allowing access for maintenance.
Opening the inspection door revealed the individual control gear circuits for the three lamps. The column's backboard had fallen, obscuring the third lamp's ballast, ignitor and capacity from view.
The ballasts all carried Thorn EMI branding, suggesting that they were manufactured in the mid-1980s.
Just up the lane from this installation, on a footpath to a playground, are several 5 m sheet steel columns of a similar age that support Thorn Gamma 6 Traditional post-top lanterns. The first of these is also derelict, with both the bowl and canopy missing from the lantern.
The column is bent quite significantly above ground level, and the inspection door is missing from the base, revealing a very rusty Metalclad-type fused-spur.
Happily, two further columns further along their footpath were in better condition, with the lanterns being intact on both. Their operational status is unknown, however.
Again, these installations appear deceptively new, with only a slight covering of moss growth on the lantern bowls suggesting that they have been there for some time.
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