181. Bretton Lane, Bretton, Chester. Examples of street lights from a number of eras exist along this road, with the oldest installation being a Concrete Utilities 'Estate Minor' column with a swan neck bracket and top-entry P152 lantern. Thorn QC3 aluminium columns with 'Type 2' brackets and top-entry Thorn Beta 5 35 Watt SOX lanterns are the next oldest, followed by more modern tubular steel columns, at least some of which are believed to be QC3 replacements.

The concrete column is in excellent condition for its age, with no signs of spalling between the bracket and column.


A hairline crack is visible in the top of the swan neck, and a separate one has formed in the lantern's Perspex bowl, which has turned translucent with age. Although designed for 60 Watt SO/H and SOI/H lamps, and later, 40 Watt / 35 Watt SOX lamps, by 2019, an LED retro-fit lamp existed in the lantern.


The 'Type 2' brackets fitted to the QC3 aluminium columns are of a very functional design - I am surprised that the 'Type 1' bracket was not specified, as this would (at least) have resembled the swan neck of the above installation.


This too now runs an LED lamp. Despite the lanterns having the lamp control gear situated within them (disconnected in this example, owing to the LED lamp), Royce Thompson P42 two-part photocells are employed as a means of switching the Beta 5s on or off, as required.


A vehicle-activated electronic sign has been attached to this slightly later tubular steel column and side-entry Beta 5.


The heat-sinking fins are visible on the top of the LED lamp in this example.


At the time of photographing, in April 2019, this example continued to run a SOX lamp.


The close-up reveals that the bowl is rather mucky towards the back.


Unusually, for the top-entry version of the Beta 5, all of these employ plastic bowl toggles; most of the Derbyshire examples had the older stainless steel toggle. My 1998 top-entry Beta 5 has a plastic toggle, however.


This example was another to remain SOX at the time. The bowl on this one would have benefitted from being cleaned too!

The product detail tags are riveted to the sides of the columns - BS 3989: 1966 (the specification for aluminium lighting columns) was published on the 21st February 1966 but was withdrawn on the 15th March 1989.


Being aluminium, the columns still looked virtually new, despite being well over thirty years old when pictured.


There is damage to the rear section of this lantern's bowl, suggesting that it may have fallen to the ground at some point in its life.


This newer tubular steel column supported a shallow-bowled Beta 5.


A Zodion SS4D photocell is installed. Notice that the internal reflector / gear tray is heavily rusted in this example; for some time, the lantern operated without a bowl fitted; the shallow bowl seen here was fitted as an eventual replacement.


The newest installation along the lane is this 6 m column supporting a Vision Valiant 1 LED lantern. This replaced a defective QC3 column a few years before these pictures were taken.


The lantern runs 27 out of a maximum of 45 LEDs. The lanterns are equipped with multi-pin NEMA sockets, for possible future Central Monitoring System functionality; however, for now, a standard SELC / Westire AcRo 35 Lux photocell is fitted, and the lantern runs without any dimming capabilities.


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