59. Crich Tramway Village. Along the period-set main street of this popular Derbyshire attraction are a number of equally well suited lighting installations, including many examples of GEC 'Wembley' lanterns and gas lanterns (now converted to electricity). All of the lanterns appear to work, and indeed on the day I visited (12th December 2004), many were. I thoroughly recommend a visit to the Tramway Village if you visit Derbyshire, not just to see the lanterns, but also to see the efforts of the volunteers whose restoration work is excellent. To find out more information, click here.
I saw the first Wembley near the entrance. It was fixed to one of the tram pylons and looked very well blended. Notice the GEC top connecting box above the lantern:
This next Wembley is near the shopping area on a very ornate bracket. A Zodion SS4 cell can just be seen behind the top entry connecting pipe. The column for this lantern certainly isn't a local one!
This is one of the ex-gas lanterns on the street. As can be seen, two pygmy bulbs are used nowadays as these are about the same size as gas mantles.
The fašade of Derby's old assembly rooms is a feature at the Tramway Museum. Two Wembleys are installed in front of it, and both use columns and brackets similar to the one that actually was in front of it when in Derby. It can just be seen that the front example is fitted with a wire mesh guard - these were a feature from the days of early electric street lighting and were provided in case the bowl was damaged - the idea was that the mesh would prevent glass from falling onto people below. This feature was removed from later versions.
I then faced left and looked towards the end of the street, photographing a gas lantern, a Wembley, and even a modern column (just visible to the right of the tram pylon) in the same picture. I like the way they represent three different eras.
At the entrance to the tram depot is yet another Wembley. I was lucky to photograph a tram that was parked up by the column at the same time. (This is one from Sheffield but isn't used to carry passengers - instead, it carries spare equipment. You might just be able to see that it has been rigged with Christmas lights which looked very festive as it got dark!) This too has an SS4 fitted, but it isn't very accurate as the lantern came on quite early in the day. I was pleased to see that it was using a mercury lamp.
Wembleys can also be seen on wall brackets fixed to the depot. One was on all day, but this time, a tungsten lamp was used. The bowl on this lantern had a mesh around it too.
The GEC logo can be easily seen on this Wembley's top connecting box.
In one of the exhibition halls is this mercury Wembley, this time with a clear bowl (which can't be seen due to the glare from the lamp):
OK, that's enough Wembleys! Moving back up the street, and up a flight of steps to the woodland walk, is another interesting survivor. I'm not sure about the age of the lantern or bracket, but it was the fuse box that caught my eye. It's an old Wardle one.
A short tram ride up the line takes you to the Wake Bridge stop, where the substation for the trams can be seen. At either end of the substation is a side entry GEC Clearmain. I didn't see either of these lanterns working, so I don't know what lamps they take, although I could see no control gear in the substation, so they might be tungsten, or might not work at all.
Behind the substation is a lantern-less column. I can't remember if it has ever had a lantern or bracket fitted, but it's a shame that it doesn't have one now.
Finally, not far from the first Wembley is a similar column, but this time an ESLA bracket and unknown open lantern are fitted. The hand switch is on the side of the fuse box, but is probably no longer wired up.
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