7G. AF Reprographics, Nottingham Road, Spondon. Located in the car park area for this firm are several Stanton 8F 25 ft concrete columns supporting Atlas Alpha 3 250 W MBF lanterns. Although the fact that the lanterns carry Atlas branding (instead of the later Thorn versions) makes them rare anyway, the fact that they are also the original type with an entire canopy and bowl that lifts forward for maintenance, adds a whole additional dimension to the 'rarity' factor.
The concrete columns are showing their age, with all having noticeable spalling present at the column/bracket joint.
The nearest lantern has a pool of murky water trapped in the bowl, although a lamp can still be seen in the optic.
This view highlights the precarious state of the bracket joint.
Notice the retaining catch; the rear shoe is shaped in such a way that the catch fits flush with the side of it.
The bowl on the background lantern is altogether more discoloured. This too features signs of water ingress.
Three examples of this lantern can be seen in this view.
The lantern adjacent the access gate appears to be in about the best condition out of all of the lanterns - the bowl is still relatively free of the ingress issues that have befallen the examples seen above.
This zoomed-in view of the closest facing installation reveals that the left-hand (as viewed here) retaining clip is insecure - oh, to be able to shin up the column and re-secure it!
Another view of the car park, and in the background, one of Spondon's famous wind turbines.
The installation to the left of the turbine is seen again in close-up below.
At the time of writing (July 2015), the turbine (and a second one that is out of shot) is still inactive; the blade rotation causing issues for the radar at East Midlands Airport, believe it or not.
By late 2019, the site lay derelict and was due (imminently) to be cleared by a housing developer. Naturally, these veteran lanterns had to be saved, and thanks to the sterling efforts of fellow collector John Thompson, they were, with the lanterns and their control gear sets being removed, with permission, by local street lighting contractor Platinum Electrical on Tuesday, 26th November 2019. As you would expect, one of the lanterns entered my own Collection; click here for details of this. The following pictures were taken a few weeks after the removal occurred.
Much of the vegetation from around the site had been cleared already, whilst safety fencing had been erected around the site's perimeter, in preparation for the demolition of the buildings.
The columns looked rather peculiar with their lanterns removed. By the time that these pictures were taken, the turbines were (at last) operational!
I am glad that the lanterns were able to be removed when they were - I would have hated for the brackets to have given way under their own weight and sent the lanterns crashing to the ground.
A small piece of concrete was hanging from the end of this bracket.
All but one of the seven lanterns were removed - this remaining Alpha 3 falls outside of the site boundary and so was not permitted to be removed at the time, although, when I walked past the site in early January 2020, it had been removed too.
Thankfully, the installation's condition does not appear to have worsened significantly since it was pictured four years previously.
By early March, the whole site had been cleared, with all of the buildings and the seven columns, reduced to a pile of rubble. A fortnight later, and even the rubble had gone!
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