17. Thorn Pilote T2 / Philips SGS 203

Spotted on Saturday, 12th January 2008 on the A516 Etwall Road in Burnaston.

What I think happened: The column has been hit at speed and is now severely dented at the base. It is at the start of a length of crash barrier - so it would always have been vulnerable. There must have been quite an impact as both lanterns have fallen off the brackets and have virtually disintegrated onto the central reservation below.


Parts of the Pilote were scattered everywhere. The small curved object to the right of the column is the reflector, and adjacent that is at least part of the vehicle's front bumper. A headlight was visible slightly further along!

After taking the above photographs, I then noticed something else on the grass verge in front of me...

...the unmistakable shape of an SGS 203's canopy!

The gear tray was still in the centre:

A replacement column was installed soon afterwards; however, this was itself involved in a collision in December 2010; perhaps as a result of a vehicle skidding on an icy surface, following a bout of snow at the beginning of the month.

Just up from the damaged column is a 'Reduce Speed Now' sign - the column ensured that the vehicle did just this! (The signlight seen here was saved into my collection in March 2017).

The column was not quite as badly damaged as its predecessor was, although the two WRTL Arc lanterns were still wrecked.

The right-hand lantern was the more badly-damaged of the two; both the canopy and reflector are missing - the latter had fallen into the central reservation; the former...well, keep reading!

The rear section of the left-hand lantern's canopy is broken. The earth bonding wire has prevented the canopy from completely falling away from the lantern.

The lamp supply cable was visible in the other lantern.

This section of lights is group-switched from a nearby feeder pillar; meaning that the Oasis 1000 photocell fitted to the surviving canopy was unnecessary; indeed, the Oasis cells seem to experience significant sensor drift when they are regularly switched on and off; resulting in the lantern they are fitted to activating late every evening.

Remember the missing canopy from the right-hand lantern? Well, a small part of the front was spotted on the footpath adjacent the road.

Further parts, along with the distinctive red gasket fitted to Arc lanterns, were spotted about 500 m east of the damaged column, in a lay-by. Presumably, the canopy hit a vehicle as it fell, and the parts then became trapped, before being discarded by the vehicle driver.

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