Local Atlas/Thorn Alpha 3s

 The Alpha 3 first appeared here in the 1960s under the Atlas badge (also known as the AEI Optispec One at the time). Another batch (this time with Thorn branding) appeared in the 1970s and were used as replacements for twin-lamp Atlas Alpha 8s. The 1980s saw yet more appear on the City's streets; although the majority of these were of the gear-in-head version and used SON lamps as opposed to the MBF used in the past. When the lantern was discontinued in the early 1990s, the Thorn Alpha 8 and GEC Z8600 (WRTL MRL 6) were used as the standard main-road SON lanterns for a time; however, both had a maximum wattage of 250 W, whilst many of the Alpha 3s were running 400 W lamps.

The photographs on this page were all taken along Derby's Morledge unless otherwise specified. Please note that all of the examples pictured here have been removed since the images were captured.

This Thorn Alpha 3 was photographed from on top of the Cock Pitt car park.

This double-armed installation consists Alpha 3s from two eras - on the left, an Atlas example. On the right, a newer Thorn example. Originally, Atlas Alpha 8s were fitted so the Atlas Alpha 3 may have originally been fitted elsewhere - or it may simply be that a Thorn bowl has been exchanged for an Atlas one at some point. The building to the right of the picture is Derby's 1930s' bus station - I am glad I took these photographs as the old buildings were being demolished at the time. As the site is being redeveloped, it is possible that new columns may be fitted in the future - I will keep an eye on things!

More Thorn Alpha 3s. Philips Trafficvisions are can be seen three columns down - these were installed when the pedestrian crossing was widened; replacing a double-arm column supporting two gear-in-head Alpha 3s.


The bowl on this Atlas example on Cathedral Road appears to have been damaged. Fortunately, the lamp is still intact so at least the lantern hopefully still works. The next Alpha 3 along was removed on the day I took these photographs so this one was incredibly lucky.


This 8 m Stewart and Lloyd column in St. Peter's Churchyard has always supported an Alpha 3 of some repute. In June 2011, time was finally called on this, and the following, installation - the Street Lighting PFI had finally reached this road. In the meantime, the remotely-geared Alpha 3 had been replaced with an Alpha 8.


As has this one just up the road - except that a gear-in-head version is now fitted.

Time was nearly up for this integrally-geared Thorn Alpha 3 on Ford Street towards the end of 2010, as new columns supporting Urbis Cabrios had been installed in preparation for the completion of Derby's Inner Ring Road.

This close-up photograph of the two lanterns reveals that the Alpha 3's bowl was secured with a length of insulation tape by this time.





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