Local Thorn Alpha 9s

 The Alpha 9 had a limited popularity in Derbyshire - it was more common than the Alpha 1 in the County area - however, the reverse is true in the City. The peak of its popularity here was in the 1970s - after that, it appears that the GEC Z9454 was a preferred option until the 1990s when the Alpha 4 and Philips MA 90 became popular.

This Alpha 9 in Willington is mounted at 6 m. The lantern has turned slightly on the bracket. (An 8 m column supporting a WRTL Arc 100 W SON-T lantern now stands at this position.)

This example still remains level, however:

A more common mounting height for the Alpha 9 is 8 m. This Alpha 9 in Hartshorne follows this trend, and is of the shallow-bowled, gear in base variety. An Alpha 4 replacement can just be seen in the background.

The village of Hatton in South Derbyshire used to be a good place for spotting Alpha 9s until the columns were replaced in the late 2000s. Again, all are geared remotely - even the two deep-bowled examples.

The bowl on this example was held in place with a cable-tie:

The bracket supporting this deep-bowled example is different to the others. It reminds me of the types which used to be used to support Group 'B' fluorescents in days gone by. Coincidentally, the Alpha 9 was available with this option in the past - it was known as the AEI 'Residential'.


Broadway, in Duffield, was still home to a good number of Alpha 9s in March 2014. However, replacement lanterns and columns were beginning to appear. Indeed, when I passed along this road again almost one year later, in February 2015, I noticed that all of these columns had been replaced, with column spigot-mounted 100 W Arc lanterns once again providing the new lighting.


The lampholder in this example has worked loose from its fixing bracket. Although a repair has been attempted using a length of insulation tape, the lampholder has worked loose again, causing the lamp to be positioned at an almost horizontal angle in the lantern.


Dating from the 1970s, the Alpha 9s are attached to 8 m Stewart & Lloyd columns by means of some rather stylish curved brackets.


The brackets position the lanterns at quite a sharp upward tilt - possibly 10 degrees.


Although this lantern's lampholder is still correctly attached, a hairline crack in the front of the bowl has caused debris to gather within the lantern.



Fortunately, this deep-bowled example in Woodville was still extant in April 2015.


Despite being the deep-bowled version, as this close-up demonstrates, the lantern is remotely-geared.






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