Local Top-Entry Thorn Beta 5s

 The Beta 5 is a very common lantern all over the UK - this includes Derbyshire; where the lantern is probably one of the most commonly-seen designs on residential streets. It has been used here for many years and so three nearby streets may have several versions of the Beta 5 along them - as is the case below.

For side-entry examples, please click here.


The first example is an early top-entry Beta 5 mounted to an un-sleeved Stanton 10F column in Darley Abbey. The lantern is controlled by a Zodion SS55 two-part cell.

(The column was replaced at some point in mid-2005.)

Another Darley Abbey example; again with a Zodion two-part cell. This column remained for a little longer, but was also replaced as part of Derby's Street Lighting PFI.

It is a shame that the column is gone; the wiring in the base was immaculately presented:


A slightly later Beta 5 example here is seen mounted to a Revo swan neck on a Bleeco cast iron column. This Beta 5 probably replaced a top-entry tungsten fitting.


The opposite setup now - a Revo column and Bleeco bracket - notice that the photocell only just fits below the finial decoration!


This is the more modern equivalent - there were many streets in Derby with identical installations to this, prior to the commencement of the PFI. I am not sure if the side-entry brackets have always had these top-entry converter sections fitted, or if side-entry lanterns were fitted at one time. If this was the case, the lantern choice would almost certainly have been a small mercury lantern.


This Beta 5 is fitted to a restored Revo pole bracket in the South Derbyshire village of Coton-in-the-Elms.


Old meets new here! This unusual setup can be seen in Findern and is due to road realignment in the mid-1990s as a result of the A50 Southern Derby bypass being constructed. What was previously part of Heath Lane is now a public footpath, lit with side-entry Beta 5s on Abacus drop-down columns. The original 'road' lanterns, top-entry Beta 5s mounted to wooden Electricity Company poles, still survive, although they have long since been disconnected.


Below, the lantern closest to the remaining road has had its lamp removed (left photograph), whereas the lamp remains in the other lantern (right photograph). I wonder if it would still work if powered up again these days. The Sirebeck S300 cells fitted to both lanterns are a giveaway sign of when the lanterns were last used.

The High Peak village of Furness Vale was still home to a top-entry Beta 5 attached to another un-sleeved Stanton 10F concrete column in June 2015.


An unusual coupling exists between the bracket and the lantern; this is possibly an adaptor for allowing the lantern (with a ′′ BSP thread) to attach the bracket, which may have a 1′′ BSP thread, or vice-versa. Either way, the standard pipe thread for Group B brackets and lanterns is ′′ BSP even to this day; the larger thread normally being reserved for larger lanterns and brackets. Notice the damage to the concrete at the rear of the bracket, and the detritus that has gathered on the inside of the lantern's bowl. A Zodion SS9-DLS part-night photocell is fitted here.


Perhaps some slightly more unusual locations for seeing top-entry Beta 5s are beneath several of the bridges supporting the A38 dual carriageway; the examples here are at Ambergate, although the same setup can be seen further south, in Lower Kilburn.


The lanterns are caked in cobwebs.


The lanterns attach to the underside of the bridge by means of a plate that bolts to the concrete.


An identical setup exists beneath the more southerly bridge on the A610 Ambergate roundabout.


The bowl was missing from the right-hand example; however, this must have been a relatively recent loss at the time of photographing (July 2015), as the lantern's innards are still clean.


This Beta 5, once again, mounted to a cast iron column, was fitted with a Venture Re-SOX LED lamp in early 2022.

Installing the LED lamp requires all other control gear components within the lantern to be disconnected, and the lampholder to be connected directly to the photocell's switched live output. Incidentally, the photocell is a Zodion Super6 type, rated at 20 Lux.

This pole bracket-mounted Beta 5 in Marston-on-Dove is another to have been converted to run an LED lamp. St Mary's Church is seen to the left.

Unusually, the pole bracket is not fitted to the front of the pole, requiring the lantern to be installed at right angles to the bracket. Just visible above the historical '4' identification number on the fuse box is the Wardle logo, although the bracket finial is a Revo design.

A Royce Thompson Oasis 1000 photocell, rated at 55 Lux and dating from 2006, controls the lamp.

A top-entry Beta 5 entered my collection in March 2011. Click here for photographs.





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