Pearce Gowshall Signlite Major T8 (aka Signature Majorlite T8)

Signlight acquired in March 2017.

Originally situated on post 83387 on the A516 Dual Carriageway in Mickleover, this signlight once provided night-time illumination to a 'Road Narrows On Both Sides Ahead' sign plate, along with a 'Reduce Speed Now' supplementary plate. The post supporting these two plates was positioned in the central reservation of the dual carriageway, facing traffic travelling westbound. Originally, another identical installation existed in the verge adjacent the carriageway's inside lane; this disappeared at some point after December 2009 and was never replaced. Following the closure of the westbound carriageway in January 2017 (in order to facilitate the construction of a new roundabout that would allow access to a new housing development on the other side of the A516), this sign was also removed from service - its plate removed and the signlight abandoned in the central reservation.

These first pictures, taken from Google Street View, show how the signlight looked when installed.


When viewed from the back, the sign's construction becomes clear - as well as the two main posts, there is also a shorter central post supporting the signlight and its bracket. A length of conduit allows the supply cable to pass into this post from the wide-based post that houses the cut-out.


In December 2010, the second double-arm west of this signpost was struck by a vehicle, damaging the two WRTL Arc lanterns that were fitted. Click here for more information on this.



By the 20th January 2017, the westbound carriageway's surface had been excavated and piled up alongside the central reservation. By this time, the sign plates had been removed from the posts (visible to the extreme right of this picture), and the signlight placed a short distance away - with the plates removed, there was no longer a means of supporting the central post or, indeed, the signlight.


Things were little changed by the 6th March, except that all of the street lighting on the westbound entry slip road had been removed.


Just under a fortnight later, the double-arm street lighting columns along the central reservation had, themselves, been removed, though the two redundant posts remained vertical.


The signlight and its bracket; still attached to the central post but decommissioned and awaiting its fate.


Fortunately for this unit, its fate was that it would be saved into my collection. The bracket is bolted to the signlight and so was also rescued.


The bracket is approximately 600 mm (2 ft) in length, as is the signlight unit itself. Notice that the plastic cap is missing from the top of the bracket.


A rather faded Pearce Gowshall sticker exists in the centre of the unit.


A hinged frame supports a transparent glazing panel.


The end sections are pop riveted to the main signlight body.


The two bolts used in attaching the bracket locate in a narrow channel at the rear of the fitting.


The inside of the post end of the spigot is particularly rusty; the missing cap playing a part in the corrosion build-up. Three 4 mm grub screws secure the bracket to the post (although, one of these was lost during removal).


Another 4 mm grub screw secures the glazing panel frame during normal operation. The two 8 W fluorescent lamps are placed end-to-end in a narrow polished aluminium trough, while the control gear for the two lamp circuits is sandwiched behind. Notice that the two lamps are completely life-expired; I suspect that they would have been fitted during a mass clean-and-change session on the bypass in April 2011 (the three lanterns rescued from the bypass all carry lamps with this date written on them) but probably only lasted for approximately a year - the difficulty in accessing equipment installed in central reservations ensuring that no further lamp changes were undertaken.


A very narrow cable entry hole is provided - this must have proven frustrating to whoever wired up the signlight originally, as 2.5 mm2 twin-and-earth cable is used. Between the supply wiring and capacitor (dated November 1993) is a connector block that would serve as the termination point for a miniature photocell, if one were fitted. This particular signlight was group-controlled from a master photocell located elsewhere on the bypass, and so there was no need for a photocell to be used here.


At the far end of the gear tray, a factory-fitted electrical test label still exists - this carries the date of the 3rd March 1994, meaning that the signlight saw around 23 years' service on the bypass. Spookily, the person who undertook this test was operative number 23...


At the other end, another date label exists, with the spaces next to 'March' and '1994' punched out; again, allowing anyone interested (me, mostly) to see when the signlight was made.


Although the extruded aluminium body of the signlight would be earthed, a dedicated earth bond is attached to the reflector. What looks to be silicone sealant has been applied between the end piece and the main signlight as a way of preventing dirt or moisture from entering the unit.


With the lamps removed, slight heat marks can be seen on the reflector. Two Tridonic ballasts and Sylvania starter switches are employed to run the lamps - while the ballasts are likely to be original, the starters appear to have been manufactured in June 2010.


Should the need to replace the glazing panel arise, two recessed screws at one end of the frame can be removed, allowing this end of it to be unfastened and the panel slid out.


Both the reflector and the gear tray bolt into linear channels as well. The two lamp circuits are identified with different-coloured wiring; blue for one (a surprising choice, as this colour usually represents neutral conductors or the third phase conductor in pre-harmonised wiring systems) and white for the other.


Pearce Gowshall L68/25 |




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