Welcome to the site, circa 2002. Yes, this was my first foray into the world of website design; it didn't last long before I revised the appearance (often, owing to storage and design limitations with free website hosts in the early days before I entered the world of paid hosting), with the result that, over the last twenty years, the site has undergone numerous changes. Amazingly, I still use the original design software, Microsoft Frontpage 2003, to this day, to create and amend pages - it is, by modern web design standards, very primitive, and with the size of the site these days, can be slow to respond, but is straightforward to use, and does everything that I require of it.
The video below demonstrates how the appearance of the Index page has changed in the last two decades:
Over the last twenty years, many lanterns have entered the Collection. At the time of writing, the total stands at a rather terrifying 195; this video depicts them all:
The three letters below came from Derby City Council's then-Street Lighting Manager in response to letters that I had sent, requesting lanterns, or seeking information on a lantern that was received. Never did his replies hide behind Health & Safety bureaucracy, as is often the case these days; in the two responses to my requests for lanterns, he agreed that any of the specific types of lanterns that I was after would be saved, if and when they were removed.
One of my earliest Collection pictures is this one of my first Thorn Alpha 1, as mentioned in the letters above, seen here shortly after it was wired up to its external lamp control gear. The slight blur to this image is because it was made on a film camera (digital arrived with me in 2003) and the resultant print had to be scanned in.
Here is that camera - a 1990s' Olympus AF-10 Mini - a bit patched with tape these days, and I have a feeling that it ended up being retired when damage to the casing caused light to enter the photosensitive film area, and ruin the photographs.
Things changed overnight when digital photography came along. This Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P71 was my first digital camera, and produced far sharper images, particularly as there was no loss of detail with images now able to be viewed straight on the computer, without having to scan the print initially. The Sony served me well, and lasted a few years before I upgraded, thanks to its 'tremendous' (for the time) 3.2 megapixel quantity and 3× Optical Zoom; by comparison, my current camera (which, ironically, was used to photograph both of these cameras) has 20.3 megapixels, and 65× Optical Zoom (and even that is probably an outdated specification now - just as with street lighting, camera technology is evolving at an alarming pace!).
A behind-the-scenes image of me installing the 1983 Thorn Beta 5 in 2005.
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