GEC Z5698U and Thorn Gamma 6

Lanterns acquired in March 2010.

These lanterns are included on the same page as they were both installed on consecutive columns (60456 for the Z5698U and 60457 for the Gamma 6) on a footpath off Latrigg Close in Mickleover...the same footpath to which my former house backed. These lanterns, then, are perhaps the most important lanterns in the collection, as it is due to them that (I believe) I have the street lighting hobby these days. As previously mentioned, the Gamma 6 replaced the Z5698U a few years before we moved house, and naturally, I was rather upset to see the lantern changed, though as the new lantern still had the appearance of a Z5698U, I didn't take long to adapt to the change. Fast-forward to March 2010, and with the street lighting PFI commencing in the Mickleover area, I decided that these lanterns were too important not to be saved (the surviving Z5698U was also visible from my window), and sent a request for the lanterns to be saved after the columns were removed from service. However, owing to the possibility that the lanterns may have been damaged during the column removal work, it was decided that they would instead be removed in advance of work commencing, and temporary lanterns fitted to the columns for the duration. The changeover occurred on Monday, 1st March 2010 - about a month before the replacement columns were installed.

Thank you to those involved in saving these lanterns for me - you know who you are.

We start this gallery with a trip down Memory Lane, and not Latrigg Close:

 

Above: The Z5698U that was rescued into the collection can be seen here, as it appeared in about May 1992.

 

Above: The Z5698U directly outside the old house that was later replaced with the Gamma 6; it is seen here in (approximately) June 1993. A Fisher-Karpark/Cableform (Zodion) photocell appeared to have been fitted at time.

 

Above: The same installation as it appeared on a snowy 27th January 1996 - I can confirm the date thanks to a home video produced at the same time. Yes, that is a (slightly!) younger version of me standing below the column!

 

Above: Me again; this time in early 1999 and standing adjacent a particularly pungent (if I remember correctly) Amaryllis (actually, it's a Hippeastrum)...but as we're not here to discuss horticulture, notice what is now attached to the column...yes; the Gamma 6! I have trawled through hours of footage from home videos and can say for definite that the Z5698U was still there on the 30th December 1996. I am estimating that the Gamma 6 arrived in 1998 - the HL4N cell that was fitted to the lantern is dated to March of that year, so I am having to assume that it is the lantern's original cell. (If the lantern does date from this year, it is strangely prophetic that a Z5698U should be removed then...and if it was removed on the 5th June, I'm frightened!)

Additional research undertaken in early 2013 finally revealed the exact date that the lantern was replaced - this was Monday, 30th March 1998.

     

Moving to January 2005, and the Gamma 6 is seen from another angle, with the surviving GEC lantern visible in the background - little did I realise that at the time that these lanterns would be in the Collection in a little more than five years' time.

The following are the inventory records for these two installations. These records are as they were in 1997, when Derby City Council took control of its own street lighting repairs from the County Council. Therefore, any changes made after this date are not known.

Unique Number: 60456 Location: FP 0S NO 13
Postcode: DE3 5NR Road: LATRIGG CL
Road Number:   Parish: MICKLEOVER
Sequence Number: 6 Patrol: Y06
       
Lamp Type: SXPL3 Wattage: 35  W Control Type: PE1E
Lamps/Lantern: 1 Lanterns/Unit: 1 Control Setting: 4
Lantern Type: PT Lantern Manuf:   Control Gear:  
Height: 5  m Support Type: DD RAISE & LOWER COL - PAINTED
Bracket Proj'n.:    m Support Finish: P PAINTED COL/SIGN/PILL/GANTRY
Bracket Type:   U/G or O/H: U UNDERGROUND
Board Code: E76 Status Code: 0 USUAL / NORMAL
Service Owner: T Is this lamp/sign an Isolation Point ?: N
EB Order number:      
No-supply sheet: 0 Isol Pt:   / Circuit:   / Seq:  
               
               

       
       
Unique Number: 60457 Location: FP REAR OF NO 13
Postcode: DE3 5NR Road: LATRIGG CL
Road Number:   Parish: MICKLEOVER
Sequence Number: 7 Patrol: Y06
       
Lamp Type: SXPL3 Wattage: 35  W Control Type: PE1E
Lamps/Lantern: 1 Lanterns/Unit: 1 Control Setting: 4
Lantern Type: PT Lantern Manuf:   Control Gear:  
Height: 5  m Support Type: DD RAISE & LOWER COL - PAINTED
Bracket Proj'n.:    m Support Finish: P PAINTED COL/SIGN/PILL/GANTRY
Bracket Type:   U/G or O/H: U UNDERGROUND
Board Code: E76 Status Code: 0 USUAL / NORMAL
Service Owner: T Is this lamp/sign an Isolation Point ?: N
EB Order number:      
No-supply sheet: 0 Isol Pt:   / Circuit:   / Seq:  

A WRTL Arc running a SON-E lamp replaced the Z5698U on the footpath. The Gamma 6's replacement, a Philips 'Iridium' SGS 252 running 70 W SON-T, can be seen in the background.

More photographs of the Iridium attached to the column that started it all:

This photograph, taken on Thursday, 8th April 2010, shows 'my' column again, along with the newly-installed replacement column on the right.

This photograph shows the difference in height between the Z5698U and Gamma 6. The Z5698U's increased height enables 55 W SOX lamps to be accommodated, if necessary. The Gamma 6 (or this version, at least) was only designed for operating SOX lamps of up to 35 W. Unlike my first Z5698U, this lantern is fitted with a NEMA photocell. The Z5698U's top gasket is missing (and probably has been for some time - the amount of spider eggs on the area where it should be suggest that it wasn't discarded when the lantern was removed); hence why the canopy looks a little lopsided here.

The canopies on both lanterns are in need of a repaint, though the (newer) Gamma 6's canopy has lost more paint than the Z5698U's canopy has.

Both lanterns feature vertical refractor lines moulded into their bowls.

The methods of gaining access to the innards of both lanterns (for example, when replacing the lamp) are considerably different - the GEC's canopy unclips and hinges open, whilst the Gamma 6's canopy is removed in its entirety by first removing the cell (where applicable) and then by unscrewing a securing ring that attaches to the internal lantern frame.

The procedure for removing the bowls on both lanterns is also different - in the case of the Z5698U, two wing nuts (seen here on the extreme left of the picture) must be removed from the two internal support rods in order that the upper support ring (to which the canopy is attached) can be lifted clear of the lantern. The bowl can then also be lifted out of the way. In the case of the Gamma 6, once the canopy has been removed, the bowl can be lifted clear immediately. With this Z5698U being fitted with a NEMA socket, a connector is installed on the lampholder support bracket in order to allow the socket to be disconnected when the canopy is removed. The two curved white objects immediately below the GEC's lamp are the heat-resistant sleeves for the incoming supply cable. Speaking of lamps, notice how the Gamma 6's lamp only just fits within the lantern!

The Z5698U's gear comprises a Z1616 ignitor-ballast and 6.5μF capacitor (the dead wasps were an optional extra!), while the Gamma 6 is fitted with a separate Thorn G53332.4 ballast, G53311 ignitor and 6μF capacitor. The placement of the ignitor differs from that of the ignitor fitted in my older 35 W SOX Gamma 6, where the component is installed on the lampholder support bracket, rather than in the base of the lantern as it is here. Capacitors are often marked with their date of manufacture, and thus the lantern's approximate age can be ascertained. The GEC's capacitor appears to date to 1980 (which would be concurrent with the age of the houses). I believe that my first Z5698U may be a little newer than this, as it was in a better overall condition when removed. The Gamma 6's capacitor is dated to April 1995, and its NEMA socket is dated to September 1995 - quite why it remained unused for nearly three years is a mystery - it is highly unlikely to have been removed from another location before being attached to column 60457. Perhaps this was the first post-top lantern replacement in Derbyshire/Derby for three years at the time!

For photographs showing the Gamma 6 after restoration, please click here. Alternatively, for photographs of the Z5698U after restoration, please click here.


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