This lantern came from Claire Pendrous, and was removed in September 2003. The lantern came from Corn Hill, near Wolverhampton Railway Station. It had been disconnected for a long time, and was one of two remaining in the street. The replacements are heritage columns with SON lanterns. The AC Ford control box and swan neck that were included with it had not supported this particular lantern during its time on the roads, but were both from another location in the town, however, the combination of the AC Ford control box, swan neck bracket and Bell Top lantern is representative of many side road MBF lighting installations that were once common around Wolverhampton. These days, mercury lighting is all but extinct on the city's streets.
A side view of the C14408T. The bowl is not an original Revo one - it is a fairly modern polycarbonate replacement - the original bowl would have probably been glass. The photocell eye is obviously not original, and will be discarded. The lamp appears lopsided here as a result of the lampholder support rods being loose within the lantern - after between forty and fifty years installed on a road, this is perhaps to be expected. Notice the Wolverhampton light-blue paint that has dripped on to the lantern canopy during a bracket painting session.
The lantern, swan neck and control box as received. The swan neck is quite badly rusted, and looks very thin compared to the control box! The bolts have seized on the box's spigot, and so I will get them drilled out and have new bolts fitted. The damaged thread can easily be seen on the base of the swan neck.
Inside, the control box is painted in 'Factory Green'. The ballast is loose, and underneath it is a very definite mark on the backboard, suggesting that it is original. The arrangement of the gear seems to be quite unusual - normally, the gear is aligned vertically along the edge of the box. Perhaps the engineer that installed it tried to make the most of the space in the box, seeing as there was rather a lot spare! A length of (what may possibly be) asbestos can be seen fitted in the narrow channel around the inside of the door - this would provide a degree of protection against water ingress to the box.
The main pieces of the lantern. As can be seen, some remedial work will be required before the lantern can be returned to service - a complete rewiring is necessary, as many of the wires are charred due to the heat build-up from the lamp.
Those dirty, blackened surfaces didn't have long being dirty, as I started a mass cleaning the same day! All I did was to dip the different sections in a basin of warm soapy water, and the vast majority of the grime came off. I did not submerse the reflector plate in the basin however, as all it required was a good scrub!
The paint drip will be removed in due course.
Inside, all signs of insect life have been removed, as well as a lot of dust! The heat blackening is still visible.
The bowl has not come up as well, as the white drip line will not come off, nor will the marks on the bottom of the bowl, but the sides look cleaner.
The bowl the right way up. Here the white drip is very evident, clearly some paint spilt onto it at some point.
The refractor ring proved easy to clean, although the glass is damaged, and so care was taken to ensure that the cleaning did not cause further deterioration to the fragile ring.
Upside down, the crack can be seen easily - it is the jagged line. The other two lines on either side are not cracks - these are marks that have been left over from the moulding process.
The enamelled reflector features very few rust patches. Owing to the reflector hinge not having been moved in years, a small amount of WD40 was applied to the mechanism, in order to reduce the stiffness of the hinge.
The lantern was then fitted back onto the swan neck, in order to see how it would have looked when in service, albeit without a lamp.
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