Thorn Beta 5/AEI Amber Minor

Lantern acquired in February 2006.

This lantern came from a footpath linking Gisbourne Close and Clifton Road in Mickleover. I was fortunate to photograph this lantern while it was still extant - pictures can be seen here. The lantern was switched by a Quartz Sangamo time switch - this was stolen in March/April 2005 and consequently the outage was reported. Before a new time switch could be found, plans had been drawn up to replace the aged Stanton 7 concrete column - probably due to a ladder being required if the lantern needed to be operated on. Eventually a drop-down column was installed alongside, along with a modern-day Beta 5 (this was later changed for an WRTL Arc). The old column remained until Monday, 13th February 2006 - on this date, it was demolished. Back at the depot, the only recognisable pieces amongst a mass of smashed concrete was part of the swan neck and the lantern - thankfully Jeremy managed to save the latter and so the lantern is now preserved in this collection.

The lantern suffered damage when the column was demolished - the lamp support has come undone, the lampholder is broken and it is believed that the bowl and lamp suffered a similar fate. I have replacements for all of these parts so hopefully restoration should be relatively easy. Fortunately, the tiny 1/8th inch grub screw in the top entry spigot was free - that would be a job to a remove if it had jammed!

The canopy is quite grimy due to it being under trees for many years. The white mark is cement from when the bracket was repaired in the past.

The lantern's gear was mounted in the base of the column, and so the gear tray in this lantern simply acts as an over-lamp reflector. The label has the Thorn logo on it, with 'Beta Five' on the top line, 'Amber Minor' on the bottom line and '40 W.SOX.60 W.SOI/H BS 1788 1964' in between.

The inside of the canopy is surprisingly clean - this is comparable to my later top-entry Beta 5, even though the latter is integrally-geared. A problem with top entry lanterns is that the incoming cable may twist up if it has been fitted before the lantern has been secured to the bracket - the cable has nowhere to go when the lantern is screwed into place, and so it gets twisted as the lantern is turned.

Thorn Beta 5s in the Collection

C. 1965

1982

1983

1989

1996

2001

2004

2006

2008

Philips SGS 203 | Atlas Alpha 10


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