Thorn EMI Alpha 1

This lantern came from column 35454 on Station Rd, Mickleover, as part of a replacement scheme along the road - full documentation can be found here. It was in fact the last Alpha 1 along the road when it was removed on Wednesday, 23rd March 2005, almost three years after my first Alpha 1 was removed - funny how that happened! Although I already have an Alpha 1, I wanted this one as it has a slightly different shoe and is fitted with a NEMA socket - when most of Derby's Alpha 1s have the socket fitted at the top of the column. With it having the additional 'EMI' labelling, I believer that this may be newer than my first Alpha 1.

To see pictures of this lantern in-situ, please click here.

The Opticell on this Alpha 1 is the same (appearance-wise) as my first one, however the grub screws on this one's shoe are set lower down and there are only two of them, whereas there are three on the other Alpha 1. The screws actually came undone without any trouble whatsoever - now that's unusual!

The shoe on this Alpha 1 is also narrower and is less curved than the older one. The two pop rivets hold the internal top hooks (that the Opticell fastens onto) in place.

The NEMA socket has no manufacturer's name on it, but it could be an old Fisher Karpark one - and was probably fitted in the Thorn factory.

The underside of this lantern bears little difference to that of the older Alpha 1 - in fact, all that really seems to differ is the label inside the Opticell.


Restoration of this lantern began on the 25th May 2005 and finished a day later. I started by giving the lantern a much needed cleaning. Both the shoe and the Opticell were cleaned without a problem, and then the shoe was repainted. A 1980s SS4 photocell has also been fitted in place of the S90 as it is more in-keeping with the age of the lantern.


The lantern was mounted to an AC Ford AC872 wall bracket on Saturday, 13th August 2005.

It was then powered up on Friday, 26th August using a ballast that had been salvaged from another column on Station Rd.

Lantern warm-up video:

Click here to see how my first Alpha 1 compares to this one.

Abacus AM 202 | GEC Z8260


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