Station Rd Replacements

The next column to be changed on Wednesday, 23rd March 2005 carried Station Rd's last Alpha 1 - the rest of the remaining 8 m columns having Alpha 4s and MA 90s fitted.

This Alpha 1 had a NEMA socket fitted to the shoe. The shoe itself looked different to the others in as much as the grub screws were situated lower down on the sides, so I was interested so see this lantern up close. The Opticell looked clean except for a few lines of dirt caused by the trees above it. The first two pictures show the lantern as it appeared in Autumn 2004 (complete with MA 50s in the background); the rest show the lantern on the date of its removal (with Civics in the background).

The observant amongst you will now be asking "What happened to column 35453?" Well, this is on the other side of the road, but it is easier to do the lights on one side of the road instead of continually swapping which side of the road you are on just because that is how the columns are numbered. The green building behind the column is a substation - owned by the electricity company and nothing at all to do with the council.

I noticed this code banded to the column (H40). It may be an old way of numbering the columns before the present method was introduced.

I removed the door and had a look inside the base compartment. The only difference between the base of this column and those I'd already seen was that a new cutout had already been fitted and was powering the installation. This had been done as a temporary measure - to keep the lantern going until it was replaced.

As the column was set in the tarmac of the pavement, a jackhammer was required. Ken and Doug can be seen measuring out the area that would need to be removed. With the substation being adjacent the column, there was the worry that cables might be buried near the surface and so extra care was taken to ensure that the drill didn't damage them.

The tarmac was thinner than was first thought and was actually only about an inch deep.

Fortunately, the only cables found were for the column and a nearby signlight, so the digging out of the column began. Shortly, enough soil had been removed for the column to be lifted out of the ground.

Fortunately, the only cables found were for the column and a nearby signlight, so the digging out of the column began. Shortly, enough soil had been removed for the column to be lifted out of the ground.

As the lantern was brought down, I noticed that the top of the shoe had two pop-rivets fitted to it. This was certainly different to my own one and so I asked Ken if I could have it. He agreed and proceeded to undo the grub screws (something usually unheard of as they have a tendency to jam up over time!) and removed the lantern from the bracket. The label inside the Opticell was different - it looked newer and carried a 'Thorn EMI' badge. Perhaps this lantern was an early replacement of another Alpha 1...

The remains of a NEMA socket could be seen on the bracket - it was in a poor state from being exposed for so many years.

I didn't ask for the column and bracket however, and so they were both cut up as before.

Again as before, the sections were lifted up and loaded onto the HIAB.

The new column had to be spun through 180 degrees after it came off the HIAB, much to the concern of motorists driving on the road below!

The lantern was then wired up. I took this picture just before the lamp and cell were fitted.

I moved the Alpha 1 out of the way and shortly afterwards, the new lantern was prepared for fixing. This created an interesting comparison between the old and the new.

The cable was passed down the column and the lantern positioned on the spigot. As expected, the column was then raised upwards, put into the hole, made straight and then the lantern was wired up to the cutout.

Close-up pictures of the Alpha 1 can be seen here.

The only other replacement that day was an Alpha 4 on a Stewart and Lloyd column, however, I didn't stay to see that being removed. This column also had photographs taken of it in advance.

Links to the other Station Rd pages:

Photographs of the replacements:

Other information about or involving the Station Rd replacement scheme:




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