ELECTRIC STREET LIGHTING IN EASTBOURNE (PART 3)

 

-THE 1950s-

 

In September of 1950 the street lighting contract had still not been finalised with Seeboard and they were not prepared to take on the Council workers until the contract had been agreed. This was causing concerns with the trade unions as different wage rates would apply depending on whether the staff were classed as electrical staff under Seeboard or as Council employees. An interim agreement was eventually made both with the employees and Seeboard, followed in November by a draft agreement that had been formulated in conjunction with the authorities of Bexhill, East Grinstead and Tunbridge Wells who were proposing to enter into similiar contracts with Seeboard. After further negotiations the contracts were agreed the following year.

At the time of this draft agreement the street lighting of Eastbourne consisted of the following equipment:

Of these 2,993 lighting points and 3,031 lanterns approx 1,300 were still hand switched, 1,650 controlled by time switches and only about 100 now switched by the Strowger system.

Following the earlier aborted attempt to make use of fluorescent streetlighting in the Winter Gardens area, Seeboard had been conducting experiments to see whether it would be possible to mount fluorescent lights on the sides of buildings with the tubes running parallel with the road instead of at right angles to the road, the aim being to lessen the visual impact of the large lanterns and also to avoid the need for a column in restricted width streets. The method of fixing one light to a tower wagon and one light fitted to an existing lamp post was adopted to guage a satisfactory mounting distance, the tower wagon being moved along the street and light level readings taken at various points between the lamps to ascertain the optimum distance which was finally found to be approx 52'.

Having proved the theory, South Street near the Town hall was selected for the installation. At the time South Street was lit by three Wembley lanterns fitted with tungsten lamps, still hanging from the original arc lamp columns and brackets. Nine of the flourescent lanterns were initially fitted to the walls of the buildings in the first section of the road. The lanterns contained a single 5 foot tube, they appeared more like floodlights than streetlights and were mounted on brackets projecting from wall plates fixed to the buildings. Initially the angle of the beam of light could be adjusted by tilting the reflector within the fitting, but later the whole fitting was arranged to be able to revolve on the bracket. The installation was judged to be a success and the entire absence of any glare from the lights mounted in this way'end on' to traffic, led to a particularly pleasing effect in the street.

South St. wall mounted fluorescent

 

A proportion of the light was reflected from buildings opposite the lanterns and it was found necessary to re-site a couple of the lamps that were opposite either a particularly dark building or a passageway to aid uniformity of the road brightness. This was carried out and the system was completed with a further five lanterns, so that the whole of the section of South Sstreet between the Town Hall and Gildredge Rd was lit in this way. The complete installation was operational by October 1951. It was an Eastbourne 'first' to use lanterns this way and similiar lanterns were marketed by Revo under the Eastbourne name. Similiar installations followed in the towns of Richmond,Worthing, Harlow, Margate and Cambridge amongst others.

Another scheme that had been approved during 1951 was the relighting of Langney Rd using standard tall steel columns, the three between Susans Rd and Terminus Rd to be fitted with the normal hexagonal mercury blended lanterns and the remaining 9 with sodium fittings. It had been proposed to floodlight the War Memorial a number of times in the past and this was finally completed with the installation of four large circular tungsten floodlights mounted on short plinths on the memorial roundabout. They were operational by late 1950.

As the new mercury and sodium installations gained ground, few of the large Wembley fittings and their 300W or 500W tungsten lamps remained, likewise the old arc lamp columns now only remained in a few places, although they still supported the Worthing lanterns and floodlights along the seafront and the and the mercury lamps on their taller brackets in Grove Rd and around the Town Hall. The old arc light span wire system using the original suspension posts and the replacement Wembley lanterns still existed in Devonshire Place and this was now considered for renewal. New sodium, mercury, tungsten and following the success of the South St. scheme, fluorescent installations were considered. Sodium was ruled out as the light was not thought to be of sufficient quality for this prime route between the town and the seafront and would not adequately light the flower beds along the road. Conventional mercury, tungsten and fluorescent schemes were ruled out because too many columns would be an intrusion in the road, so another solution had to be found.

The final solution in 1952 was to be a different kind of fluorescent installation involving centrally mounted concrete columns and a new design of vertical flourescent lantern taking four 5', 80W tubes. These lanterns were some 6' high and were made of aluminium alloy castings supported on a central steel shaft, the lamps and control gear being enclosed in a perspex cylinder that widened towards the top. Because of their height and the strong sea winds encountered in the area, their method of mounting on to the concrete columns was strengthened and adapted from the standard method. The nine concrete columns were spaced at 120' intervals, except at the road crossing at the south end of the road where two were 70' apart.

Erection of concrete post in Devonshire Place

The mounting height to the centre of the lamps was 25'. Various colours of tubes were used but it was found that 'warm white' best illuminated the flower beds and these lamps were chosen. After some initial concerns from residents about the visual impact of the central columns, the installation was generally considered to be elegant and to suit the road. A central column system still exists today but with modern hexagonal steel columns and dish shaped, three lamp high pressure sodium fittings.

The finished Devonshire Place installation

 

In the summer of 1952 the lighting of pedestrian crossings was receiving attention from the Ministry of Transport. The crossings had recently become 'zebra' crossings with the addition of thick black and white lines being painted across the road. Whilst this aided visibility during the day it did not improve things at night, especially if it was raining and the street lighting had been reduced to bright streaks showing on the road.

To improve visibility by night the unlit 'Belisha Beacons' consisting of an amber globe on a black and white pole, that had been erected before the war, were proposed to be illuminated by installing a flashing light within the globe. If a central island was incorporated in the crossing. then a third beacon was to be placed on the island. The M.O.T stated that the beacons at a crossing were to flash in synchronism with each other, but should flash out of step with adjacent crossings in the same road to avoid confusing motorists. As Eastbourne had a number of crossings quite close to each other in some roads, to avoid a number of beacons being bunched together and to save costs it was decided to rationalise the number of crossings from 27 down to 15 across the town.

In November of 1952 the relighting of Gildredge Rd was authorised, with one existing tall steel column to be removed and six new concrete columns with the standard mercury blended lanterns to be fitted.

 

Concrete column and blended mercury lamp in Gildredge Rd.

 

The tall steel column that was to be removed was to be fitted with one other from stock in Compton St between Carlisle Rd and Lascelles Terrace as steel columns were already installed there. It appears the standard tall steel columns with their decorative scrollwork were not now obtainable, as concrete columns were proposed for the section of Compton St. between Lascelles Terrace and Devonshire Place. Short concrete columns with their own design of swan neck were also to be used, at this time mainly on the roads to the new industrial estates being developed. Short cast iron columns that had been released from improvement scemes and some basic newer designs were still obtainable and these were used to strengthen existing schemes. The area between Seaside ,Channel View Rd, Latimer Rd and Beamsley Rd was improved in this way with various columns being resited and added during the year. To this day many of the roads in the older areas contain a mixture of similiar, but slightly different columns in part due to the desire to match columns where possible. Tungsten lighting was still used for practically the whole of the short column installations, although the 'standard' refractor fitting was no longer made a new similiar design out of cast aluminium, still made by Revo was adopted as the new standard. The tried and tested formula of sodium for out of town centre main roads and mercury blended (and now some flourescent) for town centre use was still followed. On the seafront the Worthings and Paisleys still contained tungsten lamps, the Paisleys now being fitted with 2 x 150W lamps.

The fishing station area off Royal Parade had been unlit for some years, some standard lighting columns on brick plinths were in existence but they had no electricity supply and their fittings had been removed. Seeboard proposed a scheme to mount lamp brackets on the existing eight wooden electricity poles in the road and to erect a ninth new pole complete with lamp and bracket. the scheme being approved and installed. A scheme for erecting concrete columns and sodium lights in Whitley Rd, St Philips Ave and Southbourne Rd was deferred until finance was available. The plans for Friday St.were again submitted to the MoT for approval this time consisting of 18 tall concrete columns to be installed in Langney Rise from Langney Green to Marsden Rd and from here to the Borough boundary another 29 sodium fittings were to be installed on the existing electricity supply poles.

In the first few months of 1953 Seeboard had been busy converting all the street lamps to time switch control, usually now by the method of installing a time switch in a 'master' column and connecting as many lamps as necessary up to the switching capacity of the time switch to it. All the hand switched lamps had their switches at the bases of the swan necks by-passed, the interiors being removed and the wiring bridged across. As Seeboard now owned the majority of the time switches the ownership of the remaining Council switches was handed over to Seeboard. The savings in costs (approx 1200 per annum) by dispensing with the lamplighters was passed on to the Council as per the contract terms.

By April 1954 the equipment for the pedestrian crossing beacons had arrived but was not fitted. The number of crossings to be equipped was now to be 17 and the central island beacon could now be installed at the local authorities discretion. The beacons were also now required to flash in step with those at adjacent crossings as it was now thought this would be the less confusing option to drivers.

The Friday St / Langney Rise scheme was also approved in April, although a couple of lamps were added and three existing steel columns were to be retained. A loan sanction of 2,096 was granted for the works.

In June 1954 the lighting of Willingdon Rd between the roundabout and Church Street was being programmed and 8 of the latest concrete columns and sodium lanterns were to be supplied by British Thompson Houston. BTH agreeing to erect the columns free of charge.

Following the fitting of the sodium lamps in the Friday St scheme in Langney Rise, Seeboard brought to the attention of the Council the improvements in the design of the sodium lanterns in these roads. The newer lanterns were cast in an aluminium alloy and the lamp was totally enclosed in a perspex 'bowl', the sides of the bowl having refractor plates glued in place to control the light distribution. This was in contrast to the rest of the sodium lanterns in Eastbourne which had glass side refractor panels but were open at the bottom, allowing flies and traffic grime to accumulate, thus decreasing their efficiency . Most of these lanterns were by now nearly 20 years old and due for replacement any way. It was agreed that various makes of lantern would be trialled in order to find a new standard lantern. As a result 2 new types of lantern were fitted for inspection, six of one type being fitted in the Goffs and six of another type fitted in Willindon Rd at Chalk Pit Hill, later in July a third new type was fitted to six existing lamp posts in Church St. By November the sodium lanterns had been inspected and it was agreed they would all be retained and that the best of the new types would be used to replace the lamps in Upperton Rd between The Avenue and Selwyn Rd that were now some 20 years old. This work to take place in 1955/56. The improvements to Whitley Rd, St Philips Ave and Southbourne Rd were also scheduled for the coming year and the latest type of octagonal concrete column made by Concrete Utilities and the new 'standard' Revo enclosed sodium lantern were to be used. When the Whitley Rd to Southbourne Rd scheme was installed ,where existing tall steel poles of the old standard pattern had been placed amongst the short cast iron columns to light the main junctions, these were retained and not replaced by the new concrete posts and this economy measure was to follow in other schemes in the coming years, leading to some of the steel columns having their service lives extended into the 1980s and beyond.

In January of 1955 the first proposal for lighting 'all lights all night' was discussed, but no change to the existing switching was forthcoming.

In February of 1955 the Council and Seeboard were still being receptive to the needs of the public and some of the lamp posts lighting the roads leading away from the railway station in Hampden Park had their switching off times delayed to midnight after representations from a number of late returning commuters.

Other complaints of poor lighting were received from the management of Princess Alice hospital regarding Carew Rd and after inspection by Seeboard staff the Divisional Manager reported that the link between the sodium lit Avenue and sodium lit Lewes Rd, consisting of Carew Rd and Enys Rd was frequently used as a short cut and should also benefit from sodium lighting. No major improvements took place however but as an interim solution two new tungsten lamps were installed and others resited near the hospital in Carew Rd.

Towards the end of 1956 all night lighting was introduced in Langney Rd as this road was now very busy and was used by a number of cyclists making their way to and from work in the town.

Up until about 1955 the sodium lamps that had been used in the fittings were of the 'Dewar' type that had an arc tube that could be removed from its outer casing, the idea being that only the arc tube would need replacing when the lamp failed. However from 1955 on the 'integral' type of lamp became available and because of the reduced heat losses in the all in one constuction these lamps were more efficient and also had a longer life, now some 6000 hrs as opposed to 2-3000 hours of the early sodium and mercury lamps. The fact that all the sodium lamps were now contained in toatally enclosed lanterns also helped increase life and reduce maintenance. The life of the mercury lamps was now about 5000hrs and the cost savings in maintenance were diligently passed on to the Council amounting to a reduction of approx 2,700 per year from 1957/8 on.

In the spring of 1957 a five year plan of street lighting upgrades was proposed commencing in year 1958/9, the aim being to improve the lighting in main roads by increasing column heights where not already done and in side roads to increase the use of sodium or mercury discharge lighting. One of the first priorities was to be the seafront between Silverdale Rd and Colonade Gardens where the tungsten lit Paisley lamps were to be replaced. It was agreed trial fittings would be obtained to find a replacement.

In the current year money was found to sanction a scheme for upgrading College Rd between South Street and Carlisle Rd consisting of 4 x 250W mercury fluorescent lamps on 25' posts, 4 additional 125W mercury fluorescent lamps at 15' heights and the conversion of 9 existing tungsten 15' lamps to 125W mercury flourescent, six of these being resited.

Seeboard had been experimenting with the use of the mercury fluorescent lamps in which the clear glass outer tube of the old type mercury lamps were replaced with an egg shaped outer bulb covered with a layer of phosphors similiar to those used in fluorescent tubes, in order to improve the red content of the light and make the light more pleasing. The Eastbourne Borough Electrical Dept. had tried out early versions of these lamps in the late 1930s but the early phosphors made the lamps look more greeny and were expensive, so the practise of blending the mercury lamps with tungsten lamps in the same fitting had continued as the standard. However now with the development of the new mercury lamps with better phosphors and quartz glass arc tubes it was possible to dispense with the tungsten lamps in the old blended fittings, offering significant savings in running costs.It was agreed these new lamps would be fitted in Terminus Rd, Seaside, the mercury lit portion of Seaside Rd, Grove Rd, Gildredge Rd, Cornfield Rd, Memorial Square, Cornfield Terrace, Chiswick Place, Compton St, Trinity Trees, the mercury lit portion of Langney Rd and at 17 other lighting points in the town, in essence all the existing blended lights were to be re equipped.

In January 1958 proposals to add two 25' concrete columns and 250W mercury flourescent lamps in Brassey Parade near the level crossing were agreed and in Whitley Rd it was proposed to erect a concrete column with a 140W sodium lamp near the junction with Seaside in advance of a scheme to relight this area that was proposed for 1962/3. These additions were not carried out untill the end of the year.

The first phase of the Paisley replacement scheme on the seafront between Silverdale Rd and the Queens Hotel was to consist of the straight replacement of 47 lanterns on the existing octagonal cast iron Hardy and Padmore posts, the addition of two posts and lanterns one near the Bandstand and one at Carlisle Rd, 19 shorter columns alongside the Carpet Gardens and nearly up to the Wish Tower ( the old gas lamp posts) to be replaced with matching posts and new lanterns. After trials of a few types of fluorescent lanterns a brand new style of six sided lantern, tapering from top to bottom glazed with opal glass and constructed from brass and copper, with a cast iron spigot cap for attaching the lantern to the post was made by Revo. The 250W mercury fluorescent lamps were fitted and the choke and capacitors were installed in the bottom of the lantern due to restricted space in the cast iron columns. Cost was 3,059 for this first phase.

Revo seafront lantern on octagonal column

The next phase of the seafront renewals saw another 99 Paisley lamps in Marine and Royal Parades replaced with the new lamps, along with the resiting of some columns on the road side of the pavement rather than on the sea wall side to improve the light distribution.

Meads Rd from Saffrons Rd to Carlisle Rd was to have 25 new 25' concrete posts with 250W mercury lamps installed in GEC lanterns, concrete at this time being cheaper than the new steel posts that were available. By spring 1959 both these schemes had been completed.

Channel View Rd had five additional columns with 125W mercury lamps fitted and 11 existing columns re-equipped with the mercury lamps. Bedfordwell road and the section of Enys Rd between Carew Rd and Lewes Rd had 13 x 25' concrete columns and 140W sodium lamps installed in what had become a typical installation of the time using Concrete Utilities columns and Revo lanterns.

Following the commissioning of the new mercury fluorescent lanterns on the seafront the Worthing lanterns on the old arc lamp columns were superfluous and had been switched off from April 1st. It was agreed that once the Royal Parade mercury lamps had been switched on, then all the Worthings and the columns with the exception of 3 at the Carpet Gardens and one at the Wish Tower that supported the floodlights, would be removed with the columns being offered for sale.In due course 52 Worthing lanterns and the 22 cast iron arc columns were removed , the columns being purchased by Mr M. Newton-Smith of Wannock for 77.

In the winter of 1959 following a recommendation from the MoT a trial of a new type of sodium lamp of 200W rating had been installed on 4 x 35' wooden poles spaced 180' apart north of the roundabout on Willingdon Rd now designated the A22 London Rd. The increased power of the new lamp and higher mounting height meant savings could be made by installing fewer lamps and columns than in traditional 140W 25' schemes spaced at 120', with no detriment to the lighting of the road. These new 'linear' sodium lamps had a bi-pin connector at each end similiar to fluorescent lamps and were 3' long necessitating a new design of lantern. The trial was to run until the spring of 1960 at no cost to the Eastbourne ratepayers.

The 1950s had seen the installation of concrete columns become the standard, especially on new main road schemes, the mercury flourescent lamp had replaced the old blended installations and the bulk of the seafront had been equipped with these new lamps. Fluorescent lighting had made an appearance in the town and the sodium installations had been improved with enclosed fittings and the new integral lamps. For the first time complete side road installations had been fitted with the smaller size mercury fluorescent lamps as opposed to tungsten which had been in universal use up to this time. Yet to appear were the plain tubular steel poles and bracket arms for the main roads and the plain but functional 5m and 6m 'hockey sticks' for the side roads.

 

-THE 1960s-

 

Pedestrian crossings were now literally in the spotlight again, the flashing beacons that had been installed in the mid 1950s were now to be supplemented by an additional light installed just below the beacon and directed so as to illuminate pedestrians using the crossing. The MoT did however provide a concession that if the street lighting in the vicinity of the crossing was of a sufficient standard then these additional lights need not be installed. In Eastbourne all the crossings were in well lit areas and no additional lights were to be installed at the time.

By February of 1960 all the towns street lighting was time switch controlled by some 1100 solar dial switches that automatically adjusted for sunrise and sunset throughout the year. An off period during the night could be set and adjustment could be made for the 15 minute warm up period for the sodium lamps. Most of the switches were made by Venner, but other makes were also used.

Installations progressed during the year as part of the improvements plan were as follows:

140W Sodium lamps on concrete columns in Decoy Drive.

May of 1960 and the onset of the summer season saw representations from hoteliers and guest house owners in the Pevensey Rd and Ceylon Place areas asking for the switch off time in their area to be put forward to 1.00am to aid late returning guests. The Council agreed and Seeboard altered all the lighting in the Langney Rd , Pevensey Rd, Cavendish Place (seafront end) and Elms Avenue areas to the later times.

During the summer additional lamps were installed in Meads Street between Darley Rd and the Pilot Inn and an additional lamp was added in Bourne Street, south of the Langney Rd junction. It was recognised Bourne Street was now a busy thoroughfare and provision for a complete new installation was intended in coming years.

Also during the summer some lamp columns in Grove Rd had been painted in a new off white colour to British standard specifications as it was felt the existing aluminium paint used on the town centre lights was not durable enough. This colour was approved by the Council except for on the seafront parades where they asked for a couple of trial lights to be painted light blue.

In November the experiment with the new sodium lamps on the A22 was discussed and it was agreed that the existing lamps would be returned to the suppliers, but a newer version would be obtained and fitted to the same temporary wooden poles.

In Victoria Drive and Green St. a few of the old standard tall steel columns had been installed at the busy junctions, but the rest of the lighting was still tungsten lamps on the 15' cast iron columns and swan neck brackets. In November a plan was drawn up to provide 65 new 25' concrete columns with 140W sodium lamps and to convert 4 tall old style existing poles, to be installed in 1961/2.

At the end of Victoria Drive at its junction with Willingdon Rd and Park Avenue there was a Traffic Policeman on duty to see to the safe crossing of the children from the Ratton school that had been built in the area a few years earlier. To promote increased safety during the winter months a hooded spotlight was affixed to nearby streetlight to illuminate the area at the request of the Chief Constable.

In February 1961 it was decided that on the completion of the first five year plan of improvements in March 1963, a second five year plan would follow. An attempt was made to persuade East Sussex County Council to light the A22 from the trial installation at the Borough boundary northwards towards Polegate and hence providing a well lit route into and out of Eastbourne. East Sussex replied that Willingdon Parish Council were the lighting authority for the area and they were unable to obtain funding at the time.

By April 1962 the Victoria Drive and Green St schemes were operational, but instead of concrete columns new plain tube 25' steel columns with cranked bracket arms had been installed, along with a more modern design of sodium lantern consisting of a one piece perspex lamp enclosure that was spring clamped to an aluminium end piece fitted to the bracket arm. Where the existing steel columns were utilised the older style of lantern was still used.

Retained old style post, Victoria Drive

 

 

New type lantern, steel pole and arm, Victoria Drive

 

 

 

 

About this time all the part night street lighting was now set to switch off at about 1.00am as took place in the Langney Rd guest house areas.

The Whitley Rd sodium installation from St Philips to Seaside was deferred to the next 5 year plan but other improvements within the first 5 years were as follows:

In November 1962 joint report from the Chief Constable and Divisional Manager of Seeboard was submitted recommending the approval of the second 5 year plan of improvements the main thrust being to renew and increase the height of columns and replace the old obsolete mercury lanterns that had now been in use for some 28 years. In areas other than major roads the installation of smaller size mercury and sodium lamps were to be used in place of tungsten.

Proposals for year 1963/4 were as follows:

In October 1963 the newly built Congress theatre hosted the Association of Public Lighting Engineers conference and Philips Lighting took the oppurtunity of promoting their lamps that had been used in the new GEC post top multi lamp 'flying saucer'. type fittings that had been installed in Compton St. outside the theatre.

The A22 scheme had now been authorised and 20- 200w linear sodium lamps(SLI lamps) were to be installed between Willingdon roundabout and Foulride Green to the north. The opening of Lottbridge Drove in 1964, an important eastern link between Eastbourne and Hampden Park also saw the installation of linear sodium lamps on 35' steel columns, an oddity in this road being the installation of two shorter 25' columns and 140W sodium lamps half way along the road, underneath the 132KV National Grid power lines that crossed the road. Some abutting sections of Seaside and St Anthony's Avenue also had SLI linear lamps installed.

125W MBF lighting was installed in Ivy Terrace and a number of trees were removed throughout the town in a move to reduce the problems of obscured lamps.

The first 5 year programme of improvements had seen some 18 roads modernised and many of the obsolete hexagonal mercury fittings had been replaced with purpose built lanterns designed for the new MBF mercury lamps. The lanterns were the Atlas/Thorn Alpha Three's mounted either on new plain steel columns with outreach brackets or as in Terminus Rd on the old 1930s columns, the bracket arm being raised up the shaft and the decorative scrollwork removed to give a higher mounting height and more modern appearance. The Alpha Three being a side entry lantern also necessitated the removal of the top entry adaptor casting on the old columns.

 

Old 1930s Revo mercury blended lantern and Alpha 3 replacement.

 

 

 

 

The side road mercury (MBF) improvements had up to now mainly used the existing cast iron columns and swan necks or where additional columns had been required, a plain steel column and swan neck, the lantern being a top entry design.

First type of side road MBF lantern

 

The second 5 year plan was to provide for the upgrades in another 27 roads spending approx 7000 per year.

The Gildredge Rd 400W mercury scheme had not yet taken place and this was carried over to the new plan. Other schemes to take place in the second 5 year plan were as follows:

To be equipped with 125W MBF lamps - Ocklynge Rd, Motcombe Rd, Crown St, New Upperton Rd, Charleston Rd, Milton Rd, part of Brampton Rd, Firle Rd, Cambridge Rd, Park Avenue, Southfields Rd, Bolton Rd, Borough Lane, Bourne St, Grange Rd, Latimer Rd, Beamsley Rd and part of Sidley Rd among others. Rodmill estate was in the process of construction and had seen one of the first uses of steel 'hockey stick' columns for side road lighting at heights of about 16' to 18' being equipped with Revo side entry lanterns. Although some roads such as Sidley Rd had top entry lanterns fitted to the existing cast iron columns nearly all the new installations listed above were to have 'hockey sticks' installed. Where slightly higher mounting heights of 20' were required steel columns with outreach brackets were used similiar to the taller examples appearing on the main roads. Examples of these installations were in Southfields Rd and Carew Rd and later in St Annes Rd, Hyde Gardens and Lushington Rd

Beta 7 lantern and 'hockey stick' column

 

 

Beta 7 on 20' column and arm

 

 

Carew road from Willingdon Rd to Enys Rd was a rarity being equipped with 85W sodium lamps at 20' mounting heights, MBF lamps being seen as the standard except for main approach and through roads in town. The side entry MBF lanterns were all very similiar in appearance although in time the Atlas/Thorn Beta Seven became the standard.

Beta 7 on steel column and swan neck, Ivy Terrace

85w sodium lamp in GEC lantern, Carew Rd

 

 

 

Main roads to be equipped with Alpha 3 lanterns and 400W MBF lamps were as follows: Gildredge Rd, Cornfield Terrace, Cornfield Rd and Chiswick Place, roads equipped with Alpha 3 lanterns and 250W lamps were as follows: Trinity Trees, Pevensey Rd and Grove Rd. In Grove Rd a flourescent scheme as installed in nearby South street had been considered but the tile hung frontages of the buildings precluded the use of similiar wall mounted lanterns. However on the west side of Grove Rd the Alpha 3s were able to be mounted on protruding wall brackets rather than columns.

Aside from the 5 year improvement plan, a seperate scheme for upgrading the less important secondary and side roads with MBF lighting was approved and 220 other roads were earmarked. 117 of these roads were selected for the first stages of the rolling programme, roads being prioritised by taking into account the existing lighting levels, the housing density, amount of roadside parking and geographical arrangements. Ashburnham Rd, Ashburnham Gardens, Prideaux Rd, Le Brun Rd, Roseberry Ave. Gore Park Rd, Cherry Gardens Rd, St Johns Rd and Woodgate Rd were in this first block.

During 1966 an improved version of the sodium lamp made its appearance, The new lamps, designated SOX lamps had a stannic oxide heat reflective coating applied to its outer glass tube enabling higher efficiencies. The new lamps came in 40,60 and 100W sizes replacing the older 45/60, 85 and 140W sizes. Because of the savings in running costs Eastbourne changed all its 140W lamps to 100W SOX lamps over a two year period during 1966-68. It was only a few years however before a new Indium oxide coating led to the lamps being supplied in 35,55 and 90W ratings with the larger sizes of 150 and 200W being downrated to 135 and 180 respectively.

An extension to Astaire Avenue was underway during 1966 and despite the plans to upgrade the town to MBF lamps the new lamps in this street were short concrete columns with swan necks equipped with Revo tungsten type open refractor fittings, possibly in an attempt to match the existing cast iron columns and tungsten lighting.

During the later years of the 1960s as a combined result of the 5 year plans and additional side road upgrades, the folowing improvements occurred: roads equipped with 125W MBF lamps - Hartfield rd, St Annes Rd, Northiam Rd, Osborne Rd, Longland Rd, Stavely Rd, Blackwater Rd, Bolsover Rd, Chesterfield Rd, Darley Rd, Baldwin Rd, Harding Avenue, Milnthorpe Rd, Northbourne Rd, Roselands Avenue, Carlisle Rd from Meads Rd to Beachy Head Rd, Brodrick Rd, and Leslie St. The majority of these were 'hockey stick' and Beta 7 installations, although where the existing cast iron columns were in suitable locations and in good condition the swan neck bracket was removed and a cranked extension piece was fitted to these enabling increased mounting heights and an appearance not too dissimiliar to adjacent 'hockey sticks'. Sometimes the ladder bar if present was removed to present a more modern appearance. This technique was sometimes used in whole roads such as Roselands Ave, St Johns Rd and Northbourne Rd, but sometimes only the first lamp post in an adjoining road was converted. The Every columns with the taller bases never had these extensions fitted as their height was such that the existing swan neck could be cut to accept a side entry lantern and reused, hence as in Roselands Avenue the last lamp near the junction with seaside retained its original swan neck. In Woodgate Rd some new swan neck brackets were produced with four pieces of shaped metal cut to the profile of the spigot casting in an effort to match the 1930s swan necks. Top entry lanterns were fitted in this road.

250W MBF and the standard seafront type lantern were to be fitted in King Edwards Parade completing the renewal of all the seafront lanterns except for half a dozen or so Paisleys that remained at the extreme west end end of the seafront near the foot of Beachy Head.

At the junction of South Street, Grove Rd and Grange Rd the remaining arc lamp column was replaced with a new 30' steel post supporting a multi lamp post top fitting holding 3 x 400W MBF lamps, similiar fittings were installed outside the Congress Theatre.

Towards the end of the 1960s many of the pre-war 25' steel columns were found to be corroding severely. A number had already been spot replaced and some trial excavations were carried out around the basesof some remaining columns. It was found that the corrosion was widespread and they were given a maximum life of another 2 years ( a few still survive in 1999!). The priorities for replacement were Terminus Rd, Seaside and Seaside Rd and Cavendish Place where the replacements were to be 400W MBF lamps on 30' columns and The Avenue, The Goffs, Church St and East Dean Rd where sodium lamps were to be installed. The second block of renewals was programmed for 1970/71 and was to consist of Willingdon Rd, Upperton Rd, Kings Drive, Lewes Rd , Bedfordwell Rd (part) and Upper Avenue, all to use sodium lamps on 35' steel columns. With the advent of the new SOX sodium lamps now available in larger 135W sizes the use of the linear sodium lamps declined and these newer installations used the 135W SOX lamp in slimline Relite lanterns. Thorn Alpha 3s still being used where MBF lamps were installed.

In 1968 it was decided that the clocks would no longer be altered from British Summer Time to Greenwich Meantime in October and that British Standard Time would apply, the Chief Constable was concerned that for a period of about 4 weeks around Christmas, sunrise would not be until 9.00am and this could have an impact on crime and public safety. A request for all lights to be lit all night was considered by the Council and eventually it was agreed this would happen, but during the winter period only.

The fluorescent post top installation in Devonshire Place dating back to 1952 was now life expired with the lanterns and their column fixings corroding and a new scheme comprising centrally mounted steel columns and post top multi lamp fittings similiar to those at the Congress Theatre was to be installed.

During this period lamp patrolling was carried out daily in the centre of town and weekly elsewhere in order to detect lamp outages. In an effort to improve detection of failed lamps Seeboard suggested the idea of distributing pre paid postcards to residents so that they could alert Seebord of failed lamps in their street. The idea was not favoured by the Council and was not proceeded with.

Eastbourne's lighting at the end of the 1960s presented a varied picture, MBF lamps and Thorn Beta 7 lanterns were appearing in large numbers in side and residential roads either on the traditional cast iron columns with the extension brackets or on the plain hockey sticks. A smaller number of roads with the earlier MBF installations used the cast iron columns with top entry lanterns on new or old swan necks. Main roads that were mercury lit with the larger 250W and 400W lamps had Thorn Alpha 3 lanterns, mounted either on the new steel columns or on what few of the older columns that still remained, the seafront was now 98% lit with 250W MBF lamps in their new hexagonal post top lanterns, although Paisley lamps still remained at the extreme west end of King Edwards Parade. The sodium installations used a number of different lanterns depending on whether linear or SOX lamps were used and also on the size of lamp to be contained but GEC and Revo were the main suppliers. Many residential roads were still lit by tungsten lamps using the Revo open refractor lanterns mounted on the cast iron columns with their 1930s swan necks, a significant number of these streets remaining tungsten lit until the wholesale replacement of all side streets with SOX lamps in the mid to late 70s.

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