GEC Z8430

  • Original Location- Devon
  • Removal Reason- Deteriorated condition

    Lantern- GEC Z8430CM
    Lamp- 250W SONT
    Manufacture Date- 1964
    Control Gear- Remote
    Original Control- Switch Wire

    The lantern runs a 250W SON-T lamp, although it would originally have run a 400W MBF lamp. The lantern was group switched by another column in the road. The internal area of the lantern used to be white, but years of use has blackened it badly. I will be repainting it accordingly. Luckily, all internal original parts are still in place, including the porcelain terminal block and cable clamp. There are also a pair of reflectors mounted at the sides. A glass globe (Z6631) is carried by the lantern, and this is stamped with the year 1964- giving a date to the lantern. The lantern is the main road version of the smaller side road Z8596 lantern.

    Restoration Update- February 2006: I decided to start work on this lantern, following completion of the Z8596. The first task was to strip the lantern down to its component parts.

    I was very fortunate that all parts came apart with little trouble- even the grub screws. Once this was done, I could deal with each part separately. The old seal and cables were carefully removed and disposed of immediately. I now gave the porcelain parts a clean-up; this comprised the lampholder, cable clamp and terminal block. The reflector plates were cleaned too- luckily they were free from corrosion and polished up well. Now I turned my attention to the glass outer globe. It was very dirty after not being cleaned for a good few years, but a scrub with a brush in some warm water brought it up as good as new.

    Next the lantern casting was prepared for repainting. It was given coats of primer, and then topcoats of hammered silver grey paint. The internal area of the lantern was repainted in white as it would have been originally. Once completed, the internal parts were replaced and the glass bowl refixed. The lantern was now finished, save for the addition of a new bowl seal which I will obtain in the future.

    A photograph of the road was taken before this and many other Z8430s were removed. ?Steve Rowe

    A Holophane Syracuse lantern replaced the Z8430 on the existing 8m Stewart & Lloyd column.

    The Z8430 can no longer be found on the streets of Plymouth. They were used in the past but were removed years ago when Mercury lamps were taken off main road lighting. There were a number of SON versions in the Devon town of Kingsbridge, but they were finally all removed in 2005. A number survive in Torquay also, but they are set to all be removed in the near future.

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