GEC Z8896


  • Original Location- Victoria Park, Plymouth
  • Removal Reason- Energy Conservation

    Lantern- GEC Z8896

    Lamp- 80W MBFU

    Manufacture Date- 1979

    Control Gear- Remote

    Original Control- Venner MSQP Clock

    The lantern carries a 3 pin BC holder for an MBF lamp, and gear was situated remotely from the lantern. A Venner MSQP clock was used to control the lantern in use. A polycarbonate outer globe is fitted, and although it was only replaced a few years ago, has already suffered from the UV rays from the lamp. Restoration will include stripping down and a full repaint.

    Update: During 2007, I set to work on the restoration. The lantern was completely disassembled and all the parts given a good clean. The canopy was repainted in hammered light grey, and the internal surface was repainted in white. The lampholder support was also changed for a newer one in good condition. Once a clear outer globe was fitted, the lantern looked as new.

    I have also managed to acquire Z8896s with examples of other control types. This first example is mounted on a Concrete Utilities bracket and comes with RTE P10 thermal photocell. This was probably installed with the lantern in the late 1970s.

    The second holds a detector for a Horstmann EL26 2-part part-night photocell. This type photocell was commonly installed across the city on Z8896 lanterns, but due to failures and lantern replacements, this example was the last known operational unit removed in late 2009 The cell appears to have been fitted using the rubber grommet of an RTE P10 cell- probably left in place when the EL26 was fitted.

    Z8896s are one of the few old lantern types in the city which were still fitted with replacement outer globes until 2007.

    The Z8896 is a very common lantern in the city, and is seen with 70W SON-T and SON-I lamps fitted. Lanterns are fitted with NEMA cells, 2-part cells, RTE P10 cells, and also using time clocks. There are a handful of mercury examples left in the city too, both in 80W and 125W.

    An 80W Z8896 was a very common sight in back lanes across the city, fitted on a swan-neck and AC Ford control box, switched by a time-clock, and mounted apon a cast iron column. Sadly, due to the energy-saving removal of MBF lamps, the numbers have dropped to virtually none. Many were changed to Urbis ZX1s which, to say the least, look out of place on the cast columns and swan-necks.



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