Many thanks to Mike Barford for sending this lantern to me. The lantern runs a 90W SOX Plus lamp, and gear would be mounted in the column base. Switching on location was by a NEMA socket mounted on the bracket of the column, so no photocell has been fitted to the lantern. The lamp area of the Alpha 1 is known as the 'Opticell', and this is a 1 piece acrylic section, which clips to the aluminium shoe that mounts on the bracket. The lamp is sealed inside the Opticell in an effort to keep out water and dirt. The sealing seems quite effective on my example as the inside of the Opticell is very clean. It is not uncommon however, for there to be dirt and water inside the lamp area as the lanterns get older and less well sealed. I shall have to remove the siezed grub screws which mount the lantern to the spigot, but other than that the lantern is in very good condition. The flex between the lampholder and the shoe shall also be replaced as it has been cut.
Photographs of the road were taken prior to the Alpha 1s being removed, and also showing their successors: Thorn Civics. İMike Barford
The Alpha 1 is not used on the streets of Plymouth, for the simple reason that SOX lamps are not used in the area. The only examples can be found on private land at the docks area.
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İDavy Warren 2009