Thorn Beta 7

  • Original Location- Weston Mill
  • Removal Reason- Energy conservation/ Time clock removal
  • It was the last Beta 7 to remain on the streets of Plymouth with Mercury lamp.

  • Lantern- Thorn Beta 7 (click for 1973/4 catalogue entry)
  • Lamp- 80W MBF/U
  • Bowl- QB7 G
  • Manufacture Date- 1972
  • Control Gear- Remote

    The lantern runs an 80W MBF lamp, and was switched by an unusual clear-cased, Horstmann KMK2A time-clock in the column base. This was a part-night clock. The Mercury gear was also mounted in the column base. This comprised a Thorn Choke and a capacitor. The clock dates from 1972- this is likely the date of the lantern also. I will be giving the interior of the lantern a complete overhaul as it has had many years of heat punishment. The glass globe is in perfect condition. I was also acquired the gear and clock that controlled the lantern.

    I had taken a few pictures of the lantern in-situ prior to its removal:

    Update- as I was so pleased to get this lantern, I decided to restore it right away. The first step was to loosen the siezed grub screws. Normally, 3mm (1/8") are difficult to remove as the allen keys are slim and bend easily, but this particular lantern proved very easy to remove. A short soak with penetrating oil was all that was required. The next task was to strip out the guts of the lantern and give it a good clean. This complete, I repainted the inside of the canopy white, and refitted all the cleaned parts. I left the original seal in place, as removing it would have torn it. Its not in too bad condition, so I'm happy with it. I may repaint the canopy exterior in the future, but for now I'll leave it as it is.

    An Urbis ZXU1 lantern with 70W SON-T lamp replaced this lantern, on the existing 6m steel column.

    I photographed the Beta 7 next to the GEC Z8896; one of its closest rivals. The two are pretty similar in design.

    The Beta 7 with mercury lamp was once a common sight in the area, but with the removal of this example, the number in use dropped to none. The only one to remain in the city is a 70W SON converted example. This lantern has also been drilled for a NEMA socket.

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    İDavy Warren 2009