Residents campaign to save old street lights

The Bell Tower Community Association is urging the council to keep the cast iron lighting columns in the area, as the LED street lighting replacement programme sweeps across the town. The lights in the area are all due to be converted to LED technology in June 2017.

There are more than 20 cast iron lamp posts in the area, most of which are original Victorian gas lighting columns.

Bell Tower secretary David Neale, who has been researching the history of the lighting columns, said: “As well as being attractive, the old cast iron lighting columns are also a valuable part of our heritage, and many of them have an additional local connection, having been manufactured by foundries off Caversham Road. The area consists mostly of Victorian terraces, and has one of the largest clusters of original lamp posts in Reading. It would be a great shame to lose them.”

The association believes that the columns can be refurbished economically and fitted with new LED lights, and is happy to offer to paint them to keep them in good condition.

“In its local plan the council describes Reading as ‘a city which has rediscovered and embraced its heritage and landscape’. We hope the council will show it is in tune with the city it describes and commit to preserving our heritage,” Bell Tower chairman Jonathan Dart said.

Mr Neale added: “We think the parts to refurbish an old street light will be cheaper than installing a new column, and they are likely to last longer. We hope the council can preserve them, and that the old lighting columns in other areas of Reading will be saved too.”

We’re looking for old pictures of the foundries that made cast iron lamp posts in Reading – among these was H C Goodman next to Caversham Bridge, which was still trading as recently as the 1980s. Do you know anyone that has any pictures of any local foundries? We’d love to share them – please contact us at info@bell-tower.org.uk.

One comment

  • Roger Lancaster

    What will it cost the Council to default on the planned sale of these artifacts to Osmos who bought the majority of the old phone boxes? It is said the sale of the Victorian standards more than pays for the new poles.

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