New lease of life of for Sheffield’s historic gas lanterns

Work to restore the city's Victorian gas lanterns is complete

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Sheffield’s original century-old gas street lamps are shining brightly across the city following the completion of a 12-month restoration project by Streets Ahead.

Working in partnership with English Heritage, Historic England and bespoke lantern manufacturer, Pudsey Diamond Engineering, twenty cast iron JE Webb Sewer Gas Destructor Lamps have now been restored to their original condition by Amey.

The lamps, which were first installed more than 100 years ago and can be found at various locations across the city, have also been fitted with the latest LED lighting technology.

Cabinet member for environment and streetscene at Sheffield City Council, Councillor Lewis Dagnall said:

Work to restore these Victorian- style gas lamps, as part of the Streets Ahead programme, was extremely important and will enable Sheffielders to enjoy their historic significance for years to come.

The lamps offer a small but important reminder of years gone by and it’s fantastic that they can be incorporated into our modern day world and moreover, serve an essential purpose by lighting up our streets.

Designed to burn off dangerous methane and other gasses which accumulated in Victorian sewers, the lamps were located where there was known to be a problem with pockets of gas.

The grade II listed gas lamps were first erected between 1914 and 1935 at various locations across the city. Sadly, over the years, many have been affected by vandalism, theft and natural ageing.

But now the lamps have been repainted and fitted with specially designed solar power LED lights that closely replicate the original lighting style.

Chris Angel, Chief Electronics Engineer at Pudsey Diamond Engineering, says:

Refurbishing the lamps was a delicate process which involved retaining the existing lantern design while replacing the gas power.

We developed a solution to replicate the lantern and gas supply mantle, which covers the flame and turns it into a brighter light. This has been reproduced using LED to mimic the gas mantle powered by solar energy and batteries in each lamp.

At the bottom of each lantern, solar panels are fitted at an angle and connected to a battery inside the top of the column. Panels store energy throughout the day which powers the battery and, in turn, the LED.

Council contractor Amey has repainted the columns based on the existing heritage colour mid-Brunswick Green.

Nick Marriott, Highways Electrical Operations Manager at Amey said:

These lamps are of special historic interest and provide a nostalgic reminder of Sheffield’s history and heritage. The work to preserve the lanterns’ original material and unique features, while integrating the very latest light technology looks incredibly authentic.

We are delighted to have been able to undertake work on these historic lights to enable them to shine bright in Sheffield long into the future.

The gas destructor lamps are located on Kent Road (Heeley), Burnaby Crescent, Walkley, Worrall Road (Worrall), Bishopscourt Road, Upper Albert Road (Meersbrook), Toftwood Road, Stothard Road, School Road (Crookes), Leavy Greave Road, Park Lane (Broomfield), Manor Oaks Road (Broomhill), Westbourne Road (Summerfield), Shiregreen Lane (Shiregreen), Oakland Road (Hillsborough), Fox Hill Road (Fox Hill), Jenkin Road (Jenkin), Frog Walk (Sharrow), Eldon Street (City Centre), Stewart Road, South View Road (Sharrow), Alderson Road, Lancing Road (Highfield), Mulehouse Road (Stannington) and Brincliffe Edge Road (Brincliffe).

To find out more about the Streets Ahead programme visit: www.sheffield.gov.uk/streetsahead