Replacement Schemes Bedford Town

These are replacement schemes in Bedford Town and are arranged in date order. for Bedfordshire Villages please go to the Bedfordshire pages

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Queen Street, Bedford - January 2009

The original stock of lighting in this town centre street was mostly GEC 5670 MBF Post top lanterns with one odd six metre concrete column. The new stock being installed are all hockey stick columns fitted with WRTL 2600 lanterns running SON. This Scheme was completed late April 2009 however the replacements were replaced again as part of LED upgrades in 2016

The old column is leaning a little but otherwise is ok

UPDATE: in 2016 all the WRTL 2600's were replaced by Urbis 'Ampera' LED lanterns

The painters have not yet reached this new hockystick which is just it's natural dull grey. Bedford tend to use 1 of 3 colours; Pale Green, Brown or Black. There are  examples of galvanised columns in the area also but these are rare.

UPDATE: in 2016 all the WRTL 2600's were replaced by Urbis 'Ampera' LED lanterns

This old Thorn Beta 7 also running MBF is the only one in this road and on this 6M column looks exceedingly small and gives a very poor light. The 2600 on the otherhand looks rather large on the 5M hockeystick column.

UPDATE: in 2016 all the WRTL 2600's were replaced by Urbis 'Ampera' LED lanterns

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Stafford Rd, Whitbread Ave Area, Bedford - March 2010

This small estate is the last in Bedford itself before the border of Kempston where it becomes SOX city. The mixture of lanterns and columns in this area was very varied as is the housing stock which goes from late Victorian to 1980's in age. This is the first time I have seen an entire estate having its entire stock replaced in one go.

The new installations were all WRTL LED Stela lanterns on new steel columns, however the majority were replaced again in 2016

In Whitbread Avenue, this lovely old Revo column with Eleco 'Welwyn' lantern is about to be replaced. Its a massive jump in era's from 1930's columns to new lanterns using the latest technology. The old column has been left in place but I think it has been disconnected.

Slightly further down Whitbread Avenue an old Stanton and Staveley column with a GEC Z5970 MBF lantern is due removal.

In Stafford Road, this old column is one of the originals in the town which would have originally supported a gas post top lantern (see Bedford Lighting History). The old column has been left in place but I believe it is no longer connected.

In Granville Road (Yes there is a cornershop nearby!) you can clearly see the LED array in the new lantern, this version is a 36 LED model (known as a 'wide' style) as is the case in all the streets in this area. This version consumes 52W and claims to be the equivalent of a 50W SON-T, however the figures do not stack up as the actual lumen output is not as high as SON or Metal Halide, nor is the lumens per watt (lm/w) which for these LEDs is around 90 compared with SON at around 130. The lanterns give a bright light directly underneath but have little spread so need close spacing to be useful. The plus point is the colour which is better for vision than SON but Metal Halide, CDO and PL lamps already acheive good white colour rendering very well. I am yet to be convinced by LED in its present form but I do beleive it will become the norm in the next few years as the efficiency is improved.

UPDATE: in 2016 this lantern was replaced by Holophane V-Max


 In Riverside Close this modern hockystick column with SOX Thorn 'Beta 5' is beng replaced by another Stela.

UPDATE: in 2016 this lantern was replaced by Holophane V-Max

Again in Riverside Close these old sleeved concrete column are being replaced.

UPDATE: in 2016 these lanterns were replaced by Holophane V-Max

Along this footpath, the smaller square 18 LED models are being installed.

UPDATE: in 2016 these lanterns were replaced by Holophane V-Max

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Grossvenor Street, Bedford - September 2010

On this road 3 new columns were installed, 1 to replace an old concrete column with GEC Z5670 with another 2 as infill. The 3 new are all WRTL 'Arc' running SON lamps, the remaining column in the road is running SOX. All these replacements were changed again in 2016 with Urbis Amperas

Typical example of the new installation, for some reason the 'Arc' lantern looks too large for the column, perhaps its the height or the short outreach, another example i spotted in Higham Ferrers, Northamptonshire (Now replaced under the PFI) looked better to me as the outreach was longer.

UPDATE: in 2016 this lantern was replaced by Urbis 'Ampera' LED

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Herewood Road, Bedford - October 2010

This scheme involved just one section of the road and in this case the majority of the original Revo Columns have been retained  but have new lanterns fitted. The New lanterns are all Stela 'Long' LED type which is a real meeting of 'Old' and 'New'. All the Stela lanterns were replaced early 2017


The previous image above left is a Revo 'Hull' column, with Revo B7458 bracket and Revo C7184 lantern which survived up until September 2010. The column, bracket and lantern date from the 1930's and would have been original to the Esatate when it was built. The only change from the original installation is the lantern was later converted to run MBFU instead of incandescent lamps.

Above right, in October 2010 the column has been kept but has been repainted, this time in black which is current practice in Bedford Borough. The new bracket is in keeping with the column and WRTl LED lantern suits the installation reasonably well.

 UPDATE: The lantern is now an Urbis Ampera 

Above Left, another Revo column but this time the orgiginal lantern had been replaced with a 'modern' replacement of a GEC 5580 of which this had the plastic bowl and had gone green from the UV light of the Mercury lamp installed.

Above Right, Again a new bracket and LED lantern has been installed.

 UPDATE: in 2017 the lantern was changed to an Urbis Ampera 

Above right, On the island at the end of the road was another example of an original Revo installation but the lantern on this one was in very poor condition.

Above left, in January 2010 Bedford Borough have replaced the bracket and installed a WRTL 'Arc' lantern which is SON, the lantern was far too large for this column and did not look right at all, so was it temporary?

In October 2010 the same column was also repainted and the 'Arc' was replaced with a WRTL 'Stela Long' to match the others in the street. This looks much better than the 'Arc' on this column.


 In 2017 like all the others the lantern was changed to an Urbis Ampera

On the opposite side of the island, a brand new hockystick column was installed with another 'Stela' lantern, this is an infill column and does not replace an existing one. As now seems to be the norm in Bedford the column is galavnised and not painted. I am looking forward to seeing how this installation looks at night.

UPDATE: In 2017 the lantern was changed 

Finally in the alley linking Herewood Road to Eltow Road, another new hockystick column is being installed, it seems the council have chosen to remove the old cast iron column with its modern bracket and Thorn Beta 7 lantern with vandal resistant bowl. The cast iron column was still in situ in 2017 probably because the council cannot get the columns out very easily down the narrow alley.

UPDATE: The Stela was replaced in 2017

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London Road Area, Bedford - August 2011 (Updated October 2012)

This scheme was carried out on a small number of streets to the south side of the A600 London Road and although the WRTL Libra had become the normal lantern of choice for replacements in Bedford, this particular scheme has used the WRTL Stela LED lantern instead. some of the older Mercury lanterns have been replaced and some have been retained. In 2016 the Stelas were changed again to Urbis Amperas

Brook Street, this old Revo Column was painted the traditional Bedford green and has now been repainted in Black which seems to now be the normal colour in the area for re-painted installations. The bracket has not been painted which I suspect means that it will be replaced with the loss of the GEC 5580 lantern.


Brook Street, an additional column has been added with a WRTL Stela 18 LED lantern. these extra infill columns have been added in some places as the spacing between the existing columns is rather wide. This is probably a lesson learned from the Herewood Road Stela installation which mainly re-used the existing columns and has left the road a very dark and dingy enviroment.

UPDATE: in 2016 this lantern was replaced by Urbis 'Ampera' LED

 Now onto Dents Road, this old Baker Ironfoundry column has been painted and at this time the GEC lantern which replaced a broken bracket has been retained, It will be interesting if this will be replaced.

UPDATE: in 2016 this lantern was replaced by Urbis 'Ampera' LED


Slightly further along Dents Road and another old rusting Baker column has been repainted and it seems that this mini bracket and the lovely old GEC Z5580 'Oxford' bowl lantern is being kept, these old Oxford bowl lanterns are almost as bright as they day they were installed due to the bowl being of glass construction so has not been damaged by the UV output of the lamp. Note that this column is mounted against the wall rather than near the kerb unlike many of the 'Casties' in the town.

UPDATE: It is likely this column will be replaced as the lantern has not been changed to LED


Still on Dents Road and a new in-fill column has been installed, so far it has been left galvanised and not painted. It will be interesting to see how the light from the Stela's will compare with that from the remaining MBF lanterns. An existing GEC post top lantern curently remains in situ on a re-painted column on the corner of Kathie Road in the background

UPDATE: in 2016 these lanterns were replaced by Urbis 'Ampera' LED


Slightly futher on a there was a Revo Column with a 'modern' galvanised braket and Thorn Beta 7 lantern which was missing it's bowl. Now a new straight bracket and a WRTL stela has been fitted. The two photographs above are 2 years apart in age but the White Corsa parked in the first photo is still there but had just been moved before the photo was taken.

UPDATE: in 2016 this lantern was replaced by Urbis 'Ampera' LED


Finally on Dents Road this rather rusty Revo 'Cannock' column again with a Beta 7 also missing its bowl and at a tilted angle had been painedin August 2011, the bracket had not been painted which indicates it was due replacement.

UPDATE: in 2016 this lantern was replaced by Urbis 'Ampera' LED


A few days later and the column has a new bracket and lantern. Unlike previous attempts to retrofit modern lanterns on older columns, this time the new braket has not been designed to fit in with the styling on the column but instead is functional and provides a long enough extension to make the column length suitable for modern cut-off lanterns.

UPDATE: in 2016 this lantern was replaced by Urbis 'Ampera' LED


Ivy Road and this Baker column has been painted and the existing bracket had been primed ready for a gloss coat of paint but instead it was replaced a few  days later. On a techical note the photo on the left has been taken with a £60 digital camera and the one of right is via a 3MP smartphone and although both images are scaled to the same resolution the superior lens and CCD quality of the camera is obvious.

UPDATE: in 2016 this lantern was replaced by Urbis 'Ampera' LED


At the start of Ivy Road an in-fill column has been installed, this time it has been painted.

UPDATE: in 2016 this lantern was replaced by Urbis 'Ampera' LED


On St Helena Road an old Revo column is in the process of being painted, so far the lantern , a Thorn Beta 7 has remained fitted. Again new in-fill columns with WRTL Stela's have been installed on this road



 in 2012 three of the Revo's in Willow road that had escaped the previous scheme were replaced leaving just one Mercury surviving, above the same column in 2009 and 2012 but the old Revo lantern has been changed to a WRTL Libra also the bracket has been stripped back to a single section. The PL lamps used are warm white which seem rather yellow compared with the remaining 'Merc' and very yellow compared with the Stela's on the adjoining road

UPDATE: In 2016 all but one of the cast iron columns have had their lanterns changed again to Urbis Ampera. One column remains still with Mercury so I suspect it is earmarked for replacement

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Queens Park, Bedford - February 2012

Queens Park is a large housing estate located at the western side of Bedford and is separated from nearby Kempston by the Great River Ouse.

The current lighting stock is gradually being replaced by the WRTL ‘Libra’ as seems to be the case in Bedfordshire generally (by 2014 this was no longer the case see descriptions).


Honey Hill Road: a typical example of the installation that was in use in the area. During the late 1980's a large number of the streets in the area had the old columns removed and replaced with these heritage style columns fitted with Davis SON PT1179 lanterns. which were pretty poor even when new. Many of these were replaced during the eary 2000's with new side entry lanterns on galvanised brackets.This lantern was replaced shortly after the photo was taken but the column has been re-used.

UPDATE: in 2016 this lantern was replaced by Urbis 'Ampera' LED


Honey Hill Road: More 'Libras' have been installed on the existing 'Hockeystick' columns. I quite like the look of this installation apart from the adaptor between the lantern and column.

UPDATE: in 2016 these lantern were replaced by Urbis 'Ampera' LED


Old Ford End Road: New columns are being installed with WRTL 'Libra's' these are the 36W versions. The old column on the left has already been refitted with a new bracket and WRTL 2600 lantern during the last few years and the old column on the right has had a Philips XGS 103 fitted.

UPDATE: in 2016 these lanterns were replaced by Urbis 'Ampera' LED

Old Ford End Road: Another new column being installed (above left) and on the right the new column has not been installed yet. The existing lantern is a Thorn Beta 5.

UPDATE: in 2016 these lanterns were replaced by Urbis 'Ampera' LED

Ford End Road: along the bridge between Queens Park and the Town Centre the majority of old columns have been kept but the 90W Philips MA lanterns have been replaced with 'Libras' which I suspect are 55W versions but could be 80W. One column is being replaced (above right) due to excessive corrosion. - UPDATE: in 2016 the old columns were replaced and new 6M columns installed with Urbis V-Max lanterns

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Pearcey Road, Bedford - July 2013

Pearcey Road is on the south side of the town off Elstow Road, up until recently it was lit by a miss mash of old and new with Mercury, Low and High Pressure Sodium. In July 2013 all the lighting was replaced with Philips WTRL 'Libra's' and in 2017 with Urbis Ampera


This old Bedford Ironfoundy column with 'modern' galvanised bracket and GEC Z5590 lantern is being replaced entirely. The Column in the distance was formerly a Stanton concrete with a GEC post top but this was replaced the year before.

UPDATE: The Libra has since been changed to an Urbis Ampera


Another Bedford column being replaced, this one is virtually as original other than the MBF lamp fitted. the column in the background on the right previously had an Arc fitted.

UPDATE: These were changed to Urbis lanterns in 2017


 This Hockeystick previously was fitted with a Philips XGS 103 SOX lantern.

UPDATE: The lantern has subsequently been replaced by Urbis Ampera


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