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Turning off the candles.

Quentin took this fine picture of Kings Parade in Cambridge. Which had me thinking about the current state of street lighting on Kings Parade. Especially after Cathy and I visited the Shire Hall a few years ago to complain about the new columns.

Richardson Street Light

A bit of history first, In 1957 the new Richardson lights were installed, These were custom designed for the City of Cambridge by Sir Albert Richardson and custom-made by REVO some 64 columns and 26 wall mounted candles were made, Trinity street is still illuminated solely by them and they give the city a unique presence at night.

However, our council decided that Kings Parade needed improving! The key starting point was the Cambridge Lighting Strategy document which arose out of a consultation session in1997. This began the investigation of possible street scape & lighting improvements for King’s Parade.

The Kings Parade Street scape Improvement scheme was approved in Jan 1998 but no decision could be reached on the lighting and so the county council installed standard steel columns, allegedly as a temporary measure because Cambridge needed brighter lighting than the Richardson lights could deliver (although to my knowledge Kings Parade hadn’t suffered from excessive muggings etc in the previous 40 years)

However, the council remains committed to finding better designed lighting as these March 2005 minutes show

commitee meeting

Minutes of a 25th October 2007 meeting show the lights still to be on the agenda with Cllr Holland asking questions.

I await to see what the council decide to waste our money on. IMHO I would just remove the ugly steel columns and leave the candles in, I would imagine they could easily be refurbished.

Reader Comments

  1. I bet that they do not have lights like this in Dubai! I have always felt safe at night on King’s Parade but I guess that the civil servants have to find something to do some of the time!

  2. There are still a few streets in Cambridge with gas lamps. While there’s not much likelihood of those ever returning to Kings Parade, the actual lamp columns which support them in places like Millington Road are so much more appealing than the nasty silver ones that I’d have thought they would make a good model…

    Let’s start a petition…

  3. Quentin – in fact the first draft of this post started with gas lamps but I couldn’t remember the name of Millington Road I could only think of the one in Little St Marys Lane.:-(

    I agree about a petition – I will email Cllr Holland today and see about getting the steel columns switched off!

    Philip – Dubai is a land of stark contrasts from total darkness to places where you are confused as to whether it is still daytime!

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