Look at old pictures of street scenes in Reading and you will often see the familiar gas lamp on a silver painted cast iron column. In Reading these old columns were converted to electricity during the 20th century, and we are fortunate that some of them still survive today in the town’s older streets. The original gaslight columns were made by foundries in the town so are also an important part of our local history.
Sadly the remaining cast iron lamp posts are now under threat, with the council planning to replace them as part of the conversion of all Reading’s street lighting to use LED technology and telling us that the old columns can no longer be maintained.
A few of the old columns have already been converted to support the new LED lanterns, so we know that this is possible – and new swan neck lantern brackets are also relatively cheap – but unfortunately as things stand the rest are likely to be scrapped.
If you want to preserve a valuable part of Reading’s heritage why not contact your councillors? There is also a website with more information at www.loveyourlamppost.wordpress.com.