There was a mention of gas light a month or so ago in this blog. It was quite deliberate. There is something very special about gas light via incandescent mantles. Gas light itself is a shade of bright green light and being so is not tiring by which to read.

In the 1960s gas lamps were disappearing fast. Relatively few were left as town councils seemed to want to sever ties with anything of substance. Yet the lamps were to be seen if a search was made.

Gas lamps lit streets in my home town, Suffield Street and Spring Gardens to name but two; the gas lamps on Taylor Street had been converted to electricity but not with the handmade swan necks favoured by the corporation. These lanterns were retained, the gas illumination mechanism removed and fitted out to carry naked electric bulbs.

Some of the streets in the nearby city were still gas-lit. These tended to be large lanterns with two or three mantles. Pinpricks of light seen high up in fog. Sidney Street and Cowcil Street with its more modest homes spring to mind.

Some gas lamps were homely; the lamp on Cartmel Crescent being a particularly welcoming
sight as we made our way home from a Sunday afternoon trip to the coast.

On one railway station, the gas lamps hissed; each one being lit from pulling a chain which allowed the gas into the mantle.

When at university streets were gas-lit again, the old wonder returned. Then too soon, it seemed as if they had all disappeared.

One day and years later there were gas lamps to see again. A whole row of them on the main road high on a hill. What a beautiful sight to see once more! Naturally there was not the illumination of modern day electric light yet there once again was this very brave and civilised illumination.

It is a magical light. It is a wonderful light. It is gentle light. It is fairy light. Everyone should see it.    Gaslight01


One thought on “Gaslight

  1. Well no wonder you write so fondly of those gaslights. I can see that they truly are magical looking. I would miss such a beautiful homage to days gone by. We miss our hometown electric street lights. They all seemed to stand sentry and to kindly “take care” of the passers by. The posts have grooves and the metal had turned to green…the same green copper seems to turn to. But, they have been “shut-off for repairs” well over a decade now, and our only consolation is that they remain standing; untampered. My next door neighbor ordered one from a catalog and had a working lamp placed in the front lawn of his “American Beauty Home”. It lights his front yard just fine, The rest of our yards and streets have surrendered to empty night blackness.

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