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Bristol lamps
my lamps

This page has various photos of street lamps I have taken mostly around my area of North Bristol, plus other districts as well. I hope to expand the photo collection over time discovering the various street lighting used.
The photos are not copyrighted but if you wish to use any of them you will need to ask me first, and a link to my site would be appreciated.


An old Thorn Gamma 6 deep base variant that used to be in my street prior to 1990 when they were replaced by Thorn Beta 2s. See photo on the right. 55w SOX. 2 photos showing that different photocells were used during it's lifetime - firstly a thermal Royce Thompson P5, then a Zodion. Some streets in the area are still lit by one or two of these and they must easily be 40 years old - including the columns! How much longer they will last is anyones guess, but LED lanterns are replacing them so their days are numbered - and I hope to add a Gamma 6 lantern to my collection some day!!

The Thorn Beta 2 that replaced the Gamma in my street in 1990. 55w SOX with Zodion photocell.
From July 31st 2010 our street had Urbis ZXU1 lanterns - and since October 2023 we now have Schreder Axia 3 LED lanterns - *SEE FURTHER DOWN*.
Below is another Beta 2 in the area and its bowl has gone walkabout.

A Thorn Beta 5 from the 1990s. 35w SOX with Zodion photocell and a little bit of water in the bowl.

A GEC Z5698U lantern - a few of them can be found dotted around the area. 55w SOX with a Zodion photocell - possibly SS2.

A couple more Gamma 6 type llanterns. At one time most of Horfield was lit by these and as of 2023 a small number do remain but LEDs will replace them. Some had faded black paint over the years like the one above right (which was the only remaining one of its type in this particular road - Mar 2004 - now replaced).

And in one or two rare places of the area can be found a Gamma 6 variant complete with a nifty little hat to direct more light down on to road. This one appears to have a SELC photocell.

Here we have a couple of Urbis ZX1s - the bottom one was less than 5 years old but they still replaced it with a new one when there are far more ancient lanterns nearby yet to be replaced! Looks like the photocells are Zodion on the bottom one and SELC on the top one.

Two Urbis ZX2s one with full cut-off and one with deep bowl. SON-T 150w bulbs - possibly both with SELC photocells.

An Urbis ZX1 - these were the lantern of choice for replacing the old SOX lamps in the Horfield area. SOX light is fast disappearing in the district. A Zodion photocell controls it.

31/07/2010 - An Urbis ZXU1 lantern replaced the 20 year old Thorn Beta 2 in my street. The case design is slightly different to ZX1 as it has a universal fitting i.e side entry or post-top. Until mid June 2013 these lanterns had SON-T lamps inside but were replaced with SDW-T white SON lamps. This was more pleasant at night.

VIDEO: Replacement of Beta 2 with Urbis ZXU1 - WMV file  (18.5Mb)

An Urbis ZX3 on a main road. At the time of the photo (Mar 2004) this was the only one with the rest being Philips SOX (see below) - all have since been upgraded to SON-T.

A PHILIPS MA60 180w SOX streetlamp. A SELC 841 photocell is on top. If you imagine that the photocell fits nicely in the palm of your hand you can imagine just how long this lantern is!! And to prove it here is an interesting photo!

I noticed during September 2013 that some time after all the lanterns were changed to ZXU1, one of the columns in my street actually had this LED lantern fitted. I am not sure of the model but the closest match I have found is an Urbis Axia, but with only 2 segments of LEDs fitted? It started off working correctly but was day burning in early October. Having walked up my street at night I noticed the light output is not as bright as SDW-T but is pleasant. Maybe this is a test installation as LED lighting will become more popular, or maybe a resident complained the SDW-T lamp was too bright - I do not know for certain. Now replaced - see right --->

*NEW* As of October 2023 virtually the whole area now including my street have these Schreder Axia 3 LED lanterns now installed. Controlled by software they were all burning 24 hours a day at full brightness for a while after installation while the council tweaked settings and now operate correctly but at a reduced brightness. The columns are still the same so they are 33 years old now !


A neighbouring council provides a lot of different lamp models. We start here with a GEC Z9538 (now made by WRTL - model SRL 55) - showing its age and with a worn out 55w SOX bulb. Zodion photocell.

Quite a lot of lamps in Filton had concrete posts and metal sleeves to provide extra height. Here is a GEC Z9554M 135w SOX (now made by WRTL - model MRL 135) with a SELC 841 photocell. Concrete columns are being replaced gradually and new lanterns are Philips Iridium (see further down the page).

An old style Thorn Beta 5 here to light up a path for a footbridge across the busy A38 in Filton. SELC 841 photocell (closeup top view on the right). UPDATE: Beta 5 (and footbridge) no longer there!

A Phosco P222 in a car park - 3 SOX lamps are inside. Can't see the photocell but there is one on top.

An ageing Thorn Alpha 4 here with control gear and no photocell as it is group switched on a large works site. (UPDATE: now removed due to refurbishment of works site buildings.)

Apologies for the blurry photo but it was taken quickly on the move. This is a Thorn Alpha 9. Photocell looks to be of the Zodion variety.

A Philips XGS 103 (MI 26) here on a concrete sleeve - a replacement for a GEC Z9538. 35w SOX with a SELC photocell.

A Thorn Riviera 1 - plenty of these are installed instead of SOX lamps in Filton on major roads. SON-T 150w with SELC photocell.

From 2007/8 for approx 10 years, the preference for new or replacement streetlamps are Philips Iridium lanterns (SGS253/SGS453) mostly post top fittings but some are on brackets or arms, with the height (6/8/10 metre) and lamp wattage (70/100/150W) depending on location. This one is a 10 metre post-top 150W SON-T as it is on a major A road. SELC photocell. The majority of these have now been replaced by LED lighting controlled by software for switching on and off.


Here in a place called Frampton Cotterell we have a Davis/Eleco GR100 with a SELC photocell and quite a lot of water collecting in the bowl.

Kingswood at one time used to be solely lit in the pleasant white/blue glow of mercury which made a pleasant change from yellow Sox lighting - a few of these old 5th core powered lanterns remain. Here is a Eleco HW852 (or it may be a GEC Z5580) with photocell controller stuck on the telegraph pole upper left.

Out towards the village of Pilning we have a GEC Z5713 acting as a fish bowl - needless to say its missing lid means it does not work!

In the district of Downend you will find the odd example of an ancient concrete lamp-post with equally ancient lantern on it. Even chunks of concrete have fallen off on this one. It is a GEC Z9480. UPDATE: Now replaced by a SON-T Philips Iridium lantern.

In Kingswood again and here is a GECZ9536 (WRTL SRL55). Note that there are TWO SELC photo cells here - the one on the telegraph pole is redundant - there is a cut off arm and lamp control gear box (not in view) . "5th core" wire - an old rare power source for street lighting.

Back in Frampton Cotterell and a Phosco P107 here lights up a quiet residential cul-de-sac.

A Revo Bell Top lantern on a swan neck survives here in Kingswood - there are several SOX lamps surrounding it so it is nice of the council to keep it burning.

Again in Frampton Cotterell and this Thorn Alpha 1 survives still attached to a telegraph pole. I could not see a photocell so it may be time clock or group switched. On this stretch of road there are three different makes of lantern all in the space of 300 yards. There is also a GEC Z9554M and Eleco GR100 close to this Alpha 1. Now all replaced by LED lanterns.

In Winterbourne, a Thorn Alpha 8 Mk II - looks like a SELC photocell.

Here is a Thorn Alpha 9 deep bowl in Frampton Cotterell on a concrete arm - still going strong all these years later.

Fluorescent lighting is new becoming popular - particularly on footpaths or new housing estates. I believe this to be an Urbis Altra 2 with possibly a 36W PL-L lamp. SELC photocell was faulty as the lamp was on when I took the photo.

As new housing developments are built the can be an interesting choice of street lighting. This modern design is an Urbis Tage.

A pair of newer version Thorn Alpha 8s on a nice double armed concrete column in Winterbourne. Now replaced.