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Sheffield's Sewer Gas Lamps - Help needed! Does anyone know this?


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_95340848_sewergasdestructorlamp.jpg

Was just watching an old episode of QI and they were talking about old lamps that used to burn off gas built up in sewers.  They said that Sheffield still had some working

I’d never heard of these before and a quick google found that we have 20 (including one right round the corner from me - I’d never noticed it) that have recently been refurbished.

The articles mention that there are 4 still burning gas (the rest are now solar LEDs), but don’t actually say which 4 they are.

 Anyone know where the working 4 lamps are?

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Think there's some around Halfway area. Not sure if they are lamps or just for venting though.

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8 hours ago, Sheffield History said:

_95340848_sewergasdestructorlamp.jpg

Was just watching an old episode of QI and they were talking about old lamps that used to burn off gas built up in sewers.  They said that Sheffield still had some working

I’d never heard of these before and a quick google found that we have 20 (including one right round the corner from me - I’d never noticed it) that have recently been refurbished.

The articles mention that there are 4 still burning gas (the rest are now solar LEDs), but don’t actually say which 4 they are.

 Anyone know where the working 4 lamps are?

Well for once we have something that London doesn’t have all they have is one or two replicas, up yours London.

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I'm familiar with the story and believe that one of the last was situated in Paradise Square. Don't know if it is still there as I no longer live in Sheffield.

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There was one at the top of -or near there - Oakland Road, which runs up from Holme Lane towards Wisewood.

I lived at Halfway for a while, renting a house from my mate; it was on a new development up from Morrisons.  There were some gas vent pipes up the main road there but AFAICR they weren't lamps.  Mine gas vents, I believe.

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39 minutes ago, Sam Xavier said:

There was one at the top of -or near there - Oakland Road, which runs up from Holme Lane towards Wisewood.

I lived at Halfway for a while, renting a house from my mate; it was on a new development up from Morrisons.  There were some gas vent pipes up the main road there but AFAICR they weren't lamps.  Mine gas vents, I believe.

That’s correct they are venting methane from the mines below, I feel sorry for the people who bought homes that are built over the mine shafts, could be trouble in the making.

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Sadly Amey/SCC decided to convert the four remaining sewer gas lamps to LED lights last year, having previously promised to maintain them running on gas. Even though they are listed.

All the lights now have fake looking modern lanterns with LED lights that no longer work, having previously run forever on gas. 

I had some correspondence with them when I found out my local lamp was due to be converted.  They blamed it on a danger to life. When I asked for details my email was ignored - this was at the beginning of the first lockdown and I didn't pursue it further as it seemed a trivial problem compared to what was happening to the world at large. 

This is the lamp on Brincliffe Edge Road that seemed to have run forever. It turned out that they hadn't been running on sewer gas for decades, but were connected to the gas mains. 

image.png.3bfdc85f8d2a0916345e6ed32ad1b51c.png

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This is the reply I received on 29/01/2020 when I asked why the lamps were being converted. I asked what the safety concerns were, but there was no reply.


 

As you may already be aware, there are 24 lamps, previously known as Gas Destructor Lamps, across Sheffield. Four of these lamps were disconnected from burning off the dangerous methane sewer gas and placed on the gas mains. These recently had to be disconnected from the gas mains because of Health and Safety concerns.  

 

Whilst we have been given some possible solutions to ensure the gas lamps remain connected to the mains, the parts needed to ensure this is done safely would mean we needed to install special parts which would not be in keeping with the other gas lamps across the city, nor achieve the safety levels required.  

 

We appreciate the historic significance of these lamps, which is why, over the years, we have taken all possible steps to ensure the converted lamps remain in situ and are properly restored.  However, public safety is a priority and the lamps, which were originally used to burn off dangerous methane and other gases which accumulated in Victorian sewers, are no longer fit for purpose and pose a serious safety risk in their current state.

 

Our main objective for these lamps was to ensure they were restored to a good standard whilst still retaining their original features.  If we were to install new parts, which were different to the other restored lamps in the city, it would mean completely replacing the heads as well as installing a flame failure protection, timer and ensuring a suitable maintenance programme.

 

As a result, we can confirm that we plan to change this lantern to a LED conversion.  We have now been advised that this may take between 4-6 months for the lanterns to be removed from site to be refurbished in keeping with the other 20 around Sheffield.

Kind regards

 

Customer Services (Amey)

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10 minutes ago, Alastair said:

This is the reply I received on 29/01/2020 when I asked why the lamps were being converted. I asked what the safety concerns were, but there was no reply.


 

As you may already be aware, there are 24 lamps, previously known as Gas Destructor Lamps, across Sheffield. Four of these lamps were disconnected from burning off the dangerous methane sewer gas and placed on the gas mains. These recently had to be disconnected from the gas mains because of Health and Safety concerns.  

 

Whilst we have been given some possible solutions to ensure the gas lamps remain connected to the mains, the parts needed to ensure this is done safely would mean we needed to install special parts which would not be in keeping with the other gas lamps across the city, nor achieve the safety levels required.  

 

We appreciate the historic significance of these lamps, which is why, over the years, we have taken all possible steps to ensure the converted lamps remain in situ and are properly restored.  However, public safety is a priority and the lamps, which were originally used to burn off dangerous methane and other gases which accumulated in Victorian sewers, are no longer fit for purpose and pose a serious safety risk in their current state.

 

Our main objective for these lamps was to ensure they were restored to a good standard whilst still retaining their original features.  If we were to install new parts, which were different to the other restored lamps in the city, it would mean completely replacing the heads as well as installing a flame failure protection, timer and ensuring a suitable maintenance programme.

 

As a result, we can confirm that we plan to change this lantern to a LED conversion.  We have now been advised that this may take between 4-6 months for the lanterns to be removed from site to be refurbished in keeping with the other 20 around Sheffield.

Kind regards

 

Customer Services (Amey)

The lights worked perfectly well for over one hundred years then Amey got the contract as maintenance engineers for the city, sadly Amey don’t have an ounce of pride in the history of the city so the lamps were converted to make life easier for them, they also to fail to maintain properly the boundary markers around the city, I had concerns about one on Convent Walk, it was badly deteriorated by I suspect urine, I contacted Amey and all they did was put some paint on it, it looked a mess.

There is one that is or was maintained properly not to far away from Convent Walk, it’s on Wilkinson Street, painted black with gold lettering and not a hint of decay.

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This keeps getting raised every now and then. All the Webb sewer lamps were decommissioned in the late 1960's their gas supply being cut off. They didn't burn the sewer gas, they burnt ordinary town gas, the action of the heat rising vented the sewers, hence they were all over the city.

Sometime in the 1990's four of them were restored to working order in the Nether Edge area, partly funded by the local community and partly by the council. It was a hell of a job to get them re-connected to the gas supply, the gas companies didn't want to know, safety issues etc. but eventually it was sorted and I believe the gas was for free.

The one on Brincliffe Edge Road has a particularly interesting history being painted red white and blue in 1977 to celebrate the Queens silver Jubilee. Nothing official of course, it was painted by renegade Radio Hallam presenter Roger Moffatt who lived nearby.

Amey got the contract to maintain the lighting in Sheffield in 2012, they came in and swept all before them, so the writing was on the wall for the sewer lamps.

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I should add that the paper is from the 1970's so the list of lamps is given as at that time not all survive today.

Nigel L

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On 24/11/2021 at 15:01, Alastair said:

Sadly Amey/SCC decided to convert the four remaining sewer gas lamps to LED lights last year, having previously promised to maintain them running on gas. Even though they are listed.

All the lights now have fake looking modern lanterns with LED lights that no longer work, having previously run forever on gas. 

I had some correspondence with them when I found out my local lamp was due to be converted.  They blamed it on a danger to life. When I asked for details my email was ignored - this was at the beginning of the first lockdown and I didn't pursue it further as it seemed a trivial problem compared to what was happening to the world at large. 

This is the lamp on Brincliffe Edge Road that seemed to have run forever. It turned out that they hadn't been running on sewer gas for decades, but were connected to the gas mains. 

image.png.3bfdc85f8d2a0916345e6ed32ad1b51c.png

 

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Years ago when I was a Telephone Engineer, I was 2ed up with a Mate of mine as it was a really cold snowy day and we had an install somewhere near this lamp, and our hands were frozen, so we propped our ladders up against this lamp and climbed up and warmed our hands over the mantle

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I see in the list of these lamps, it states that the one in Bishopscourt Road in Meersbrook has lost its top.  The current picture on Street view in Streetmap shows that it is, in fact, complete.

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8 hours ago, Dr.M.H.B.Morton said:

I see in the list of these lamps, it states that the one in Bishopscourt Road in Meersbrook has lost its top.  The current picture on Street view in Streetmap shows that it is, in fact, complete.

If street view is google earth, it’s out of date, I was looking at Berry  Avenue in Eckington and the view is entirely different from the actual look now, building have gone and new ones have been built, google earth is at least five or more years old sadly.

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10 hours ago, Dr.M.H.B.Morton said:

I see in the list of these lamps, it states that the one in Bishopscourt Road in Meersbrook has lost its top.  The current picture on Street view in Streetmap shows that it is, in fact, complete.

That is correct, here is the view May 2021

may_2021.jpg

And August 2016

Aug_2016.jpg

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.3522005,

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The lamps have been restored in recent years. Many were missing arms or tops a few years ago. An all too rare example of heritage being preserved and maintained, but welcome none the less.

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