Lamp Posts

lamp01Clement Street, Lower Broughton, had two lamp posts, both of them on our side of the street. One stood slightly to the right of our front door. As a very young child I can remember, each early evening, a man with a long bamboo pole with a hook fastened to it’s end, would probe the inside of the actual lamp and trip the bar that tuned on the gas. I have no recollection of just when this was converted to automatic switching.

The Lamp Post was a fulcrum of social activity. During the day children, climbed up it, swung on the ladder leaning cross bar. When dusk fell, children who had not been called in to go to bed hovered within it's circle of light. Later, teenagers, though this epithet was a later addition to the customary vocabulary, would congregate, the more adventurous, pairing and slipping away into the gloom that existed beyond the glow of yellowish light. It is difficult, now, to recall the very low levels of light a very short distance these hissing beacons.

The fact that high-priced originals, and reproductions, of these once essential item of street furniture, now enhance many a suburban garden, is an indication of the nostalgia they continue to invoke.