Thorn/Atlas Lighting Ltd

Thorn Alpha-One lantern (early version)


Early Atlas/Thorn Alpha-One lanterns didn't have a 'toggle' fastener beneath the main housing to hold the lantern's 'Opticell' in position, instead a threaded screw made from 'Tufnell', screwed in below the housingand held the lampholder and Opticell in place. You can see the small screw beneath the housing on this example photographed in Clowne, Derbyshire in September 2007.  

Thorn Alpha-One lantern

This Thorn Alpha-One 90w SOX lantern is one of several to be found mounted on these 'cranked' AC Ford wood pole brackets in the village of Codsall, in South Staffordshire.


Thorn Alpha-One lanterns on a twin armed bracket, Toton, Nottinghamshire in mid 2004. The lantern on the left is a 90w SOX lantern, whilst the lantern on the right is the 55w SOX version.


The same lanterns lit at night in November 2004, but now with replacement Philips SRS201-90s patiently waiting above for the inevitable disconnection and removal of the old Alpha-Ones.


Photographed in Beeston, Nottingham is this Alpha-One for 55w SOX lamps. This lantern and its 8-metre Stanton column were replaced in March 2007.


Atlas Alpha-3 (original type)

An original Atlas Alpha-3 for 250w/400w mercury lamps, with removable bowl-assembly. By undoing the toggle-clips either side of the aluminium shoe, the bowl-assembly is released, allowing access to the lamp inside. The thinking behind designing the bowl and canopy as a single unit was to improve the lantern's ability to prevent water and particle ingress. This idea was similar to that of the then contemporary Alpha-1; however, the Alpha-3 was later redesigned to use a more conventional hinged bowl method of access (as seen below), where the bowl and canopy are separate. In another design reversal, the original idea of using the toggle-clip method of securing the bowl-assembly to the shoe was eventually employed in the later design of Alpha-1lantern, which had originally used a single-bolt fixing to hold the bowl-assembly and housing together. Photo: Nottingham October 2006.


This Atlas Alpha-3, is one of several to be found at Keele Services on the M6 motorway in Staffordshire. However, all burn SON lamps these days, in place of their original mercury lamps. Photo: April 2007

Atlas Alpha-3s on a twin-armed bracket at Keele Motorway Services in April 2007.


Thorn/Atlas Alpha-3 lantern

Atlas/Thorn Alpha-3 MKII lantern with clear plastic hinged bowl (note the off-set white spot) that is fixed into position with 4-toggle clips; later Thorn models only employed two clips. This example was photographed in Derby in April 2007.



A remote-geared Thorn Alpha-3 lantern for 250/400watt MBF lamps is seen day-burning in Nottingham in 2005.


Here's another remote-geared Alpha-3, but this time seen from tree-top height in Beeston, Nottinghamshire in June 2006.


1. Fixed to a wall-mounted bracket, this Thorn Alpha-3 lantern is a gear-in-shoe version for 250/400w HPS lamps. Photo Beeston, Nottinghamshire.


Another wall-mounted 'geared' Alpha-3, but this one is seen languishing on a disused garage forecourt in Nottingham in September 2006.



These remote-geared Alpha-3's mounted on Stanton and Staveley concrete columns are located just off Carlton Road, Stonebridge, Nottingham. Incredibly, they still burn 250w mercury lamps and are amongst some of the last Group-A streetlights in the City to do so. These lanterns were replaced with 90w LPS Thorn Alpha-4s in April 2007.


Thorn Alpha-4 group of lanterns

1. Thorn Alpha-4 90w SOX lantern with integral control-gear pictured at Carlton Hill, Nottingham, July 2005.


2. Thorn Alpha-4 135w geared lantern with gear-in-shoe seen at Bilborough, Nottingham in June 2006. The 135w geared lantern is the easiest of the Alpha 4s to identify because of its large round-bellied control-gear cover mounted at the back of the bowl; however, the bowl assembly is common to all versions of the Alpha-4.


3. Thorn Alpha-4 135w  remote geared lantern with flat cut-off bowl pictured in Wolverhampton in June 2006. This lantern was removed in August 2006 and replaced with a Holophane Syracuse 150w SON lantern, sadly this unusual Alpha-4 was lost to the skip.


Thorn Alpha-5 lantern

1. Deep bowled Alpha-5 lantern for 135w SOX lamps, Wolverhampton.


2. Shallow bowled Alpha-5 lantern for 135w SOX lamps, Wolverhampton.


Deep-bowled Alpha-5 seen day-burning in Telford, Shropshire one late afternoon in October 2006.

 Left: This is the SLI/H lamped version of the Alpha-5; the G12 lampholder cab be seen attached to the far end of the 140w SLI/H lamp. Right: Long disused, several of these old lanterns still existed within the perimeter fence of a former rubbish tip at Derby in April 2007.

 Thorn Alpha-7 lantern

This is the shorter remote-geared Thorn Alpha-7 lantern for 250/400w mercury lamps, with a BLI glass bowl. This example was seen day-burning in Lichfield, Staffordshire in April 2006. My thanks to Colin Grimes and Alex Monk for identifying this lantern.


Atlas Alpha-8 (twin-lamp) lantern MKI

This long disused Atlas Alpha-8 twin lamped lantern, complete with crumbling concrete column is situated in Alfreton Road, Derby. The lantern is fitted with both a 250w MB lamp and a 400w MB lamp. The idea being that around midnight the time-switch within the base of the column would switch over from the 400w lamp and onto the 250w lamp for economy running during the early hours of the morning. There was once lots of these lanterns in Derby, but it is believed that this is now the last one.


A close up of the same lantern; access to the twin lamps is through a weather-proof hatch, which can just be seen on top of the lantern's canopy.


Thorn Alpha-8 lantern MKII and MKIII

Old style Alpha-8 MKII 250w HPS lantern, Beeston, Nottinghamshire.


Another old style Alpha-8 MKII, this example being in Dolgellau, North Wales. This is one of the earlier Alpha-8's supplied in an all over natural aluminium finish.


Later style Alpha-8 MKIII 250w HPS lantern in Nottingham. This lantern is now manufactured by WRTL, as their MRL8.


A real oddity, one of several 250w 'mercury' lamped Thorn Alpha-8's to be found at City Hospital in Birmingham. Photo: June 2007.


Sheffield has quite a few Alpha Mk3's in factory 'black' finish dotted about the City, this example is on the B6200 in the Handsworth District.


Atlas/Thorn Alpha-9 lantern (old shape)

This older style deep-bowled Atlas/Thorn Alpha-9 'geared' lantern is in immaculate condition for its age and is pictured in Welshpool in October 2006. These original Alpha-9s are slightly longer than the later variant. Also note that the canopy's spigot mounting extends out from the back of the lantern, which is not a feature of the later type Alpha-9.


Another early type Alpha-9 at the same location.


 Thorn Alpha-9 lantern (later types)

Thorn Alpha-9 'geared' 90w SOX lantern with deep-bowl, Wolverhampton.


Thorn Alpha-9 90w SOX remote-geared lantern with shallow-bowl, Kimberley, Nottinghamshire.


Thorn Alpha-Ten lantern

Underside view of an Alpha-Ten cut-off lantern for 90w SOX lamps in Derbyshire in July 2005.


Thorn Beta-2 lantern

Older style Thorn Beta-2 lantern for 55w SOX lamps, Nottingham City.


Newer style Thorn Beta-2 lantern for 55w SOX lamps. Beeston, Nottinghamshire.


Thorn Beta-4 lantern

Pole mounted mercury lighting in Seisdon, Staffordshire, December 2006

This open refractor Beta-4 lantern has been at this location in Ebstree Road, Seisdon, Staffordshire for many decades. Mounted on its A C Ford wood pole bracket this quaint little lantern was still burning brightly in December 2006.


Thorn Beta-4 lantern for MBF 80w lamps, Penn, Wolverhampton.


Thorn Beta-4 lantern on GEC sleeve over bracket, Penn, Wolverhampton.


Sitting on top of this REVO cast iron column, is a Thorn Beta-4 lantern mounted on an AC Ford bracket/control box combination. The picture was taken on the Staffordshire/West Midlands County border in October 2005.


Thorn Beta-5 lantern (Amber-Minor)

Close up of an older style Thorn Beta-5 (Amber-Minor) 35w SOX lantern. This one is an earlier version with the metal bowl release clip at the front of the lantern; it was photographed in Toton, Nottinghamshire in 2006.


Top-entry 35w SOX Thorn Beta-5 MK15 on a nice little Revo 'Braunton' style wood pole bracket on the A57 just outside of Worksop, Notts in late November 2006.


Another top-entry Thorn Beta-5 35w SOX lantern, but mounted in to a REVO 'Cannock' bracket, and set on a REVO Moseley-type cast iron column in Cannock, Staffordshire, summer 2004. The Beta-5 would have been a replacement for a REVO Lodestar open conical lantern.


Thorn Beta-7 lantern

Thorn Beta-7 MBF lantern for 80/125w lamps. This BLI glass bowled example was on the West Midlands/Staffordshire border and was photographed in September 2005.


Thorn Beta-8 lantern (Amber-Junior)

1, Thorn Beta-8's for 55w SOX lamps seen mounted on a twin arm-bracket in Wolverhampton in September 2006.


2. Maybe it's the odd angle of the bracket, but this is a very stern looking Thorn Beta-8. Picture taken at Kings Mill Hospital, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire in June 2006.


3. The 'reeded' refractors moulded into this retro-fitted vacuum-formed bowl makes this Thorn Beta-8 look quite different. Picture taken in Ecclesfield, South Yorkshire in June 2006.


4. Here's another example, but this one has gone completely opaque. Ecclesfield, South Yorkshire, June 2006.


Thorn Beta-9 lantern

A rare find in Nottinghamshire; a Thorn Beta-9 'gear-in-shoe' lantern for 125w MBF lamps.


Beta-79 lantern

A weathered Thorn Beta-79 'geared' lantern for 70w SON lamps is seen at Llanellty, North Wales on a cloudy day in September 2005.


Thorn Alpha-2000 lantern

Although generally uncommon in the UK, there are 100s of Alpha 2000 lanterns along the A50 from Derbyshire through to the M1 Motorway/A50 Junction in Leicestershire.

Thorn Alpha-2000 'geared' cut-off lantern for 250w HPS lamps. A50 in Leicestershire.


Thorn Riviera lantern

Thorn Riviera-2 lantern for 250w SON lamps in Willenhall, West Midlands, May 2006.


Thorn Gamma-3 lantern

Thorn Gamma-3 lantern for 2 x 250w SON lamps, Wednesbury, West Midlands, May 2006.


Thorn Gamma-4 Post top lantern

A cobweb covered Thorn Gamma-4 Post top lantern seen day-burning in Long Eaton, on the Notts/Derby border in July 2005. This is a mercury lamped lantern with either two or three 250 or 400w MBF lamps fitted; it's difficult to tell which without looking inside.

Thorn Gamma-5


Thorn Gamma-5 in Lichfield, Staffordshire in June 2006.

Pictured on a late September evening in 2006 is this Thorn Gamma-5 burning an 80w MBF mercury lamp. Photo taken in the Merridale District of Wolverhampton.

Thorn Gamma-6 and Thorn Basique lanterns

 Faded by years of exposure to the elements, this 'geared' Thorn Gamma-6 for 55w SOX lamps is pictured languishing away on the now disused airfield at RAF Newton in Nottinghamshire. This is an example of one of the early generation Gamma-6 lanterns and is easily identified by its deep sided base.


A rather battered looking 'geared' Thorn Gamma-6 post-top lantern for 35w SOX lamps in Borrowash, Derbyshire.


Another 'geared' Thorn Gamma-6 for 35w SOX lamps, but this is the large canopied version. The badly mounted lantern is crudely fixed to a column-type made for Thorn Gamma-8 post top lanterns. The lantern was photographed in an industrial driveway in Barnsley, South Yorkshire in June 2006.


Just of the A52 in Bingham, Nottinghamshire, are several examples of the gearless version of the Thorn Gamma-6 lantern; these particular lanterns burn 35w SOX lamps.


Thorn Basique post-top lantern for 35w SOX lamps on a rainy day in Bulwell, Nottingham.

Thorn/Atlas Gamma-7

The diminutive Thorn/Atlas Gamma-7 can easily be missed even by the eagle eyed due to its small size. Designed for use with MBF or SON lamps, this taped up example is seen on a car park in Kidderminster on a cloudy Sunday afternoon in early March 2007.


Thorn Gamma-8 Post top lantern

Thorn Gamma-8 MBF post top lantern at Norton Canes, Staffordshire in 2005.


Thorn (Europhane) Pilote-1 lantern

Thorn pilote-1 'geared' lantern for small wattage SON lamps, Leicestershire.


Thorn (Europhane) Pilote-2 lantern

The much larger Thorn Pilote-2 lantern is designed for use with 250w or 400w SON lamps. This example is one of several located on the A38 South of Derby. Photo: September 2006.


Thorn Civic lantern

The Thorn Civic is an odd looking lantern, but easily recognisable because it's in the shape of a shoe! This example for 70w SON lamps is seen in a side street in the town of Sutton in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire in July 2005.

Thorn Riga Lantern


This all-plastic canopied Thorn 'Riga' lantern for 70w SON lamps is pictured in the town of Sutton in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, in July 2005.

Thorn Triumph lantern


This Thorn Triumph-1 70w SON lantern is part of a recently installed installation in Toton, Nottingham. The Triumph-1 is the smaller of the two lantern sizes offered in the Triumph range, and is designed for lighting schemes on minor roads.

An underside view of a Triumph-1 showing the lamp and reflector arrangement, and also the location of the side-mounted canopy spring release clip. The Triumph is one of those lanterns that people either love or hate, and because of its peculiar shape it has earned the name 'Fuggly' amongst enthusiasts; I won't explain here what the name actually means!


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Copyright(c) 2005-2007 Claire Pendrous. All rights reserved.

Please note that all pictures are by Claire Pendrous, or are part of the Claire Pendrous photographic collection unless otherwise stated; none of these images can be copied without obtaining prior permission.