Let there be light

Street lamps will light up again by Christ­mas

Whanganui Midweek - - FRONT PAGE - By LIN FER­GU­SON

The old, or­nate vic­to­ri­anstyle gas street lamps along Vic­to­ria Av­enue should be up and glow­ing again by Christ­mas.

Whanganui Main­street act­ing chair­man Mark Sim­monds said a pro­posal to change the gas and in­stall LED light­ing in­stead was un­der way.

“Gas is just too ex­pen­sive to run in those old lamps, and the main­te­nance of the gas man­tles is huge,” he said.

“So what we’re plan­ning in­stead is to have elec­tric ca­bles run­ning through the ex­ist­ing un­der­ground gas pipes.

“It’s just not cost ef­fec­tive to main­tain those old gas­driven lamps any longer.”

The cost of re­plac­ing the gas man­tles which are made in Ger­many was ab­so­lutely pro­hib­i­tive, he said.

The is­sue of the old lamps had been on­go­ing for some time.

“But it’s time to move ahead — I want those lamps lit up along Vic­to­ria Av­enue cre­at­ing a beau­ti­ful am­bi­ence be­fore Christ­mas.”

The Vic­to­rian-style gas lamps were first in­stalled in the 1990s dur­ing the up­grade of Vic­to­ria Av­enue.

Mr Sim­monds said Whanganui was a very at­trac­tive and his­toric city to be proud of.

“Vic­to­ria Av­enue will look spec­tac­u­lar with all these old her­itage lamps lit up. The sooner we get this job un­der way the bet­ter — it can’t come soon enough.

Many early New Zealand towns and cities had gas street light­ing ini­tially.

Lamps were in­stalled at strate­gic places, in­clud­ing bridge en­trances and prom­i­nent in­ter­sec­tions.

This was il­lus­trated in an early 20th-cen­tury view of Vic­to­ria Av­enue with a lamp on the City Bridge and one mounted on Watt’s Foun­tain.

PHOTO / LIN FER­GU­SON

Whanganui Main­street act­ing chair­man Mark Sim­monds wants to light up the city.

Whanganui’s Vic­to­ria Av­enue should be glow­ing again.

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