Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Leaning on a Lampost



Once I got a moment I stopped at looked at the lamp in the corner this morning.  It has been in the museum for a while yet I never look at it.  At one time it lit up the station platform aiding the inspector and guards to catch fare dodgers and find dropped coins when the passengers had passed through.  It is amazing to think we used to light all our lamps by gas!  Houses, churches, theatres and pubs were all gas lit.  This gave the benefit of also warming the place up but made the people drowsy somewhat. That must have annoyed many a preacher and aided many a pickpocket I suspect.  
The daily round of what we called in Edinburgh, 'the Leerie,' who went around with a long pole with a wee light on the end opening each lamp, lighting the wick and passing on to the next.  All over the land men wandered about with their pole, kids chasing them asking for a shot at lighting the lamp, a job mostly occupied by aged men, possibly unfit for any other purpose.  How long would it take to light a town during the 19th century, especially when some 'Jack the Ripper' type was urging you to hurry up so he could get on with his er, occupation.  
Some gas is still in operation, Buckingham Palace is lit , outside, by gas lamps, as are the royal parks and Covent Garden area!  Berlin has some 44,000 lamps in operation as have some areas in the USA. With the privatisation of gas I suspect to have gas lit streets today would quadruple a towns costs! Today the street lights around here go off between midnight and five am to save cash. The railway must have been more atmospheric in those days.  Mist, gas light, steam engines, the mixed aromas, nothing like that exists today sadly.




Interesting to note Google offered a hummingbird for 'earth day, yesterday Charlotte Bronte's birthday was commemorated but nothing was on show for the risen Christ.  Google deliberately avoids Christian festivals although all sorts of obscure American personages and scientific ones are on offer.  Militancy at work, certainly not 'equality.'

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6 comments:

the fly in the web said...

When i was a child we had gas lamps in the bedrooms...a beautiful soft light.

Lee said...

The politically-correct Nazis at work...let's not offend anyone is their misguided mantra! It's getting worse by the day. The UK is still a Christian country, isn't it????

They, the pc-mob, try to wave their beliefs around down here, too. And, as far as I am concerned...they have no right; and I'm fed up with their one-sided, hypocritical nonsense.

Lee said...

I mistakenly thought this was two separate posts. I must be forgiven...it's still fairly early in the morn here and I've not yet put on my gas lamp!

Lovely old lamp. It surely would keep many people very fit if, these days, gas lamps were still in operation! One thing is for sure...they'd never finish the job in one night!

Adullamite said...

Fly, How lovely! I suppose much of the west coats still have those.....:)

Lee, PC is common today.

Lee, Light your lamp, even if I get on your wick....

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

'Tis a quite lovely lamp (post and all).

Adullamite said...

Jerry, It lit up my life....