Campaigners save London's historic gas lamps - Voice Kıbrıs Haber
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Campaigners save London’s historic gas lamps

Intrigued tourists watch as Paul Doy climbs a ladder outside London’s Westminster Abbey and lifts the globe of a gas street lamp.
Winding its timer, he then ignites a small cloth mesh, creating a distinctive soft warm light that illuminates the darkness.
“I like the historical aspect of it,” said Doy, even if it means getting up at 5:00 am to tend to the lamps in the fashionable district of Covent Garden.
It’s mainly winding the 100-year-old mechanical clocks” in the lamps “and setting the times for those, especially now as well, because we’re losing light much earlier,” he told AFP.
The 200-year-old nightly ritual nearly became history, however, over local authority plans to replace 174 gas-powered lamps protected by a heritage order with eco-friendly LED bulbs.
The plan by the City of Westminster council caused uproar among some residents and heritage lovers, and even sparked a question in parliament.
But on Tuesday, the council said it had decided to scrap the move. Instead, it will convert 94 other gas lamps which are not protected.

‘London’s DNA’ –
London has more than 1,000 gas street lamps, which were installed at the beginning of the 19th century.
At the time, they were considered a major innovation in a city with dark, dirty and often dangerous streets.
In central London, they still light up parts of The Mall avenue leading to Buckingham Palace, the back streets of Covent Garden, and around Westminster Abbey.
The atmospheric light they give out is evocative of Charles Dickens novels, Mary Poppins and Sherlock Holmes.
Joe Fuller, head of the maintenance team for old street lamps at British Gas, accepted that some of the replacements “look very nice”.
“But they’re still different from the originals,” he said.
“I think it’s really key that we maintain that heritage and keep as many as we possibly can.”
– Consultation –
Previous attempts to replace the gas lamps caused a similar outcry and forced the council to abandon its plans.
But a change of leadership revived the project, as part of an overall aim to reduce carbon emissions — and improve public safety.
The council had been trying to convince naysayers in a public consultation exercise, which ended on Sunday.
( Source AFP)

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