Page last updated at 12:19 GMT, Friday, 7 January 2011
Malvern's gas lamps could be saved by new technology
Gas Lamp in Malvern
There are 109 gas lamps in and around Malvern

Campaigners have unveiled their solution to saving Malvern's gas lamps.

Their future has been uncertain since Malvern Hills District Council withdrew its £20,000 grant towards running them.

The Transition Malvern Lighting Group have modernised two of the town's 109 listed working lamps, making them brighter and reducing the amount of gas they use by up to 92%.

The new technology would reduce the running costs to the same as ordinary street lights.

The modifications - which will save around £100 per lantern per year - include using more efficient burners, electronic ignition and timing.

The new scheme would reduce the cost of each lantern from £120 to £22 per year and make them similar to the cost of running standard sodium 'dusk to dawn' street lights

It's the first project of its kind in the world.

'GLOOM' Project

The Gasketeers, a growing team of eight local experts in Electro-Optics, light pollution, IT, and history have have been working on the GLOOM Project - 'Gas Lights Of Our Malvern' - since May.

There are nearly 200 gas lamps situated throughout the Malvern area
According to the Town Council, 109 of them are listed and operating including:
48 in the parish of Malvern Wells
20 in the Malvern Town Council area
25 in the parish of West Malvern
16 in the Malvern Hills District Council area

They've gathered data using laser ranging, light meters, night photography, video, geo-location and GPS mapping to come up with a range of measures to make them more cost-effective.

The team presented their ideas for the ELGAR Upgrade - or 'Eco Light by Gas And Reflection' Upgrade - at a public meeting in November.

Since then Malvern Town Council has given £350 for the Gasketeers to trial their idea and adapt two lamps: one at the top of the 99 steps off St Ann's Road and the other at the entrance to Rose Bank Gardens.

"The response we're getting is that we've actually improved the look of the lantern by making the whole lantern itself a very nice source of light," said Brian Harper from Transition Malvern, who's leading the team.

"There's been a lot of interest from people passing by and neighbours who live adjacent to the trial lanterns while we've been working on it - they just appreciate this huge increase in light levels," he added.

It is hoped the trial lights will be on display until April.


Gas Lamp in Malvern
Brian Harper, Lynn Jones, Richard Manning and Nathan Burlton

Malvern Hills District Council has accepted the Gasketeers' technical and aesthetic plans for the lights.

It is now negotiating with the Malvern Town Council about the finances involved in the refurbishment project of the lamps.

"The Town Council is absolutely committed that the lights will continue to stay on - the trial lamps are looking extremely good and working extremely well," said Paul Tuthill, chairman of the Town Council.

English Heritage will also need to approve the plans because the lamps are listed.

If approved, it is hoped the refurbishment project would take place in the summer.

One of the gas lamps is said have been the inspiration for C.S. Lewis' Narnia books.

'Gaseteers' in bid to save lamps
23 Nov 10 |  Hereford & Worcester
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