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zigzag
cornwall
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1 of 14  Tue 13th Sep 2016 10:04am  
Member: Joined Dec 2013  Total posts:85

I was born and spent about the first 5 years of my life in Leicester Causeway, I seem to remember a man coming around in the evening to light the gas streetlights then in the morning turning them off again. If anyone lived in this road do you remember the gas streetlights or have I got it wrong?
Leicester Causeway
NormK
bulkington
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2 of 14  Tue 13th Sep 2016 10:40am  
Member: Joined Jan 2012  Total posts:846

You have it right zigzag, I can remember the chap going round lighting them up. I was born in Leicester Causeway in 1941 at number 157 and have fond memories of the place. We used to shimmey up the gas lights to light a ciggy and sometimes the fragile element got damaged which the guy would replace next time he came. ps. Mantle is the word that I had forgot. Edited by member, 13th Sep 2016 10:48 am
Milly rules

Leicester Causeway
Slim
Coventry a bit
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3 of 14  Tue 13th Sep 2016 12:06pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:360

We had old fashioned gas streetlights in Lake View Road. I don't remember a chap lighting them - I seem to remember a pilot flame, so I guess there was some sort of automatic ignition? In the late 60s they were replaced by electric lamps. Those mantles were so fragile, breathing on them was enough to wreck them. Made of asbestos, they were. Oh my
Leicester Causeway
johnwright
combe martim
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4 of 14  Thu 15th Sep 2016 9:30am  
Member: Joined Jun 2014  Total posts:117

Hi Slim Yes the gas lamps had a "mantle" which threw out white light when lit. I didn't know they were made of asbestos though. We had gas lamps in Parkstone Road when I was a kid, in fact the house we were living in was also lit by gaslight. I can remember going to the ironmongers on the corner of Elmsdale Avenue to buy new mantles. I think that the streetlight gas lamps had a pilot light as I can't remember seeing anyone coming around to light them each evening. The lampposts had two arms at the top of the post which we used to climb up and swing on. It would be interesting if any member had photo's of old gas lamps they could put up.
Leicester Causeway
zigzag
cornwall
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Thread starter
5 of 14  Thu 15th Sep 2016 5:41pm  
Member: Joined Dec 2013  Total posts:85

I would think the two arms were to lean a ladder on for lighting or maintenance of the lamp.
Leicester Causeway
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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6 of 14  Mon 19th Sep 2016 8:55am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1542

ZigZag, the two arms were for cleaning, you placed the ladder against one, and your bucket of soapy water on the other and cleaned the glass, without having to descend. We had a gaslight in the house, but if the meter ran out and you put a penny in too soon the mantle would pop, my father lit it by raising the glass, but there was a small silver chain to put it out. The gas meter only took pennies, the handle was like a three inch brass propeller, you wound it anti-clockwise and it revealed the slot, put in your penny and turn it clockwise. When we were very small the meter man would sit at our table and count out the money, but as we got older and more cheeky, we would sit with our faces in a comic, and when he got to about 16 we would murmur 13, 14 etc, got him all confused, he stopped counting in the house.
Leicester Causeway
NormK
bulkington
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7 of 14  Mon 19th Sep 2016 9:04am  
Member: Joined Jan 2012  Total posts:846

Kaga. My mum used to cut round discs out of empty tins to put in the meter, and they worked. I suppose she had to settle up with the meter guy when he came to empty it. I don't remember the penny though I think the meter was shillings at that time. Edited by member, 19th Sep 2016 9:24 am
Milly rules

Leicester Causeway
TonyS
Coventry
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8 of 14  Mon 19th Sep 2016 9:55am  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2011  Total posts:1555

On 19th Sep 2016 8:55am, Kaga simpson said: ... When we were very small the meter man would sit at our table and count out the money, but as we got older and more cheeky, we would sit with our faces in a comic, and when he got to about 16 we would murmur 13, 14 etc, got him all confused, he stopped counting in the house.
Big grin Big grin Big grin
Leicester Causeway
zigzag
cornwall
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Thread starter
9 of 14  Mon 19th Sep 2016 10:29am  
Member: Joined Dec 2013  Total posts:85

On 19th Sep 2016 8:55am, Kaga simpson said: ZigZag, the two arms were for cleaning, you placed the ladder against one, and your bucket of soapy water on the other and cleaned the glass, without having to descend.
Yes that seems to make sense. Thank you Kaga. Edited by member, 19th Sep 2016 10:30 am
Leicester Causeway
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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10 of 14  Mon 19th Sep 2016 12:24pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:988

I am afraid I was on the other end of that. My job at the EMEB in Sandy Lane in the late 60's and earlly 70's was working in the pre-payment department. You would be surprised what people put in the meters, cut up lino, filed down pennies (this always surprised me as it meant they were paying more). Some people used to try and get them back to use again ! A few odd bits in the meter did not make much difference and usually if the meter was set high enough it meant less refund. If the money was short the balance would be carried forward and maybe the setting changed on the meter. If the balance got too big further measures would be taken !!
Leicester Causeway
Slim
Coventry a bit
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11 of 14  Mon 19th Sep 2016 12:42pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:360

On 15th Sep 2016 5:41pm, zigzag said: I would think the two arms were to lean a ladder on for lighting or maintenance of the lamp.
They were, but as JohnWright points out, we used to shin up the lamp posts (the electric lamp versions when we moved to Canley), hang on by one arm, reach up to the cast iron control/timer box door, undo the wing nuts, open the door, then turn off the isolator switch, so that the street lamp was permanently off. Just for devilment. One foggy night in November, three of use went down the whole road, like a well planned military operation, and in very little time every single lamp was out. It was spooky, eerie even, to walk down that road, as one poor old chap did every night - he could only walk very slowly, and was making his way back form the outdoor, having got his bottles of stout in his bag. (The occasion he nearly choked on sulphur dioxide gas down the dip is another story for a future recollection!) After several days, or a week, presumably having had reports of defective street lamps, the City Engineers would call round and turn the switches back on. This happened on more than one occasion! Little did we realise at the time, that our parents would bear the financial burden in increased rates. Edited by member, 19th Sep 2016 12:53 pm
Leicester Causeway
Slim
Coventry a bit
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12 of 14  Mon 19th Sep 2016 12:52pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:360

On 19th Sep 2016 12:24pm, Annewiggy said: I am afraid I was on the other end of that. My job at the EMEB in Sandy Lane in the late 60's and earlly 70's was working in the pre-payment department. You would be surprised what people put in the meters, cut up lino, filed down pennies (this always surprised me as it meant they were paying more). Some people used to try and get them back to use again ! A few odd bits in the meter did not make much difference and usually if the meter was set high enough it meant less refund. If the money was short the balance would be carried forward and maybe the setting changed on the meter. If the balance got too big further measures would be taken !!
A fellow who has now retired from the Uni originally did his time at the EMEB, and worked there for several years. He told us there was a museum of very dodgy/dangerous things people had done with electricity, and the extraordinary, and sometimes ingenious, lengths people had gone to to fiddle their electricity meters. One was the bloke who had shunted the current coil of the meter with copper wire, from the rear of the wooden plywood board, so that it was absolutely invisible from the front. He got away with it for a long time, but was eventually caught when, one day whilst he was out at work, the Board turned up to replace the meter, and his wife naturally let them in. They tried to remove the meter from the front, then thought "what's this thick copper wire doing coming from a hole drilled through the back...?"
Leicester Causeway
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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13 of 14  Mon 19th Sep 2016 1:30pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:988

Yes Slim. I had to take my comptometer down to the meter readers room every afternoon to check the cards against the money paid in (that is where I met my husband as he was taking the money from the men. I heard all sorts of tales as cables going it to next door or meters being by passed. We were also told about some of the houses and the state they were in especially where dogs were converned !One or two of them they refused to go in.
Leicester Causeway
Primrose
USA
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14 of 14  Mon 19th Sep 2016 2:24pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2011  Total posts:188

I only ever saw Leicester Causeway from the Stoney Stanton Road end when I was being taken on the Bell Green bus to see grandparents in the early 60s. I used to love going over Priestley's Bridge which was such a defined hump in the road but I was intimidated by the view down Leicester Causeway. With the canal, railway line, and what I know now was the brick works, it looked stark and alien. It only had houses on one side. Also, it was a "causeway" when all the thoroughfares I knew were streets, roads, lanes and avenues. Looking at the map now I see that the other end of it would have looked a lot more familiar!
Leicester Causeway

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