The Twickenham Tribune


Imminent removal of very fine, elegantly proportioned, late-1950s cast-iron lamp-columns from Richmond Green


May I draw your urgent attention to the imminent removal (this week, starting Tuesday morning 23rd March) by Richmond-upon-Thames Council of the nineteen, existing, elegantly proportioned and detailed, cast-iron lamp-columns (made by the distinguished lighting-firm of Revo Electric Company of Tipton) installed in 1959 around Richmond Green – described by Nikolaus Pevsner as ‘one of the most beautiful urban greens surviving anywhere in the country’ - and their replacement with taller, mild-steel, repro-Victorian ‘Oxford’ lamp-columns.  The removal and replacement programme is likely to be extended to other historic areas in the Town, including nearby Little Green.

Notice of the Council’s intention was only given to local residents on the 8th March.  Despite the removal of historic Richmon LampRichmond Lampstreet furniture in the Borough running contrary to the Council’s own, formally adopted Public Space Design Guide and the published guidance of Historic England (Streets for All: Advice for highway and public realm works in historic places), the Council has set aside the soundly-based concerns of local residents and is arguing that for various technical reasons, the existing columns must go, rather than be retained and refurbished as recommended in its own guidance.  Local residents have stressed that they are not opposed in principle of the upgrading of the existing lanterns and LED light-sources located on top of the columns for public safety and other functional reasons, but have questioned the proposed use of less durable, mild-steel, repro-Victorian lamp-columns lacking the authenticity of genuine Victorian lamp-columns and which are out of scale with the grade I, II* and II historic properties around The Green.

It is hoped that even at this ‘eleventh-hour’ Richmond-upon-Thames Council might be persuaded to defer the removal of the ‘Revo’ columns and adopt instead a sound and more cost-effective, conservation-based approach to upgrading of the lighting on The Green.

Ironically, it was the opposition by local residents regarding the removal of the original, gas-lights and cast-iron columns around The Green in the late-1950s and their proposed replacement with pre-cast-concrete columns that led to the founding of The Richmond Society, and to the wise decision by the former Richmond Council to install the elegantly proportioned, cast-iron ‘Revo’ columns around The Green and throughout other historic areas in the Borough, which have survived with upgrading over the years since.

(Photos of existing 1950s ‘Revo’ columns attached, but with repro-Victorian lanterns added in recent years, replacing the original, elegantly proportioned and detailed 1950s ‘Revo’ lanterns).


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