The crying lamp post

EVERY time I walk through Trafalgar Square, I see something different. It may be one of the most familiar places in London but it can still surprise. This week it was this cherub on a lamp-post near South Africa House that had been left with a tear drop by a too-thick coat of paint.

Trying to find out who had designed the cherub, I came across a site by the company who designed the original gas lamps in the square itself and who then refurbished them for electricity. The site is a wonderful diversion into such oddities as the ‘ventilating lamp’ and early gas fires.

William Sugg & Co had a showroom in Charing Cross Road, so it is perhaps no surprise the company supplied lamps for Trafalgar Square and roads around it:

At the end of the 20th century during the refurbishment of Trafalgar Square, three original William Sugg lamps still in their original positions were refurbished by Sugg Lighting and re-mounted on new cast lamp posts erected back in the Square, whilst a set of slightly smaller scaled versions were designed and manufactured and fitted around the Square on the walls from which the originals had been removed. 

Installing a lamp-post in Trafalgar Square is in itself a problem as much of the Square is over the Underground station.  The ‘new’ Sugg posts are bolted to 1 metre diameter steel plates just below the original stone slabs.

PS Ever noticed the sharks in the fountains in Trafalgar Square?


4 thoughts on “The crying lamp post

  1. Thank you Kieran for spotting these fabulous lampposts. There are actually two, each with three cherubs shyly holding hands around the column!
    There are many other examples of Sugg gas lamps in London, some still ‘in gas’ as we call it and some converted to electricity. The most famous still in gas are the ones on the front wall of Buckingham Palace and those around The Houses of Parliament. Others can be seen all over Hyde Park – the only light source in this famous area.
    Do visit my website where you can see pictures of lamps from as far afield as Australia.
    Chris Sugg.

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