Last-ditch bid to save 240 historic street lights in Harrogate

Street scene in Harrogate
Street scene in Harrogate

Harrogate’s historic street lights look set to be scrapped, despite a late rescue mission from the Civic Society.

On Monday, November 16, North Yorkshire County Council will begin the first phase of their programme to replace 240 of the town’s old gas lamps which have stood since the 1850s.

NADV 1406031AM1 Chairman of the Harrogate Civic Society Henry Pankhurst. (1406031AM1)

NADV 1406031AM1 Chairman of the Harrogate Civic Society Henry Pankhurst. (1406031AM1)

Now, Harrogate Civic Society are making a last-ditch attempt to convert the lights to modern electrical standards, after NYCC branded them ‘inefficient and unreliable’.

Henry Pankhurst, chairman of the Civic Society, explained that the cost of converting the historic gas lamps would prove cheaper than installing the standard steel columns, with LED lanterns.

He said: “Obviously we’re disappointed by the news but hopefully our attempts to convert them and solve the electrical problems will change the County Council’s mind.

“We have been in touch with English Heritage who are very sympathetic but there are only a limited number of lamps they would consider giving listed status.

“There are some at the Crown Hotel which has an old-fashioned road surface and some on Crescent Gardens. If you put steel poles in it destroys the appearance of the historic areas.”

Some heritage-style lighting columns in The Stray area are set to be updated after NYCC deemed they do not meet minimum highway illumination requirements.

However, Harrogate Borough Council has provided heritage-style equipment for 60 of these street lighting columns in The Stray area.