Street Lighting

One of the pure joys of childhood was the discovery that street lighting could play wonderful tricks with your shadow – it could move ahead of you and lengthen as you walked ahead of one lamp, only to switch behind you as you came into the ambience of the next lamp. The experience used to be common but I expect non-existent with today’s floodlit streets.

The lights in Wolverton were spaced at some distance apart, usually at street corners with another in the middle of the terrace. I think also that the back alleys were lit at the end. I do remember one lamp suspended over the back alley behind the West End Chapel on Anson Road.
In the 1940s and 50s they were incandescent lights and provided a pool of local light. There was enough illumination to see down the street but indeed there were very dark areas in between.
My memory of the lighting was that it was still possible to see the stars once out of the immediate lighted area. I don’t think that this would be possible in any urban area today.
In the 1960s the Stratford Road lights were replaced with sodium lights which provided much greater illumination and eventually all of the old lights were replaced.
19th century Wolverton was lit by gas light, which had long gone by the 1940s, with one exception, and that light was bracketed to the corner of the Wesleyan Chapel on Church Street.