Beckington Road, a simple street at South Bristol, was filled with surprised citizens this week as new lamp posts were seen. This road has been home to historical Victorian wrought iron lamp posts for over 90 years. It has glowed over the peaceful cul-de-sac and warmed the streets ever since. Although some have degraded, there were still many that remained on the pebbled streets adding a Victorian accent on the semi-detached residential structures at Beckington.
Although lamp posts may seem small, its significance to the citizens cannot be denied. This is why the Bristol City Council were bombarded with complaints this week when the citizens discovered the new LED lighting black lamp posts that seem to modernize the area. The replacement operation was conducted without informing the citizens beforehand causing them to be more alarmed.
They were even more angered when one of the contractors tasked for the replacement expressed that the old Victorian ones will be transferred to somewhere more “historical”, referring to North Bristol. This is allegedly to enhance the surroundings and the environment in Bristol.
The residents at Beckington road feels discriminated every time original historical accents such as flagstone pavings and iron lampposts were removed from their area to a more popular area for conservation like Clifton. They felt they were treated as second class citizens, according to one resident.
Back in 2008, this same move was done in St. Andrews area where cast iron lamp posts previously stood and were transferred to conservation areas. An archaeologist named David Cemlyn then attached his leg with a chain to the remaining lamp posts and proclaimed he would later go on hunger strike.
The Bristol City Council expressed that the reason for the replacement was for safety and health concerns. But due to pressure, they acknowledged later on how this programme was unfair– that those original features were removed only on certain areas but not in others.
Immediately after, the council suspended their replacement stunt saying, “For decades many areas of Bristol have lost their older lampposts while some areas have retained them. We intend to have a policy that ensures all areas are treated equally.”