Concrete Utilities lamp posts
Concrete Utilities was one of the major concrete lamp post manufacturers. They produced more different types of concrete lamp post than anyone else. Also they are the only company from the concrete era which still make lamp posts today (although not concrete ones).
Concrete Utilities started in 1923.
Concrete Utilities early designs of lamp post.
Very early Concrete Utilities lamp post at Ramsgate band stand with original lamp.
Very early Concrete Utilities lamp posts at the Concrete Utilities lamp post museum.
1940s - mid 1950s
Concrete Utilities built their awesome classics. They made epic massive deco lamp posts for major roads, and awesome swan necks and decos for side streets. Both of these designs are now rare to find (although they are not as rare as other concrete brands). These rare classics can somtimes be found by old industrial buildings.
Concrete Utilities had more different designs of concrete lamp post than any other company (look at how long this page is!). All of their lamp posts were triangular (before the 60s).
50s Concrete Utilities swan neck at motney hill. It was this very lamp post that got me interested in the subject.
50s Concrete Utilities deco lamp post at Beckenham.
50s Concrete Utilities major road deco lamp post at New Cross bus depot.
50s Concrete Utilities major road deco lamp post New Hythe (This one has a triangular base, rather than the normal large chunkey base for these tall lamp posts).
And another one in St Erth (Cornwall)
Modernized 50s Concrete Utilities major road deco lamp post in Sittingbourn.
Modernized 50s Concrete Utilities lamp post in Sittingbourn.
Modernized 50s Concrete Utilities lamp post in Cheshunt.
50s Concrete Utilities major road (with original lamps) at Snodland.
Some 50s Concrete Utilities lamp posts at the Concrete Utilities lamp post museum.
50s Concrete Utilities deco lamp post at Newington. Lamp replaced in the 80s. another thing very rare about this lamp post is that it has both a CU nameplate (well whats left of it) and CU logos moulded into the concrete, this dates it the the point in the 50s when they changed from nameplate to engraved logo.
Very rare 50s Concrete Utilities C neck. As well as making swan necks Concrete Utilities also made "C" shaped brackets. These are now extremely rare to find. Here is one at Chigwell (North London). This one also has both the CU nameplate and engraved logo.
Late 1950s - early 1960s
Concrete Utilities stopped putting a nameplate at the base of their lamp posts and now had their logo moulded into the concrete. Concrete Utilities changed the shape of the bases on thier major road lamp posts. Also they stoped using their very stoney mixes of concrete.
Late 50s Concrete Utilities major road deco lamp post in Gravesend (with later style base). An awesome find. The lamp has been replaced in the 70s/80s with a Philips Eleco.
60s Concrete Utilities major road (with original lamp) in Cheshunt.
Nice original ones at Chatham Dockyard
CU lamp post on side of building at Chatham Dockyard.
Modded in the 90s. This one is located next to Medway Hospital.
Mid - late 1960s
Concrete Utilities continued to build awesome lamp posts, but no longer produced deco brackets, swan necks or C necks. Also Concrete Utilities lamp posts had updated bases.
60s Concrete Utilities (with original lamps) at large grotty building near Shoreham by Sea. This building is empty, but there is still security on site (which is a shame as I would love to explore this place).
This one has a weird mod, and a broken lamp.
60s Concrete Utilities modernized in the 80s (with Philips MA series lamp) in Chigwell (North London).
60s? Concrete Utilities lamp post at a lock near Maidstone. This ones a bit different. The base is triangular (which would sugest 50s), but it changes gradualy to hexagon at the top. (and the lamp looks 70s).
Concrete Utilities had a major update to the design of their lamp posts. Their lamp posts were now very functional in design, and loads of them were installed.
Major road Concrete Utilities lamp post (With Philips MA series lamp) in Roding Valley (North London).
An early 70s Concrete Utilities lamp post, one of the last ones branded as "Concrete Utilities".
And another one somewhere around Bromley.
Nice CU lamp post with hanging lamp.
Mid 1970s - Mid 1980s
Concrete Utilities now used the name "CU Ware" on their lamp posts. (This is a pun as "CU Ware" could read as CU's range of lamp posts, but as CU is based in the town of Ware, "CU Ware" could read as CU from ware).
There is no difference in the design of these to the early 70s ones.
Nice long bracket CU lamp post in Twydall with original old Philips Eleco lamp.
another CU lamp post in Twydall with original old Philips Eleco lamp.
CU lamp post at Hazelmere drive (Gillingham).
70s CU lamp post in Rochester.
70s CU with Phillips major road lamp (on this small lamp post!).
70s CU major road lamp post in an abandoned part of Weymouth.
Major road CU lamp posts (With Philips MA series lamp) at Kings College Hospital (London).
Nice CU lamp post with hanging lamp.
70s Long bracket CU lamp post (lamp replaced with this ugly thing) in Twydall.
70s CU lamp post also with lamp replacement. The lamp used to be an awesome 70s Eleco post top lantern. Now that they have replaced the lamp, it no longer gives out all round light. Also the local teens have found that these lamps an be pushed around to face the wrong way!
80s CU lamp post (with long bracket). This one has a later Philips lamp. These are some of the last ever concrete lamp posts installed.
80s CU Lamp post in Gillingham. Again, these are some of the last concrete lamp posts ever installed. A lot of CU's last concrete lamp posts were made of very cheap concrete.
80s CU lamp post (lamp replaced with another ugly load of crap) in Gillingham.
And that is it
CU stopped making concrete lamp posts in the mid 80s. Times had changed and concrete lamp posts had gone out of fashion.
In the concrete era Concrete Utilites produced more different types of concrete lamp post than any other company, Concrete Utilities also used more different types of concrete than anyone else (especially in the 70s). Often the lamp post design and concrete type were mix and match, this gave councils a very wide range of choice.
Lets take a look back over the different mixes of concrete that CU used...
1950s stoney concrete (also used in the 30s)
1950s heavy duty concrete
1950s dark concrete with black stones
1960s standard concrete
1960s heavy duty concrete
1970s stoney concrete
1970s browny concrete
1970s darkish concrete
1970s smooth concrete
1970s smooth concrete with black stones
1970s top of the range ultra smooth concrete (very long lasting)
1970s very cheap concrete used in most of their last lamp posts in the 80s.
After the demarnd for concrete lamp posts had stopped, Concrete utilites didn't just disapear. This is because in the late 70s CU had started making metal lamp posts. In fact CU is the only company from the concrete era that is still producing lamp posts today.
Here is an early example of a CU metal lamp post from the late 70s.
CU metal lamp post with Philips MA series lamp.
Late 1980s - mid 2000s
Concrete Utilities no longer made concrete lamp posts. In 1987 Concrete Utilities changed their name to CU Lighting Ltd (the company later merged with the lamp company Phosco and became CU Phosco. CU Phosco now produced both posts and lamps).
CU now installed rather ordinary lamp posts (most of which are not that interesting). They are very similar in design to British Steel. Concrete Utilities are the only concrete lamp post company that still exists today (although no longer producing concrete).
CU hinged column.
Very tall CU lamp post.
late 2000s - present
CU Phosco now produce a wide range of different lamp posts.
Galvernized CU lamp post.
Old looking lamp post (rival to DW Windsor).
CU Wind turbine post.
Tall hinged CU lamp post.
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