I like oddities. I like finding out why they are odd, perhaps that makes me a little odd too?
There’s this lamp post that’s sort of fascinated me, just across from the Royal Courts of Justice. It sits quite happily on the island bordered by Aldwych and Strand that is home to St Clement Danes Church and has done so since Queen Victoria was on the throne. What makes it odd is that there are no other lamp posts that look anything similar to it in the vicinity, it’s one of a kind, but why?
I started to look through old photos of the area (unfortunately I can’t post them as the company who own the rights are pretty hot in chasing up unlicensed users, and I wasn’t going to shell out thirtysix quid just to make my point, so you’ll just have to believe me) and in them I could see the tall double lamped posts that can be seen at the end of the island as well as the odd one. Now these may or not be the same ones in the modern picture, but it shows that these posts of fairly simple design seem to have been the go to design for many years. And then on closer inspection I realised the answer was staring me in the face! The buttressing around the bottom of the post has latticework in it, providing ventilation for the Public Conveniences situated below ground level.
Lamp post No.24 Standard edition
With a bit of research I found that these lamps, as with most of London’s Victorian ironwork came from Walter Macfarlane & Co, Glasgow. For those that love detail, this lamp post was adapted from Lamp Pillar No.24.
Now that makes me happy, and yes even I think that’s a little odd!