20 June 2024

Wiltshire College student and streetlight enthusiast gifted favourite streetlamp

Cameron Hutcheson, a streetlight enthusiast who has been documenting the county’s historic range of streetlights has been presented with a customised version of his favourite Thorn Gamma 6 Streetlight by Ringway Wiltshire.

Cameron, aged 19, lives in Chippenham and is studying Creative Media Production at Wiltshire College. He has had an interest in streetlights since a child and when he realised that the Council’s two-year programme to replace all streetlights would remove a historic range of streetlights, he began capturing images across the County to record the diversity.

He has now amassed almost 10,000 images detailing a unique history of Wiltshire streetlighting and is now working hard to capture the remaining streetlights before the Wiltshire LED project is completed in November.

A chance meeting between Cameron, his Mum Sarah Hutcheson, and Wiltshire Council officer Joanne Heal, (Traffic and Network Manager at Wiltshire Council) revealed Cameron’s interest and his efforts to capture a record of streetlighting in the Wiltshire.

Joanne became aware that Cameron would love to own one of the older lamps he was cataloguing, but with the age and condition of them knew that this might not be possible. Recognising the depth of Cameron’s knowledge and interest Joanne contacted Ringway Wiltshire who is undertaking the LED conversion project to see if they could assist.

Cameron’s favourite design of light is the Thorn Gamma 6, but after years of use, they become very brittle and usually break when taken down. After learning of Cameron’s passion Ringway engineers tried for several months before finally managing to remove one intact and a member of staff undertook to convert it to a lamp.

Mick Buckler, Divisional Manager at Ringway Wiltshire said, “We were proud to meet and present to Cameron with a customised version of his favourite Thorn Gamma 6 lantern. The one-off piece is a result of resourceful reclamation work by Ringway Streetlighting Supervisor Andy Butlin.

“Andy volunteered out of hours to create the custom piece, a local memento of the unique task Cameron, with support from his family has undertaken”.

Cllr Dr Mark McClelland, Cabinet Member for Street Scene said, “It’s fair to say Cameron and his mum have travelled far and wide over the last two years, cataloguing the different types of lighting in the county and creating a unique and fascinating record of the history of Wiltshire streetlighting.

After November Wiltshire’s streetlights will be far more uniform, with only Heritage lamps remaining. The majority of streetlighting will be replaced with more energy efficient and environmentally friendly LED lighting“.

Cameron has a number of photo credits for his streetlight images and shares his photos with other enthusiasts via Instagram @wiltshirestreetlights.

Written by
Beth Doherty
View all articles
Written by Beth Doherty