The Town Hall Gas Lamps

Isle of Wight Observer December 20 1873

Henry Knight, of the Arcade, is the EDM referred to in this report.

On Monday morning we were greatly interested in witnessing the unloading of a number of the new lamp columns at the Town-hall, and certainly cannot say that they at all come up to the laudations bestowed upon them by the ex-deputy-mayor. The old lamps are infinitely better, some of them being considerably more ornamental than these new and unpaid-for columns, which have been already honoured with the euphonious title of the “(K)night-light pillars”. It is to be deplored that some arrangements were not made with the Gas Company for the purchase of their columns, which could easily have been converted for the reception of meters, notwithstanding the opinion of the talented and wonderfully wise Borough Surveyor, whose notions appear to be law to the Council, and according to His Worship the Mayor, “disposes” of the gas-lamp question. We have been requested to put one or two queries requesting these lamps to the ex-deputy-mayor, and we shall feel particularly obliged to “that man” if he will return a courteous and civil answer, if such be possible. Is it true that he (the EDM) is agent to the company supplying the columns and lanterns, and receives a large commission on the present purchase? And is it also correct that the lamps, columns, &c., were ordered by the Council three months ago? We have heard on reliable authority that such are the facts of the case, but should wish to be made acquainted with the truth of the matter by so brilliant and shining a (Knight)-light as the EDM. We have heard, but cannot vouch for the accuracy of the rumour, that one of these handsome new columns is to be shown as a work of art at the forthcoming School of Art Exhibition, and that the same will be enclosed in a wonderfully elaborate glass case, expressly made and presented for the purpose by the directors of the Ryde Gas-light Company. Apropos of gas lights, may we also be permitted to ask the EDM the reason for the illumination of one of the Town-hall lamps by means of parafine on Friday evening last? Possibly the EDM is agent for some oil-lamp company and wishes to reap a goodly harvest by supplying a number of such lamps, in case the Gas Company do not succeed in illuminating the new lamps with gas by the 1st proximo.

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