The Gordon Lamp

In 2011, Councillor Anne Regan, then Mayor of Cheltenham, commented on the poor state of the Gordon Lamp, which was erected in 1887 and funded by public subscription.

Originally a gas lamp, it was converted to electricity in 1900. Now there were no lights, only one globe left and one of the lamp brackets missing. In fact Gloucestershire County Council, as the Lighting Authority, had already started to prepare new and refurbished ironwork lanterns and globes, and early in 2012 the lamp was back in working order.

But the structure itself was in poor shape. Lichen and other detritus was rife, and parts of the grey and pink granite from Shap and white Carrera marble had become misplaced.

Two of the four ornamental supporting inverted cast-iron consoles were missing, and the brass plaque commemorating General Gordon, who died in Khartoum in 1885, was almost unreadable.

There was however, a major problem in that no-one wished to claim ownership. Fortunately, Councillor Rob Garnham obtained the written acceptance from the County Council that they were the reluctant owners.

The Civic Society then agreed to be responsible for the refurbishment, and through the good offices of Councillor Diggory Seacome, obtained £600 from Cheltenham Borough Council towards the total cost of £1,680.The remedial works were carried out in 2013, and the lamp once again adds to the elegance of Montpellier and continues to be a fitting memorial to a brave man.

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