Save our gas lamps! Drop your plans to convert Webb sewer gas destructor lamps to LED lighting.

This petition made change with 584 supporters!

Sheffield City Council proposes to restore and refurbish Sheffield’s unique collection of Webb sewer gas destructor lamps.  Unfortunately their plans include a proposal to replace any gas burners with LED lighting.  Such action is not necessary on economic or environmental grounds  and will greatly devalue a precious local, national and international heritage asset.

Joseph Edmund Webb of Birmingham, patented his sewer gas destructor lamp in the 1890's, because of the poisonous fumes and bad smells that came from urban sewers. The lamps worked by creating an intense heat within the hood which drew the air from the sewers below and burned off any impurities.  Eighty four of these street lamps were erected in Sheffield between 1914 and 1935, the largest number in any British town.

Webb sewer gas destructor lamps are now very rare; only 46 survive anywhere in the world and only 7 of them still burn gas.  Four of the 7 are in Sheffield, making the collection here unique and of national significance.  In many cases the lamps have been listed, which should in theory protect against the proposed change, but the final decision is left to the City Council.

Many of the lamps have become landmarks that are valued by the local community.  The lamp on Brincliffe Edge Road, for example, was the very first Webb sewer gas destructor lamp to be installed in Sheffield, in 1914, after the Council received complaints about bad smells.  The lamp has been cared for by the local neighbourhood group and it is a feature of the Brincliffe Historic Walk, a popular walk researched and developed by local people.

Sheffield has most of the surviving lamps and most of the ones still burning gas.  We urge Sheffield City Council to retain the gas-burning facility and drop the plan to convert these lamps to LED lighting.

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