One item of street furniture which fascinates me is concrete lampposts. Though now quite rare this type of street furniture was quite common until ten years ago. There a few varieties of concrete lamppost. The first type could be found on the following streets in Dublin and in counties Antrim and Down.
-Grattan Row, outside Inchicore railway works
-various roads in Finglas
-Seafield Road Clontarf
-James Larkin Road
-Old Finglas Road
A few examples can still be seen on Sandwith Street, near Pearse Station and on Wexford Street.
There were single- and double-arm versions of these, the latter intended for dual carriageways. These were located on:
-Baggot Street, outside Bank of Ireland headquaters
-Patrick Doyle Road, adjacent to the Nine Arches, Milltown
I recall once watching a documentary, "The Seven Ages of the Irish Free State". One item featured was the inauguration of electric street lighting in the 1930s on the Dublin-DÃºn Laoghaire road (Rock Road in Booterstown). An "Irish Independant" article was shown with with what were clearly lampposts of this type. In the 1960s LEGO produced Matchbox sized versions of these.
There were two variations of the above lamppost, one on which the arm was the same as the above but without the curl from which the light was hung. This version was on Market Street, Portadown in the 1950s. This is apparent in the street scenes on http://www.portadownphotos.freehome.
With the second variation the arm extended out horizontally. This type of lamppost could be seen on:
-Naas Road, from beginning of dual carriageway to Kylemore Road crossroads
-At Superquinn, Finglas
-At Cork Street/ Dolphin's Barn, near the Coombe Hospital there was a double arm version.
There was also a scaled down or "baby" version of the above lamppost which was mainly used on residential roads and housing estates such as Edenmore and Fairview Avenue on the northside of Dublin. There are two examples of these in Oldcastle, Co. Meath. A feature of this lamppost was a bar above the capital on which a ladder could rest. In former years these lampposts invariably had a cone shaped mercury light hung from them.
It is interesting that there was a definite of design with these lampposts, with well-proportioned base and capital. It could be argued that these lampposts have an "Art Deco" style to them.
The second type of lampost, of much plainer design but still quite aesthetic can still be seen on Townsend Street; Brookwood Avenue; Greencastle Road, Coolock; Jervis Street (a few examples); and Dartry Road. These lampposts were formerly on the following streets:
-Oscar Traynor Road
-North Circular Road (west of Phibsboro')
A rather chunky double arm lamppost was on O'Connell Street, Westmoreland Street, D'Olier Street and College Green. One or two examples can still be seen. There were also a couple of miscellaneous varieties of lamppost. One type, a double arm version was found on Beresford Place with a single example outside the King Sitric Restaurant in Howth. Another type was to found in the grounds of the Bon Secours Hospital in Glasnevin.
I understand that Moracrete produced most of these lampposts in Crumlin, Dublin. What is ironic is that for an item that could be regarded as rather British, the production of these lampposts was a result of De Valera encouraging import substition during the 1930s. Tariffs were put on British imports which resulted in the establishment of Irish industries to produce these products.
While spalling on these lampposts has resulted on them being decapitated or removed, they were nevertheless an aesthetic item of street furniture compared with junk that graces the Howth Road between Killester and Blackbanks or in Santry Village or the tacky rubbish now found on Abbey Street and the Quays.