... feminist, atheist, autistic academic and historic narrowboater ...
Likes snooker, beer, tea, rivets and solitude, and is strangely fascinated by the cinema organ.
And there might be something about railways.

Wednesday 23 January 2019


Sebastian bought me a couple of fabulous GWR-related Christmas presents, including these lamps, which I put up using the drill that he (and Jim) gave me for my birthday.
They were sold as candle holders, but they look too complicated to just be that. Here, however, is one looking pretty with a fake candle in it
They'll look even better when I get round to cleaning them.
Why would they need ventilation holes in the side if they were just for candles? And that raised cross is hollow pipework, which opens out behind the bracket and through into the cylindrical bit. To me this suggests gas. Now that might sound absurd, but a bit of Googling shows that railway carriages were lit by gas, in America, and in Scotland (where at least one disaster ensued, as late as 1915).

I know at least two people I could ask, so - if they're not reading this, and no one else tells me in the meantime - I'll keep researching and report back. But in the meantime I just wanted to show them off.


  1. Just off the top of my head, might they have been carbide lamps?

  2. We have a couple of these in our boat, which I guess have been there since it was built 20 years ago.
    Ours are electric and the wiring goes out through the"cylindrical bit" but don't have the small ventilation holes which would be necessary to admit combustion air for the candles.
    Have yours got springs fitted to push the candles up as they burn down?
    I wonder if mine are reproductions or just later models.
    I don't think they would have been be carbide or gas as there is no continuous pipe from the burner area to the back of the bracket on mine at least.
    Quite a few advertised on eBay, good luck with your research, I'd be interested if you find out any more.

    Regards, Chris (Wrens-Nest)