TODAY, if you could actually find one, they would be worth a considerable amount of money.

But in 1954 when this picture was taken at Bolton Corporation’s yard, all the town’s old gas lamps were literally being thrown on the scrap heap.

A major programme was underway to introduce new electric street lighting and it was proving too costly to adapt the gas lamps complete with ornate decorations and gas mantles to the new power supply.

This pile of lamps was occasionally ‘raided’ for spare parts to repair a broken gas lamp until the conversion to electric street lighting was complete.

The large lamps, often made of brass, were certainly things of substance. During the war when blackouts were imposed, a number of the glass panels - which had to be specially made - were broken, often by teenagers throwing stones at them.

These two characters in the picture have a touch of the Arthur Daleys about them but we hope that they were looking for a replacement lamp to put back out on the street