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Issue 328 – Town’s fight to save the Cockey lamps

FROME Town Council has mounted a campaign to save the town’s remaining Cockey lamps following the removal of a Listed lamp on Whittox Lane last month, without consultation or prior warning.

The lamp was cut into two pieces and dumped. Local councillors are now asking Mendip District Council when the lamp is going to be repaired and re-instated, and what further action will be taken.
In a bid to protect the remaining stock of Cockey lamps in the town, members of the public are encouraged to display a poster in their windows, which is available on the town council’s website or from Frome Town Council offices. It is hoped that the poster campaign will raise awareness, especially near the locations of the Cockey lamps.
A spokesperson for Frome Town Council said, “The future of this important element of Frome’s industrial heritage is obviously under threat and we ask all members of the public to be vigilant. If they fear or see anyone threatening Cockey lamps – even if they look like council officials – please can they contact the town council immediately on 01373 465757.”
A survey was carried out last year on the distinctive street lamps, which were made by Cockey of Frome.
District councillors Derek Tanswell and Sharon Snook, who represent the market ward on Mendip District Council said, “The Cockey lamps are part of the town’s industrial heritage, as they were made by a Frome firm. They are old and in the conservation area, so they are much loved by all the incomers and some local residents.
“Listed objects are the responsibility of Mendip District Council, so it is up to them to follow it up, and prosecute if possible.
“We will be asking the conservation officer at Mendip District Council what is going on, when will the lamp be reinstated, and is he planning to prosecute either Somerset County Council or their lighting contractors, Balfour Beatty?”