New Light On Rushden Hall
A Brilliant Scene At Night - The Big Six
After sunset on Sunday evening people poured by the thousand into the grounds of Rushden Hall. An ideal place, indeed, for Moonlight and Roses; but, as it happened, the attraction was Floodlight and Geraniums.
And romance, in its modern dressing, is not less captivating than the romance of old. Out of the still, September night arose like a phantom the grey and graceful mass of walls and windows, each curve and creeper, each mark and mullion picked out in its beauty, while beneath chimneys fingering delicately over the blue-black night the dark tile-edges caught up curly strips of glitter.
In the flower beds below the terrace on the Elizabethan front petunias and geraniums revealed their natural colours like gems on a canopy of darkness.
Coming down to technicalities, it has to be recorded that the occasion was Rushden’s first floodlighting display – a free entertainment arranged by the Rushden and Higham Ferrers District Gas Company. It commenced at 7.45 p.m. and continued, by special decree of the Urban District Council, until nine o’clock. The only announcement of it was in the news columns of the Press, and the mention it received there was sufficient to fill the grounds with a crowd of extraordinary size.
Shadows of the promenaders, as they walked between the mansion and the source of light, moved constantly across the picture, and in another part of the grounds the Rushden Salvation Army Band played to a very large audience.
The Company must be congratulating itself on the success of its demonstration, which was planned and carried out by its own staff, under Mr. A. T. Watson.
Pipes already existed in the grounds, and from them temporary tubes of ample bore fed the floodlighting batteries. The Hall itself was lighted by six large lamps of 800 candle power each and one smaller lamp of 500 c.p., making 5,300 c.p. for the building. For the flower beds five small units totalling 1,000 c.p. were used. The Company also lighted the bandstand with five units (1,600 c.p.), and used 750 c.p. in two lamps for the drive. The full installation thus employed 8,650 candle power.
In the “Big Six” battery the type of apparatus was a 10-light strip super-heated lantern, specially designed for floodlighting. This lantern is equipped with eight chromium plated strips forming a directional reflector, and the original light is thus mirrored eight times. The cost per hour for gas consumption (25ft.) is one penny!
“Daylight” mantles were fitted to obviate any distortion of natural colourings, and the display entailed the use of 1,100 feet of piping, carrying in bore from two inches to one-eighth of an inch. Apart from the six big lights the apparatus was all taken from the Company’s own stock.
Further displays, in which new effects may be tried, are announced for the Feast week-end – Saturday, Sunday and Monday.