UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Powered By Google Custom Search Vintage Radio Service Data

Go Back   UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Discussion Forum > General Vintage Technology > General Vintage Technology Discussions

Notices

General Vintage Technology Discussions For general discussions about vintage radio and other vintage electronics etc.

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old 23rd Nov 2009, 9:31 pm   #1
Tractorfan
Nonode
 
Tractorfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: St. Frajou, l'Isle en Dodon, Haute Garonne, France.(Previously: Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, UK.)
Posts: 2,940
Default Strange plugs & sockets at Lewis's Liverpool

Hi All,
When I was a kid my mum occasionally took me to Lewis's department store in Liverpool. I used to marvel at the escalators and it was the first time I saw a security closed circuit television camera. However, what stuck in my mind was that they seemed to have a type of mains socket I've never seen before or since. There were two twin gang sockets at the foot of every stone effect column and some in the ceiling too. The socket itself was a round pin affair with the earth pin much nearer the centre line than the usual BS546 sockets and I think it was the same size as the current carrying pins. The sockets were a circular bakelite insert about 2.5 to 3 inches in diameter on a metal oblong plate. They weren't Wylex or D&S but something quite different. The last time I visited Lewis's a lot of them had been changed to standard 13amp sockets.
It's sad, I know, but when it came to plugs & sockets I was quite observant as a ten year old . Maybe a forum member was an electrician for Lewis's and has one in his or her bitbox
Cheers de Pete
__________________
"Hello?, Yes, I'm on the train, I might lose the signal soon as we're just going into a tunn..."
Tractorfan is offline  
Old 24th Nov 2009, 1:58 am   #2
ben
Dekatron
 
ben's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Madrid, Spain / Wirral, UK
Posts: 5,952
Default Re: Strange plugs & sockets at Lewis's Liverpool

Now that brings back memories. used to always go to Lewis's, and Blackler's! long gone now, sadly.
Are you sure the plugs aren't just the smaller of the BS546,as shown here? even as late as the '90s, these were still used at our uni hall of residence!
__________________
Regards,
Ben.
ben is offline  
Old 24th Nov 2009, 2:14 am   #3
paulsherwin
Moderator
 
paulsherwin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Oxford, UK
Posts: 20,308
Default Re: Strange plugs & sockets at Lewis's Liverpool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tractorfan View Post
it was the first time I saw a security closed circuit television camera.
We *are* talking about Scousers here Pete

More seriously, there were lots of nonstandard mains sockets around at the time you're talking about. The 13A mains socket rapidly became standard in commercial premises after WW2, but many buildings had separate ring mains for things like floor polishers and vacuum cleaners. It was considered desirable to keep these appliances off the 'standard' supply - maybe it still is.

Paul
paulsherwin is online now  
Old 24th Nov 2009, 2:52 am   #4
Darren-UK
Dekatron
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Blackpool, Lancashire, UK.
Posts: 4,063
Default Re: Strange plugs & sockets at Lewis's Liverpool

I have misty recollections of things like this. As Paul says, I believe it was something to do with permitting certain applicances to be connected only to certain power points.
__________________
Darren.
Darren-UK is offline  
Old 24th Nov 2009, 10:00 am   #5
Mike Phelan
Dekatron
 
Mike Phelan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Near Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK
Posts: 4,364
Default Re: Strange plugs & sockets at Lewis's Liverpool

Ben - your link doesn't seem to work; Wikipedia cannot find it.
__________________
Mike.
Mike Phelan is offline  
Old 24th Nov 2009, 10:46 am   #6
julie_m
Dekatron
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Derby, UK.
Posts: 7,613
Default Re: Strange plugs & sockets at Lewis's Liverpool

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulsherwin View Post
many buildings had separate ring mains for things like floor polishers and vacuum cleaners. It was considered desirable to keep these appliances off the 'standard' supply
I think the idea was to make sure that certain things -- tills, revolving display stands, the managing director's coffee maker -- would not be unplugged by cleaners in search of a power point, nor knocked offline if a malfunctioning Hoover or polisher blew a fuse in the distribution board.

Oh, and I've fixed the link to the BS546 plug pictures: Try this one.
__________________
If I have seen further than others, it is because I was standing on a pile of failed experiments.
julie_m is offline  
Old 24th Nov 2009, 11:18 am   #7
ben
Dekatron
 
ben's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Madrid, Spain / Wirral, UK
Posts: 5,952
Default Re: Strange plugs & sockets at Lewis's Liverpool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Phelan View Post
Ben - your link doesn't seem to work; Wikipedia cannot find it.
hmm, dunno what happened - here it is
__________________
Regards,
Ben.
ben is offline  
Old 24th Nov 2009, 11:22 am   #8
Mr Moose
Heptode
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Gloucestershire, UK.
Posts: 971
Default Re: Strange plugs & sockets at Lewis's Liverpool

Hello,
MK still make BS546 plugs and sockets in 2A, 5A and 15A the 2A socket is here http://www.mkelectric.co.uk/en-GB/Pr...s/K770WHI.aspx
Yours, Richard
Mr Moose is offline  
Old 24th Nov 2009, 12:31 pm   #9
mikelect
Heptode
 
mikelect's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK.
Posts: 799
Default Re: Strange plugs & sockets at Lewis's Liverpool

I know the 15amp version of these plugs are still used in India and South Africa maybe a hangover from colonial days.

Mike
__________________
I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are still missing
mikelect is offline  
Old 24th Nov 2009, 12:41 pm   #10
yesnaby
Octode
 
yesnaby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Newport, Gwent, UK.
Posts: 1,567
Default Re: Strange plugs & sockets at Lewis's Liverpool

Hello,

Yes, I had a 15A one in South Africa, it seems to have gone missing now. I also had a 5A one (and wall socket) in the UK, will have a rummage, but I think that is lost as well.

Michael
yesnaby is offline  
Old 24th Nov 2009, 1:16 pm   #11
cmjones01
Nonode
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Warsaw, Poland and Cambridge, UK
Posts: 2,061
Default Re: Strange plugs & sockets at Lewis's Liverpool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Moose View Post
MK still make BS546 plugs and sockets in 2A, 5A and 15A the 2A socket is here http://www.mkelectric.co.uk/en-GB/Pr...s/K770WHI.aspx
BS546 plugs are still well-used for applications like switched lighting circuits. They have the advantages of being legal, distinctly different from normal 13A sockets so people don't plug other things into them, and *not* locally fused. This last one is important in applications like stage lighting where the plugs may be rather inaccessible, and every circuit is protected by a fuse at the dimmer anyway.

I've seen lots of modern 5A and 15A BS546 sockets in theatres, and 2A ones are common in window displays, sockets for standard lamps switched by the main light switch in hotel rooms, and the like.

Chris
cmjones01 is offline  
Old 24th Nov 2009, 2:15 pm   #12
bobsterkent
Hexode
 
bobsterkent's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Medway towns, Kent, UK.
Posts: 256
Default Re: Strange plugs & sockets at Lewis's Liverpool

a friend of mine moved into a 4 year old flat and this had 2amp sockets fitted for standard lamps around the house, meant we had to change the plugs on his lamps before we could plug them in
__________________
"Oh yes I love television, all those wiggly lines"!
bobsterkent is offline  
Old 24th Nov 2009, 3:26 pm   #13
Darren-UK
Dekatron
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Blackpool, Lancashire, UK.
Posts: 4,063
Default Re: Strange plugs & sockets at Lewis's Liverpool

Following on from Chris in #11, you often see 3A and 5A fittings used for lamps and other ambience - related items in places like restaurants and public houses. Instances seem to be becoming more common, almost like a revival of what many would see as vintage or outmoded technology. I suppose an added advantage is that it gets around the irritation of people putting 13A fuses into 13A plugs regardless of what the correct rating should be.
__________________
Darren.
Darren-UK is offline  
Old 24th Nov 2009, 9:35 pm   #14
McMurdo
Dekatron
 
McMurdo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Staffordshire Moorlands, UK.
Posts: 4,037
Default Re: Strange plugs & sockets at Lewis's Liverpool

We had Lewis's (Lewis Bros, later bought by Owen-Owen) here in Hanley as well (not to be confused with John Lewis) and I also remember non-standard 13A wall sockets, however our branch had the ones with Horizontal earth pin and vertical L&N which I think were made by Walsall.
__________________
Kevin
McMurdo is offline  
Old 25th Nov 2009, 9:14 pm   #15
Tractorfan
Nonode
 
Tractorfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: St. Frajou, l'Isle en Dodon, Haute Garonne, France.(Previously: Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, UK.)
Posts: 2,940
Default Re: Strange plugs & sockets at Lewis's Liverpool

Hi All and thanks for your interest & replies.
True, Paul,- Scousers, eh?
I've had loads of experience with BS546 plugs & sockets (I've even got a box of 'em the cellar including a 16amp South African one and a 15amp wooden adaptor!) and the one's in Lewis's were definately not those.
The one's I'm thinking of had the N & L holes on the centreline of the circular bakelite plate and the earth hole (possibly the same diameter or smaller) was just a bit higher.
Just to add to the confusion, my primary school had a smaller version for the 100volt line speaker system in each classroom to distinguish it from the BS546 mains socket alongside.
Cheers de Pete
__________________
"Hello?, Yes, I'm on the train, I might lose the signal soon as we're just going into a tunn..."
Tractorfan is offline  
Old 25th Nov 2009, 10:23 pm   #16
russell_w_b
Dekatron
 
russell_w_b's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Penrith, Cumbria, UK.
Posts: 3,365
Default Re: Strange plugs & sockets at Lewis's Liverpool

Would this be what you remember?
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	wandsworthplug.jpg
Views:	258
Size:	67.5 KB
ID:	30529  
__________________
Regds,

Russell W. B.
G4YLI.
russell_w_b is offline  
Old 28th Nov 2009, 12:01 am   #17
Michael Maurice
Moderator
 
Michael Maurice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Wembley, Middlesex
Posts: 6,173
Default Re: Strange plugs & sockets at Lewis's Liverpool

Slightly OT When travelling on the London Underground, I used to see different type of 13 Amp plug IIRC the earth pin was horizontal, and the live neutral were vertical.

Has anyone else seen these before?
Michael Maurice is offline  
Old 28th Nov 2009, 1:16 am   #18
Herald1360
Dekatron
 
Herald1360's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Leominster, Herefordshire, UK.
Posts: 14,664
Default Re: Strange plugs & sockets at Lewis's Liverpool

Like these, perchance?

https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...3&postcount=27

Chris
Herald1360 is offline  
Old 28th Nov 2009, 9:56 am   #19
russell_w_b
Dekatron
 
russell_w_b's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Penrith, Cumbria, UK.
Posts: 3,365
Default Re: Strange plugs & sockets at Lewis's Liverpool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Maurice View Post

'Has anyone else seen these before?'
Yes. They're Walsall gauge, and were used in the BBC extensively. We used them at transmitter sites for maintained bay and rack supplies - still do, in fact. Studios (someone will confirm, no doubt) used them for different applications.

We have a drawer-full of them at work. Our are non-fused. Just the sort of thing to put on your granny's kettle lead for an April Fool!
__________________
Regds,

Russell W. B.
G4YLI.
russell_w_b is offline  
Old 28th Nov 2009, 10:23 am   #20
Jack Spark
Triode
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: London, UK.
Posts: 47
Default Re: Strange plugs & sockets at Lewis's Liverpool

Its quite common for shops etc to use unusual sockets.
I did a couple of days recently installing seasonal tills for a well known retailer, all had unusual variations on the 13A socket. I asked my colleague why and he said that it is to stop the staff unplugging the till/chip n pin or other bit of kit and using the socket to charge their phone.

J
Jack Spark is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 12:41 pm.


All information and advice on this forum is subject to the WARNING AND DISCLAIMER located at https://www.vintage-radio.net/rules.html.
Failure to heed this warning may result in death or serious injury to yourself and/or others.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2002 - 2020, Paul Stenning.