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Discuss Unusual Sockets found on rewire in the Electrical Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

Lucien Nunes

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Follow-up: Big thumbs-up to Phil, who sent over two of these in undamaged condition ideal for display, and one of the 4-gang 2A sockets (unfused, for a 5A circuit) with the same footprint as the original Fireside socket. One of them has the original blue 3A MEM-branded fuse in, too. I'll see if I can fish out the original New Era version and take some pics of them together.

Once again, many thanks Phil!
 
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Some people still use the round pin style sockets to switch lamps on in a room from the main lighting with as you walk in to a room.
Hotels is where I’ve seen that on a number of occasions recently. I assume it’s to stop guests unplugging the lamps and plugging 3kW heaters that they’ve brought with them in to the lighting circuit (you know there’s someone out there that will do it).
 

Lucien Nunes

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Ha ha, would have to widen the doors a bit to get some of the exhibits in.
The museum is not open yet. While we are working to form the trust to operate it, the stuff is in storage. I have been looking at some possible permanent sites but there is a lot to do to organise that. We narrowly missed one earlier in the year, someone else made a better offer. It's quite a challenge, finding a location large enough, accessible for visitors, preferably not too far from our existing storage (there's about 20 artic lorry loads to move) and ideally capable of future expansion. And affordable out of my pocket money!
 

freddo

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Esteemed Member
Looking through some old work photos and found this:
Photo0347.jpg
And also in the same house, this:
Photo0348.jpg
No idea what half of the symbols were supposed to represent.
All wired in rubber cables fed from a mix of MEM Kantark and Bill Insulok fuseboxes.
 

anthonybragg

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We used to have Nettle switches and sockets in our house re 1972/3 what happened to them? looks like they did some interesting combinations.
 

Lucien Nunes

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Two unusual items there. The Nettle cooker control I've seen, although I'd love to find an example. I can't recall how many sets of input terminals it has, e.g. whether the socket outlets are independent. I think the BS specifies a single socket only when fed from the cooker circuit, so I suspect they are.

The multiway / grid switch I think is imported. The switch modules look Italian, possibly Bticino. I wonder whether this was in a house owned by an 'enthusiast' who specified unusual fittings? Again, the sort of thing I'm always on the lookout for.

Nettle - Started in the 20s as Victor Iddon, taken over by Aerialite, Nettle brand launched in 1950s, taken over by Delta, merged with MEM and the brand discontinued, although technically now part of Eaton.
 
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freddo

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Esteemed Member
IIRC the nettle switch had 3 separate supplies, I couldn't resist taking a look, as the house was unoccupied. The switch was Italian but I don't remember the manufacturer. It was the only one of that type that I could see. The sideways switches were horrible to operate. It was a while back, photo says 2012.
 
S

Silly Sausage

The museum is not open yet.
Hell's bells Lucien, I was asking you about this about five years ago!
Can't be easy I guess, especially in London. Don't forget, let us all know when we'll be invited down for the opening day :)
 

Lucien Nunes

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I was asking you about this about five years ago!......let us all know when we'll be invited down for the opening day
Well, this is part of the challenge. Everybody wants to be invited to the opening, but no-one wants to move / restore / install the exhibits, buy us a nice old mill or factory building as our permanent home, or pay for the ongoing storage in the meantime. That's fine, but you have to wait while we save up!
 

MFS Electrical

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Well, this is part of the challenge. Everybody wants to be invited to the opening, but no-one wants to move / restore / install the exhibits, buy us a nice old mill or factory building as our permanent home, or pay for the ongoing storage in the meantime. That's fine, but you have to wait while we save up!
Surely just about every electrician in the country would want to visit it I certainly would. Can you not apply for a loan or some charitable funding to get it open and then charge admission to start to cover the cost?
 

Lucien Nunes

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Surely just about every electrician in the country would want to visit
Unfortunately not. I've had reactions ranging from serious interest, through disinterest, to one spark I met on site who laughed his head off and described the venture as a load of old b******s. In any case, once they've all visited, what next?

Can you not apply for a loan or some charitable funding
Funding is available for projects that meet the criteria of the grant-making body or donor. This has to be proven as a business case, which involves a lot of paperwork and input from people qualified to assess the value to the public. You can't readily get a grant 'to open a museum' but once you are open, you can campaign to raise £15k to have a feasibility study done by consultants to say whether you should be eligible for a grant to build an extension that will cost £250k, and then spend a year on actually making the application.

The past form for electrical museums does not look great. Only one of substance has endured in the UK, compared to dozens of steam / railway / motor / other semi-technical setups. We have a compelling new take on the subject that will make us interesting and educational for everyone, but it's a hard sell in these cash-strapped times.

I might start a thread about some of these ideas. In the meantime I am still on site at some ridiculous hour of Sunday morning finishing a job, which I had better get back to...
 

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