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New Video Shows British Gas Honouring Age-Old Tradition By Lighting Up London

  • New video showing British Gas’ lamplighters seen by three and half million people
  • Follow in the lamplighters’ footsteps with a new interactive walking tour
  • 1,500 gas lamps left in London, looked after by British Gas’ team of five lamplighters 

British Gas’ lamplighters of London have become one of the most familiar sights in the capital and have been seen by millions of TV viewers across the world. 


Since last winter they have been seen and heard by more than 150 million people in more than 20 countries and a new video, showing a glimpse into their work, has been seen by 3.5 million people.


There are 1,500 gas lamps left in London which British Gas’ team of five lamplighters look after. These historic lamps stretch from Richmond Bridge in the west to Bromley-by-Bow in the east. 


The oldest lamps are in Westminster Abbey and the newest lights up a popular retail store in Covent Garden. Many of the lamps survive from the Victorian era. 


The earliest lamplighters lit each lamp by hand at dusk every night and extinguished them at dawn. The role of the lamplighter has evolved since then and now they can be found making their way around London on scooters. 


When tending to the lamps the mechanisms have to be wound up and checked, the glass polished and the mantles replaced.  They may also require repairs if damaged by a lorry or building work around them. 


Iain Bell leads the team of lamplighters at British Gas. He said: “People love historical dramas which may be a reason why more and more people across the world have taken an interest in what we do. 


“There are different variations of these lamps across London so it’s worth taking a closer look at their unique designs. There’s even an infamous sewer lamp outside the Savoy Hotel, which was designed to extract and burn off any unpleasant smells before they reached the hotel’s guests. 


“The 19th century lamps tell a story of a magical and hidden part of London, and we’re proud to maintain this iconic piece of history.” 


To find out more about the lamplighters, and to watch the video, click here.


British Gas has now developed a fully interactive walking tour to enable people to follow in the lamplighters’ footsteps, exploring the ornate Victorian gas lamps whilst taking in some of London’s most famous historical landmarks.


Starting at Buckingham Palace, the thirty-five minute walk lets you enjoy the Changing of the Guard Ceremony, takes you through Trafalgar Square and gives you the chance to step into the fantastical world of Harry Potter in Goodwin’s Court, believed to be the inspiration for Diagon Alley. Interactive hotspots on the map offer hints, tips and key sights to look out for along the route.


The map can viewed here.



Notes to editors

The map for the interactive walking tour is fully embeddable meaning it can sit directly in a feature on your website. As a result, you would retain and benefit from all traffic. Other features include:
  • the route being linked to Google Maps 
  • smart phone optimisation
  • an option to download and print the map

British Gas is Britain’s leading energy supplier, and serves around 11 million homes in Britain – nearly half the country’s homes – as well as providing energy to around half a million British businesses. British Gas provides value for money, dedicated customer service, innovative energy solutions and the highest quality Homes Services expertise in the country. Find out more at

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