A CAMPAIGNING teenager with a penchant for old lighting is hoping he can save a street lantern with sentimental value from being torn down.

Nathan Curtis-Oram, from Clacton, is just 15 years old, but says he cares deeply about both his town and its history, which he says is being thrown away.

More specifically, Nathan, a keen litter picker, believes it is only a matter of time before the area’s historic, Victorian street lanterns are replaced.

He is now embarking on a campaign to ensure this does not happen, with the hope of also saving one particular light which holds a special place in his heart.

“I care about Clacton a lot, and I am really interested in old lighting, so I am trying really hard to save this lantern, in Mountview Road,” he said.

“It would be great if I could save other old lanterns, but this one is the most special to me as I have memories of watching it with my nan when I was little.

“It is a lovely lantern, but once the bulb expires, it will be gone and it will be crushed, so I just want something good to come out of this.”

According Nathan, he has made several attempts to approach Essex County Council, asking them to consider leaving the lantern where it is.

So far, he has not had a response and now feels like he is being ignored, not taken seriously, and that the authority will erase the town’s past.

He added: “Most teenagers get known for being lazy and anti-social, and I just want to be different and prove people wrong.

“I really would love to save some of these old lanterns from getting crushed as I also feel they are part of Clacton’s history.

“Clacton is a lovely place, but Essex County Council does not seem to care, and they are throwing away its history.”

An Essex Highways spokesman said: “We have been in touch with this young man and we appreciate his regard for some of the older street lighting columns.

“However, the one he refers to is not in a heritage area and needed replacing for safety reasons.

"We do replace rotted heritage columns with similar-looking designs, but all lanterns will now be LED as these are better for eyesight, use less power and last longer.

“Unfortunately we are also unable to let him have the old lantern bulb when removed as it contains noxious chemicals and we are obliged, by law, to ensure that all these are recycled correctly.”