Britain in the Dark?

So far all of the things that we have had to do without because they are not British have not really lead to any great discomfort. However, we always said that if there was going to be one thing that might test our resolve throughout our year it would be something mundane… and that predictions seems like it might be coming true. Our search for British made light bulbs have so far been fruitless. It would appear that the majority of bulbs, even for the promisingly named British Electric Lamps Limited (B.E.L.L) is drawing a blank. We understand that BELL moved most of its manufacturing about 5 years ago to the Far East.

So, what does this mean for the Bradshaw’s? Well unless we find what we are looking for we are going to be living a very Victorian existence.

Our current situation is getting a little alarming. We are currently down to about half of our household capacity for bulbs – in only 6 weeks!!!

We will keep you posted before the lights go out.


  1. It was rumoured at one time that the Chinese were re-furbishing tungsten element lightbulbs. Drilling a hole, replacing the element and then re-vacuuming and sealing !!

    Tilley lamps ? They used to be British. Lovely hissing noise and silk mantles !!

    Think you need to uncover the retailers who are keeping back stocks of incandescent bulbs for those who refuse to change to CFL’s or LEDs – they might have some really old UK made stock ?!

  2. Lizzie says

    Looks like it’s going to be local made candles? or maybe a solar battery powered light? (but then it would have to be British made solar panels…) Just to say I’m loving your blog and challenge, and it just really makes you think that if we shut our shores, how quickly things would fall apart!

  3. Lizzie Baker says

    Oh my goodness, good job the days are beginning to get longer and you won’t need the lights on for so long every day.

  4. It’s amazing what we take for granted without considering where it’s come from. If you do have to use something other than electric light bulbs you could try second hand shops for old fashioned oil lamps but if you turn to candles please please be careful with them.

  5. Barbara Parkin says

    On the plus side you will use less electricity, something we all might have to get used to!

  6. Felicity says

    What about contacting a company and seeing if they would make a one off batch here in the UK. Maybe lots of people would chip in to buy from the batch. I know I would and am sure people following you would. You could even ask the press to help you find people that may a) create the bulbs b)be part of the collective who buys the bulbs (for their own use or just to donate)
    just an idea

  7. Sara Moreton says

    Designed in the UK??? you have a very tough job, getting to the truth of origin is not an easy job – I take my hat off to you… and am shamelessly using and abusing your research, now have UK socks and a garden fork… keep up the good work your Country needs you three…

  8. Of course, sadly, the electricity suppliers are all foreign owned…

  9. Was going to suggest Crompton but……..just a distribution centre for foreign made bulbs now:( With a cleverly worded web-site of course.

  10. I know cluson engineering/clulite make torches and lighting equpiment in england. Who knows, in the future they may go in to led lighting for domestic housing as well as for torches

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