Majestic Job: Cadent team solve mystery of flickering gas lamp in Queen’s front yard

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  • Cadent teams work to fix flickering gas lamp at Buckingham Palace
  • Problem solved quickly and with minimal disruption by composite Cadent team drawn from Rayleigh, Slough and Islington
  • Team received a Royal thankyou letter for a job well done
Cadent engineers have helped ensure Buckingham Palace is back to looking its fairy tale best with some top notch detective, repair and team work.
Cadent engineers were recently tasked with solving a mystery at the Palace after a historic gas lamp at the Palace developed problems, which caused the light to flicker.
Engineers got to work inside the front gates of the Palace, where sights included the Queen’s limo passing by. The Cadent team also found themselves being photographed by some of the hordes of tourists in the area. Visitors trying to catch a glimpse of the monarch also used Cadent as unofficial tour guides.
Rayleigh based Cadent engineer Phil Kneller, who was part of the team, explained: “They wanted to know where St James’ Palace or Trafalgar Square were so we became unofficial tour guides which was a bit different.”
However there were no opportunities for a one to one with the monarch as the work was at the front of the Palace, rather than the back, Phil explained: “Whenever there are workers at the back the Queen chats to them as she walks the corgis.
“It would have been great to meet her but we had a job to do.”
The job saw Cadent emergency engineers teaming with specialist ‘keyhole for roads’ engineers, with personnel drawn from Cadent depots in Slough, Islington and Rayleigh.
Cadent’s Congestion-Busting Keyhole Squad, use special tools and equipment to carry out ‘keyhole surgery for roads’. The technology enables the work to be done a lot faster than using conventional methods. It’s not suitable for every kind of repair job but where it can be used Cadent will deploy the technology to help minimise disruption for the public.
Engineers were able to utilise a specialist vacuum excavator, which uses high speed suction, to remove earth and reach the gas pipe far more quickly than using traditional excavation methods.
They soon found and fixed the cause of the flickering gas lamp which was a faulty valve, which had been allowing water to leak into the gas pipe supplying the lamp.
Dee Zilionyte, a Cadent Network Supervisor based at the firm’s Islington depot, explained: “There was a lot of pre-planning involved but once we got to the site we were able to locate and fix the problem and clear the site all in the same day.
“It was a real success story involving great team work between our emergency engineers and the specialist keyhole team.”
The Palace certainly seemed to be impressed with the team’s efforts as they subsequently received a letter from the Palace thanking them for their swift, efficient work.
However it’s not just Royal residences which Cadent services, its North London network helps supply over 2 million homes, businesses and community facilities with safe reliable gas supplies for cooking and heating.
Engineers and support staff operating out of offices and depots in Slough, Islington, Fulham, Barnet and Rayleigh work day and night, 365 days a year, to ensure a network of over 20,000km of pipes across the North London region is maintained, repaired and connected.
Britain’s largest gas distribution network, Cadent employs over 4,500 engineers and specialists who work day and night to ensure over 11 million homes keep on enjoying safe and reliable gas supplies via a network of 131,000km of pipes.



Cadent is the UK’s largest gas distribution network with a 200-year legacy.  We are in a unique position to build on strong foundations whilst encouraging the curiosity to think differently and the courage to embrace change.  Day to day we continue to operate, maintain and innovate the UK’s largest gas network, transporting gas safely and protecting people in an emergency.   Our skilled engineers and specialists remain committed to the communities we serve, working day and night to ensure gas reaches 11 million homes from Cumbria to North London and the Welsh Borders to East Anglia, to keep your energy flowing. 

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