Throughout London's city center, there are 1600 gas lamps, which are maintained by British Gas. Forty of these gas lamps are located on the grounds of Westminster Abbey and are tended to by a devoted team of five lamplighters. We had the pleasure of spending some time with John-the-lamplighter. He was very proud of being a "Guardian of the Lamps".In addition to cleaning and polishing, the lamplighters have to maintain the mechanisms that operate them. Today, these lamps are lit by means of an automatic timer. Prior to this, the lamplighters carried an eight foot brass pole with a pilot light on the end to activate the lamps. In the part of the Abbey known as the Dean's Yard, is the oldest lamp. It is over 500 years old. For the past 200 years, it has been fueled by gas, but prior to that it was an oil lamp. Just a few feet away, at the back entrance to the cloisters, is another unique lamp; the first one that has stained glass panels.
Carl and Lorraine Aveni are two retirees planning on traveling through Europe for at least one year.