A couple of centuries ago, violence and robbery were common in most towns and cities especially after dark when the streets were as black as err, night.
Forward-thinking civic leaders had the idea of placing torches at strategic locations and found thefts and accidents declined in the immediate vicinity.
In the 1820s gas lighting was introduced and was gradually replaced by electricity during the 1900s, further improving personal safety.
Unlike Lark Rise or Candleford, street lighting became an essential amenity for any ‘civilised’ community and towns competed to provide the safest and most sophisticated lighting for residents, shoppers and visitors.
Oh, what fools they were. Had they but listened to Cheshire East they’d have saved themselves 200 years of strife and remained (dare I say?) in the dark.
Wilmslow residents around Thorngrove Road are currently ‘benefitting’ from a scheme to reduce carbon emissions in their area (nothing to do with cost-cutting – honest) by turning off the street lamps.
Tim O’Brien, an astrophysicist at Manchester University, based at Jodrell Bank observatory, said: "We are supportive of the campaign [for dark skies], as there are a number of wonderful things to see in our skies, such as the Milky Way."
Might be a bit of a problem there, Tim. Glancing up at the galaxy as you trip down a pothole may not give the feeling of oneness with the universe imagined especially if you’re trapped under the wheels of a Volvo.
Kelly Gunnell from the Bat Conservation Trust said: "Artificial night lighting is disturbing to many bat species including some of our rarest and most vulnerable."
So there you go. You can either gaze at the Milky Way in the company of flying mammals or illuminate the streets and make it home without being mugged or mangled.
The choice is yours.
The views on this page are Vic Barlow's and not necessarily those of the Express