James Payne (1823-1907)
James Payne was a lamplighter and was employed by the Commissioners, who ruled Salford before there was a Corporation or even a mayor, to light the oil lamps in old Salford town.
The Corporation took over the work of the Commissioners and during his 64 years of service with them Mr Payne had witnesses many changes in his work.
During his life the history of street lighting could be followed, starting with oil lamps, on to gaslights, then incandescent gas lighting and finally electric lights.
When electric street lighting was introduced in Chapel Street, Mr Payne was honoured by the Lighting Committee to switch on the lights
When he died Mr Payne was Salford's last lamplighter.
As a token of respect the whole staff of the lighting department, about 90 in number, attended his funeral.
The procession left his daughters house in Coronation Street and walked to Weaste Cemetery.
Also present from the Corporation were Councillor Hampson, Mr. W.H. Hamblett (Chief Superintendent of the lighting department) and Mr. T. Keeton (Chief Clerk).
The office staff and workmen of the various Corporation departments sent wreaths.