Quite a while back for some unknown reason I purchased a couple of paraffin pressure lanterns; well the seller wanted to get rid of them and I made a ridiculous offer which, to my surprise was accepted. One turned out to be a fairly modern vapalux and the other was an ancient bialladin in very poor condition. Both where put away in the back of the cupboard as something to be worked on at a later date. Recently I dug them out and began some work on them. The old bialladin has had new washers fitted and a replacement hood but I am a tad hesitant in actually lighting it. The vapalux looks almost new and after checking the washers, testing for pressure in the tank, I fitted a new mantle. To be honest, I rather think the person who sold it had little idea of how these beasts actually work. Finding nothing outwardly wrong with it apart from a broken mantle, which I replaced there was only one option, actually firing it up. A quick trip to the local diy shop, unfortunately I could only buy paraffin in 4litre containers, some meths and I was ready. Lighting these pressure lanterns does involve a certain procedure; firstly, the new mantle has to be set fire to; a nice bit of smoke and scorched sort of smell wafted around the flat, next came the priming, air release valve open, meths poured in to priming cup and lit, leave well alone until almost all flame has gone, screw shut air valve and a few tentative pumps, splutter, splutter, more flame, a bit of smoke, some fumes and the lamp purred into life. After that it was case of bringing it up to full pressure and seeing what would happen, the lamp ran excellently, chucking out loads of light and heat and that slightly pungent odour that the lanterns give off. Whew! when I get up courage the ancient lamp will be worked on too, doing these sort of things on the draining board is possibly not the best way however, I have little option.