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That used to be my job too Oisin. We had a coal shed in the garden my Dad built. I had to stand in the house and count the bags as the men carried them up the entry, trouble is I used to get distracted and never counted them properly. I always told our Mom I had
:angel: Funny you should say that Frothy my Dad always said the same.
Now my Colin was a Coalman and he says yes it's true ...
"Wet bags less coal" .
However Col' says it was just as heavey to carry on ya back LOL .
When I was a child our coalman was called Kings and the slogan was King Coal. We had a cellar and the coalman was watched like a hawk to make sure we had the right amount. One of the tricks was to put an empty sack down by the side of the cellar grating and if you had 10 cwt delivered you should have ten sacks - but with some of the rougues you might only have 9 cwt delivered.
another trick apart from the emty sack by the grate ,
and regarding the weight of the coal being wet ,
was to give you half filled bag of slack with the coal
my old man used to go barmy at him on the next deliverey
but he he always swore that the slack being banked up at the
back of the fire would make the fire last longer
and when he litt the fire in the morning
he would use a draw tin ,to draw the fire to get started
with a news paper over it
and it would have been the argus ,or the the b,ham dispatch
as it was called in those days
have a nice day everybody, and i hope its a nice one
i,m off to bretonford , to watch the 1829 confedrate reinactment
behind the old fleece pub and see how my ancestors lived
best wishes astonian ,;;;;;;;;
I can remember the same rows about slack in our house. It was true about making the fire last longer though. Our fire would be stacked with damp slack at night to keep it smouldering. Then it wouldn't have to be lit in the morning. I also recall the chimney being set on fire at least once when the pages of the Despatch (the Argus was reserved for the khazi ) caught light and flew up the chimney.:Aah:
Watch out for stray bullets at that re-enactment and don't get having too many in the Fleece.
We also had damp slack on the fire to try and keep it in all night - but I remember once coming home from school and the house was freezing. My auntie was at work and my dad had gone fishing, so I decided to light it as I'd seen dad do, with the Despatch acting as a 'drawer'. It caught fire of course, blackened all the chimney breast and burned my right arm from wrist to elbow! Next day, my teacher at St Mary's Handsworth, couldn't believe I hadn't been to the doctor - the blisters were the size of half-crowns! The Head despatched my off to the docs, my dad thought I was a whimp! I was about ten years old.
When we got married in 1968 and moved to our house on Wirral Road, Northfield we were thrilled to have an open fire. Our furniture in the living room was two lawn chairs and a large box something had been delivered in for a coffee table (covered with a table cloth). We bought some coke and decided to settle down in front of a warm fire as it was Dec.
The fire soon glowed and we enjoyed our first night in our new home. Suddenly there was a rumbling and our radiators started to make gurgling noises. We let the fire burn out and next morning called a friend in the building trade. The previous owners had drained the boiler but did not cut the pipes and didn't tell us. We were told it was like a bomb when the fire was lit and we were lucky it didn't blow up. That was our first and last fire we had a gas fire fitted. Mo
Yes we to had to count the bags of coal being dropped down the cellar in Ladywood,can some one tell me how many cwt where in a sack.
And what about the winter 1962-3 when the coal waggons could not get out due to the deep snow,me and my two brothers had to go and fetch it,there were peole putting it in old prams,pushchairs.we had to use the coal suppliers barrers as we called them,cast iron wheels,two pushing and one picking up the coal that had fell of other peoples trucks. That was a bad winter people were saying its the worst winter since 1947 the year i was born.