Coal Fires.

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MiggyBill
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Re: Coal Fires.

Postby MiggyBill » Tue 20 Dec, 2016 3:18 pm

With regards to bundles of chips for starting coal fires please see attached photo, this is my Great Grandma Eleanor Haw stood with Dolly the donkey outside 12 Pepper Place Hunslet in the very early 1900's. My Great Grandad Richard, her husband, who had been a drayman for Yorkshire Chemicals found himself unemployed after being laid off/finished/made redundant/sacked or services no longer required, I don't know which, bought Dolly the donkey which he used to load up with bundles of fire chips tied together with twists of wire and go round the streets selling to the locals, he did this for several years until his death some 10 years or so later.
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Leodian
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Re: Coal Fires.

Postby Leodian » Tue 20 Dec, 2016 3:20 pm

volvojack wroteColon]The talk of coal fires had made me recall the methods used to get a coal fire going, which could be no mean feat. A usually reliable way was to use a fire lighter stick or two (I wonder what they were made from?). Another method was to use short sticks of wood that had been chopped to the same size and coming in a bundle tied together with a piece of twisted wire (the burning wood also gave off some heat until it burnt out). Another method was to use pieces of newspaper that had been individually twisted to be tight but not too tight (they would not burn if the latter) and so lasted long enough (but not always) to start the coal burning.
"Short sticks of wood chopped to the same size and coming in a bundle tied with twisted wire" you were obviously well off to afford these Chips as they were referred as. we had to content ourselves with chopping up whatever bits of wood we could get our hands on,

Cold but Hapy days.


Hi Jack :).

Ah yes, chips as they were called. I do recall chopping wood to make chip-sized pieces.

I hope your "you were obviously well off" was just a fun jest remark as, probably like many working class families at the time in Leeds, we were poor with mum bringing up 4 of us from just a few years after the end of WW2.

PS. That's a fascinating photo and post MiggyBill that you sent while I was doing my post and so did not see until after I posted.
A rainbow is a ribbon that Nature puts on when she washes her hair.
MiggyBill
PostsCOLON 45
JoinedCOLON Fri 11 Mar, 2016 6:00 pm

Re: Coal Fires.

Postby MiggyBill » Tue 20 Dec, 2016 3:38 pm

Hello Leodian, thanks for the comment. I just remembered in the 60's mi mam used to buy "Spills" I think they were called. These were skinny thin strips of some kind of wood about a foot long, a quarter of an inch across and very thin that had been died several different bright colours, pink, blue, yellow, green etc. She kept them on the hearth next to the fire in a brass shell/bomb casing about 8 - 10 inches tall. She used them to get a light off the fire to light her cigs or the gas cooker etc.
volvojack
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JoinedCOLON Tue 26 Jan, 2016 11:57 am

Re: Coal Fires.

Postby volvojack » Tue 20 Dec, 2016 3:58 pm

Hi Leodian,
Let me apologise for that remark, it was meant to be light hearted. I would not intentionally offend anyone on this site which i enjoy so much

jma
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JoinedCOLON Fri 05 Aug, 2016 3:38 pm

Re: Coal Fires.

Postby jma » Tue 20 Dec, 2016 5:55 pm

MiggyBill's post about spills in brass shell cases brought back memories of both spills and shell cases of various sizes. On the subject of recycling stuff for use on the fire, I remember our poker, but it was only many years later that I realised it was a heavy duty machine drill: the shaft had a spiral groove along its length and the handle had a slot. It did the job very well. I remember we used to have a heavy fireguard with a shallow "D" section brass rail along the top edge. It's a bit hard to describe but seen from above it had a straight panel the width of the range with rounded corners and side panels which reached to the wall at the edges of the range. The point of this detailed description to my reminiscence is that my mother used to air things on it and sometimes warm our clothes before we got dressed. The rail made it easy to slide stuff along and I have a vivid memory of sliding one of my younger brother's vests round to the side where it was nearest the fire and whoosh, up it went in flames. An early lesson in the danger of playing with fire and the cost of replacing clothes. I suppose I must have been about five at the time.
volvojack
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JoinedCOLON Tue 26 Jan, 2016 11:57 am

Re: Coal Fires.

Postby volvojack » Tue 20 Dec, 2016 6:07 pm

Looking at that great picture of MiggyBills donkey reminds me ( Slightly off topic) that there was a manww ith a donkey and cart who lived in a house opposite Alf Cook's on Hunslet Road, he sold firewood and anything else he could et his hands on around the 1950s, He was known locally as Jackie Turkey, his name really was John Aloysius Turkington and this poor donkey was kept in his cellar and brought up the cellar steps outside each morning.
MiggyBill
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JoinedCOLON Fri 11 Mar, 2016 6:00 pm

Re: Coal Fires.

Postby MiggyBill » Tue 20 Dec, 2016 9:16 pm

volvojack wroteColonLooking at that great picture of MiggyBills donkey reminds me ( Slightly off topic) that there was a manww ith a donkey and cart who lived in a house opposite Alf Cook's on Hunslet Road, he sold firewood and anything else he could et his hands on around the 1950s, He was known locally as Jackie Turkey, his name really was John Aloysius Turkington and this poor donkey was kept in his cellar and brought up the cellar steps outside each morning.


My mam who was from Holbeck, born 1927, often spoke about Jackie Turkey, she said he kept a donkey in the house and in fact sold it umpteen times but every time the new owners let it off its tether it found its own way home and Jackie bought it back for half what he paid. Dont know if this is true but a good story nonetheless. My mams family were called Dunderdale, her grandad had a butchers on or near Mutton Hill, her dad, my grandad was called Noppy Dunderdale and was a bookie, his tik tak man was a lovely gent called Teddy Boyes.
jim
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Re: Coal Fires.

Postby jim » Tue 20 Dec, 2016 9:18 pm

I seem to remember that there was a local saying that I came across in the 1950s about Jackie Turkey's donkey - but can't remember the actual saying! Anybody?

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Leodian
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JoinedCOLON Thu 10 Jun, 2010 8:03 am

Re: Coal Fires.

Postby Leodian » Tue 20 Dec, 2016 9:22 pm

volvojack wroteColonHi Leodian,
Let me apologise for that remark, it was meant to be light hearted. I would not intentionally offend anyone on this site which i enjoy so much


Hi Jack :).

I thought it would be just light hearted but I wanted to be sure. I like your posts so please continue to send them in as, along with other contributors, they provide fascinating recollections of a time that is gradually being lost from peoples personal experiences. My recollections though are poor. It was for example not until I read MiggyBill's mention of spills that I then remembered them!

Talking of coal reminded me that a small store room for coal in our top flat of a two storey council flat block was at the top of a flight of stairs to which coal bags were sometimes delivered but sometimes we had to get the coal up. Being house proud, as mums usually were in those days, mum used to occasionally whitewash the coal room! :).
A rainbow is a ribbon that Nature puts on when she washes her hair.
MiggyBill
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JoinedCOLON Fri 11 Mar, 2016 6:00 pm

Re: Coal Fires.

Postby MiggyBill » Tue 20 Dec, 2016 10:28 pm

In about 1963ish I remember a bit of local scandal in the North West Streets just off Woodhouse Street. Mrs Pickles was an old lady that had a very old fashioned shop at the back of Beethams Pawn Shop, She only sold Cigs and a small selection of sweets, very basic. Mrs Pickles apparently never went to bed and used to sleep in her chair in front of the coal fire. One night as she was sat in the dark late on but still awake, a local boy attempted to gain entry to her property by quietly opening one of the downstairs sash windows, Mrs Pickles always kept a poker in the fire so she could light her cigs from it in the dark, anyhow she took the poker and pressed it on the burglars knuckles as he was climbing in, I believe he bade a hasty retreat! The young lad, I know his name but will not reveal, turned out to live very close to the shop, he got caught when he went to the hospital for treatment to his badly burned knuckles. The North Wests for a small community where every one knew everyone and for a while it was juicy gossip for my mum and all my "Aunties"

This is not about fires but it is about coal.
I remember visiting my mum and dads friends who lived in the Rosebanks back in the mid 60's, I was only young then, anyway "Uncle Dick" as I called him told me that their cellar was upstairs and that they went upstairs for the coal, I must have thought he was kidding but he proved it to me, the house was a back to back and there was a door in the scullery kitchen that lead up a few stairs and sure enough there was the coil oil as we called it coal hole. The house was built on a steep hill and the coal man delivered coal in the next street behind where the coal grate was positioned.

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