Coal Hole

June 26, 2008 at 15:39 | Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Coal Hole

You open the little iron door and you pour the coal straight into the cellar or coal shed, see!

Lots of the old coal holes have been bricked up now, but plenty still remain. I spotted this one as I walked aimlessly down Rawlinson Street this afternoon, and I was immediately struck by the colours.



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  1. Well spotted

  2. eeeeeeeerrrr…….I may be wrong, but………It reminds me more of the old ASH Doors, when we had no wheely bins like today, and every house had coal fires, and all the ashes had to be raked out through that door and shoveled into the Dust Wagon.

  3. Bill, what I love about this exercise is that somebody much more knowledgable than me comes long and puts me write. And this is how we learn! Thank you for your correction. I’d always assumed they were coal holes!

  4. wonderful shot of the lost industrial age..

  5. Bill, another thought. This one I saw was in the yard wall, not the house wall, so it wouln’t have been at the back of a fireplace, would it?

  6. No it was not at the back of the fire place, they were in the wall in the backstreet, as that is the only way the middin men could emty them.
    The backyards had two bunkers, one for the coal and the other for the ashes.
    As the coalman had to carry his sacks on his shoukder, his bunker had a higher wall and the ash bunker had a lower wall but deeper in length, so when they emtied the ashes they used a long flat bladed rake and the ashes were put into a sort of basket a bit like a babies craddle and the lifted by two mwn into the open toped wagon.
    One other thing was, that when they had gone the back street was cleaner than it was when they arrived as they swept up as they went along.

    It is a wonder that the one in the photograph is still there as many were stolen at night to be sold to the scrap yards.

    Sorry for such a long posting.


  7. Now I am going to feel really old, but were these not from outside toilets before we had running water? Ash was used to help cover the smell and they were emptied by shovelling out through this door by the ‘middin men’. They were in the yard wall so the middin men didn’t have to come into the yard but could gain access from the back streets.

  8. It;s amazing how you live and learn! Thank you for that, Lynn.

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