I’ve been waiting for three hours – still no sign of a bus, or a lady with a sack of coal come to that…
The ‘Forenzsic’ says it’s not a a sack of coal. I maintain it is…or, perhaps more likely, a bag of coke from the local gasworks at Longton which stood where the Tesco is now by the side of the A50. I know me stuff. 😉
Forenzsic replies: I don’t know about coke (maybe it’s less dense and more uniform) but a sack of coal is slung heavy at the bottom where the slack naturally gravitates and is usually smutty on the outside with besmirches from the grafting hands of the coalman. Move over Amamda Burton.
You’ll only excite him using words like besmirches.
Slack! Bloody slack!! There’s not enough of the Taffy in you, Girlo, and too much of the Medtranuem stuff! It was the rubbish stuff they produced down in The Valleys that made Slack! We dug real coal up here; lumps as big as horses and nary a bit of slack. When the Butty rang the bell at the bottom of the pit shaft, the winder knew he was bringing up a stack of mine tubs that were filled with one lump of coal. We had a team of Knockermen who’s job it was to break them up before they went through the washer. [Most of the coal didn’t need to go through the washer cus it was so clean.] The only dirt that ever came out of our pit was that we needed to shift to get to the seams. That was my job: a crutter. I was the bloke who, along with other super-human beans, risked our lives every day blasting our way through this dirt to get to the precious black gold that was Stoke Coal. And then we sat back and watched the massive lumps passing us by with great satisfaction until, once again, we were required to blast our way into the virgin earth a mile underground to get at more of the great lumps as big as horses.
Coke! You don’t know wot coke is? I’m amazed that a lass of your vast knowledge of humanity doesn’t know wot coke is. I’ll explain it to you. 😉
Coke is a by-product of making gas. You get the coal, stuff it in an airtight oven and cook it. From the cooking, you get a load of stuff including gas, tar and oil. Some of the gas is used to heat the ovens again and some is/was stored in the big gasometers that you used to see around the place. This gas was the stuff everybody used in their houses before they started to get it from under the North Sea. [A different type of gas.] The old gas from the coke plants was brilliant for topping oneself if one was depressed. Coke is the residue of the cooked coal. It’s light as a feather and a bag that size [the one the old woman was taking on the bus] you could lift with one hand.
Oh, I almost forgot. Stoke Coal, cus is was so precious and briliant, was used for households. Taffy Coal was used to make coke cus it had to be rendered down to pouder and it was almost like that when the Taffs dug it up. That’s why when you see those boyos marching and singing ‘Land of my Fathers’, they’ve always got black faces. The blokes from Stoke who worked on the face always went down in collar and tie and had to ware rubber gloves so as not to harm the preciuous lumps as big as horses.
I hope I’ve learned you summat.
Stop Press: Welsh coal not as good as English coal! You’ll be telling us our water’s not as pure neither.
(As an NCB worker’s daughter, I recall we got a lot of free ‘coal’ and a lot of that was slack.) Thank you for the learning, doffs cap
Your water isn’t as pure as ours either. You see Buxton Spring Water on sales in most supermarkets. I aint ever seen any from Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. 😉
This is a seecret so don’t tell anybody…I love the people from South Wales. In the days when the pits were in full swing, I used to travel to The Valleys regularly. Cus I’d been a miner, I was always welcomed in the Workingmen’s clubs down there and have spent many a night dossing with my fellow Welsh seekers of black gold. Hearts as big as the lumps of coal us Stoke miners dug up had Jones the Butty and Evans the Knockerman. My favourite writer [apart from Eli and you two monkeys over in Norfolk] is Richard Llewellyn. Can anyone tell a tale like he does?
O land of my fathers, O land of my love,
Dear mother of minstrels who kindle and move,
And hero on hero, who at honour’s proud call,
For freedom their lifeblood let fall.
Wales! Wales! O but my heart is with you!
And long as the sea
Your bulwark shall be,
To Cymru my heart shall be true.
O land of the mountains, the bard’s paradise,
Whose precipice, valleys lone as the skies,
Green murmuring forest, far echoing flood
Fire the fancy and quicken the blood.
For tho’ the fierce foeman has ravaged your realm,
The old speech of Cymru he cannot o’erwhelm,
Our passionate poets to silence command
Or banish the harp from your strand.
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