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2 hours ago, Fat Controller said:

The anthracite would be in various sizes, to suit different appliances; anthracite boilers are easily blocked by the 'wrong sort of coal. At the minimum, there were 'grains', 'peas' and 'beans'. Don't forget that each merchant would have their own cells. For 'ovoids, have you looked at different seeds, such as sesame, nigella and black onion? If you go for these, get them from the nearest Indian grocer, as they do proper-sized bags.

 

Many thanks for this; I did not know the sizes varied so much.  I had thought of seeds - I am a curry-holic - but could not find any so small.  I scrounged a lump of Phurnacite from my parents' coal bunker, and a OO scale ovoid works out at 0.5 mm.  The only way I can think of modelling a heap so far is making a 'dome' of modelling clay, carving the end out of a pencil point into a hollow oval, and then going slowly doolally trying to 'imprint' the oval 'cobble' shape over the clay 'heap' before it all dries out.  I think mustard and cummin seeds appear far too large.  My partner, a keen gardener, did a quick search through her books and could find no seed small enough, but that does not mean there is not one out there, of course!

Edited by C126
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47 minutes ago, C126 said:

 

Thanks for the photograph.  I am still bracing myself to try and build a coal-elevator.  Did you include the pens in your model, and if so, how many, please?

 

On my model I made the pens a lot wider than the ones in the photo, so I only have four - my guess is that there were 7 used in the actual structure in the photo.

The problem is that the only photo of the place that I have found is the one I posted above, which came from a Ipswich CoOp Schools Manual they produced for their 125th Anniversary back in 1993. I only got a copy as I was involved in arranging transportation of school parties to their HQ by vintage bus!

I've never been able to trace the original of that photo either, as it wasn't in their archives when I looked through them....

You could see the shed structure from the railway station, but there was no public access into the coal yard itself unless you worked there. In addition to the covered pens, there were several open ones constructed from old sleepers, and there was a hydraulic wagon tipper - a photo of which I posted in a different coal yard thread on here in the past year or so. The coal lorry shown in the photo was registered in late 1955, so my guess is that the photo was taken when it was fairly new. The wagon tipper was installed sometime in the late 50's and was sited more or less immediately behind the lorry, where the end of the wooden open wagon can be seen. There was presumably a conveyor system put in at the same time to transfer the coal from the tipper to the pens!

 

I have an elevator which was a fairly basic whitemetal kit, purchased and assembled many years ago, but can't remember the manufactrer. I've added an extension chute at the top end in the last week so it looks better with these pens.

 

One good source of larger lumps of "coal" is decorative coloured vase filler, which I bought a plastic container of from Dunelm.  The size of the contents varies, but generally they fall into the 12"-18" lump range in OO. I actually bought the stuff for use in G Scale rolling stock, but it looks fine on the OO layout, and better than the rather small OO stuff I had "in stock".

Edited by Johann Marsbar
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19 hours ago, Fat Controller said:

The anthracite would be in various sizes, to suit different appliances; anthracite boilers are easily blocked by the 'wrong sort of coal. At the minimum, there were 'grains', 'peas' and 'beans'. Don't forget that each merchant would have their own cells. For 'ovoids, have you looked at different seeds, such as sesame, nigella and black onion? If you go for these, get them from the nearest Indian grocer, as they do proper-sized bags.

Just asking the question. Were the tiny anthracite sizes ever delivered loose or were they always bagged at source. My brother had a solid fuel central heating system that ran on a couple of scoops of beans each day. It's satanic heat ate grates for fun.

Edited by doilum
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When I was a child, the local coal merchant used to go to the local station after the pickup goods had delivered his load although quite often he was there waiting for it. He and his two blokes would then empty the wagon into bags and the wagon would be swept out because the sweepings  could be sold as slack. All done in time for the afternoon pickup goods to collect the wagon.

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2 hours ago, PenrithBeacon said:

When I was a child, the local coal merchant used to go to the local station after the pickup goods had delivered his load although quite often he was there waiting for it. He and his two blokes would then empty the wagon into bags and the wagon would be swept out because the sweepings  could be sold as slack. All done in time for the afternoon pickup goods to collect the wagon.

I have told the tale elsewhere but my late grandfather spoke about his first day at Briggs Whitwood colliery aged 13 ,circa 1912, and helping to deal with a whole train that had been returned by a London merchant because, on unloading the first wagon they had filled a small sack with dust and sweepings.

Edited by doilum
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I can remember the coal bins at Barnsley Station in the mid 1970s. I was working at Jumble Lane signal box wiring up the barriers in preparation for the removal of the crossing gates. The local S and T depot was in the coal yard. See https://www.old-maps.co.uk/#/Map/434740/406530/13/100765 Enlarge the view for the 1968-1977 OS map. The bins each held a different grade of coal as has been mentioned above. An easy way to find the map of a station is to visit https://www.geograph.org.uk/ and type the name of the station's location into the search box. Then browse the photos. When you have found a station's photograph click on the "More Links for this image" (lower right). On the new page click on the link for old-maps.co.uk which is below the heading 'Mapping Websites:'. I got to the map mentioned above via https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/6490180 I hope this helps. The site also hosts many of the late, great Ben Brooksbank's pictures. See https://www.geograph.org.uk/profile/44502

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I was talking about this with my dad recently, he grew up in Hinckley , the coal yard had at least 2 merchants and also was the off loading point for the gas works. I don't remember the tractor & trailer shuffling between yard and the gas works but do recall the merchants storage bins being quite big and facing the wagons, in winter there would also be stockpiles around the goods yard. I have also seen pictures of coal bins where oil drums are used to separate the stacks(Profile of the Class 20's, Pinkston yard near Cowlairs 20020 in green FYE). 

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