Roy recalls his work loading the coal wagons at Edge Hill
Resource Type: Audio | Posted on 22nd July 2011 by Liam Physick
Roy remebers how he used to load the coal wagons at Edge Hill, how he would be frozen in winter, how the problem was made worse by hosing the coal down (which made it heavier), and how he used to cheat his customers
Interviewee Gender: Male
Roy: I mean, I used to work as a, a lift on the coal, you know, on the coal wagons from Edge Hill, and at the top of the . . . Edge Hill, the, the little, like, they used to be where all the coal people used to live, you know, and you went there, and you got on the coal wagon, and you earned a couple of bob, well, a couple of pence, really, it was pence and shillings, loading the coal wagons, and then taking them round the tenements and things like that, and we could never take, like, Myrtle Street tenements and all like that, up the five storeys, you couldn’t walk that far with the, with the bag on your shoulder and, you know, it was hard, you know, they things we used to do, we used to come here, get weighed, get out, get it cold, you’d come in the winter, and it would be freezing . . .
Terry: I hope that’s not a view of the future at the moment!
Roy: . . . and hauled the coal bags and cold bags, which owed a hundredweight of coal, was stiff, and I was stiff with ice and frozen, and used to have to hold it while somebody else shovelled it in, and get your hundredweight, weigh it, things like that.
Paul: But didn’t, didn’t they also, did they used to hose it down, didn’t they, so it all weighed more?
Pat: Make it wet, yeah.
Paul: The coal . . .
Pat: Yeah, yeah.
Paul: . . . but they used, they said that they, they were hosing it down to keep the dust down.
Pat: Yeah, yeah, yes, yeah.
Roy: The dust. There was lots of . . .
Paul: But what they were actually doing was . . .
Pat: Putting the water in and making it, yes, yeah . . .
Paul: . . . that they were making the coal wet, so that when you then fill the sack up . . .
Roy: There was lots of things that went on . . .
Paul: The, the . . .
Roy: . . . which was, you might call these days illegal, making a few bob, weighing the, the, the coal on the, on the wagon, and when you’d get out and . . . used to go to places who’d want five bags of coal, and you’d put four in, and an empty bag and say, “Is that me five”, “Yeah”, “OK” (Pat laughs) and you made a few bob because they, they got away with a extra bag.
Categorised under: Work & Industry