The McElroys talk about their dealings with coal at Edge Hill station
Resource Type: Audio | Posted on 27th July 2011 by Liam Physick
The McElroys tell of how they would sneak into the Edge Hill goods yard and observe the coal trucks. They also remember coal being delivered to them by Buller, the Edge Hill coalman, and how they would sometimes clean out his stables
Interviewee: David and Steve McElroy
Interviewee Gender: Male
Date of Interview: 25th March 2011
David: The, sort of, areas around were - which were out of bounds, you know, kids being kids, we always found ways of, particularly after the end of the working day, when there was only a handful of people in the station, wandering round what was the sidings and the, the old goods area on the other side . . .
Jenny: Oh, yeah.
David: . . . cos that was where there used to be all the coal wagons, literally, dozens and dozens of coal wagons on multiple tracks, waiting to be taken off, and there was all coal merchants on Durning Road . . .
Steve: You know, they were all, they were all coal, coal merchants on Tunnel Road.
David: Yeah, Tunnel Road, sorry, yeah, Tunnel Road.
Steve: Load of, I mean, the buildings are still there, all the coal merchants and all of that . . .
Steve: . . . between here and Spekeland Road, yeah.
Jenny: So did you get coal from there, was that or were, did you . . . ?
David: Yeah, Martin, yeah, well, we, we, we, obviously, we, like most people at the time, coal was the stape fuel, Martindale’s, yeah, so, they had an office on Tunnel Road, I mean, how the original arrangement was made, I don’t know, but they used to deliver coal probably once a week.
Steve: But, I’m reading about, we also used to get coal delivered, I mean, the guy, remember him, he was called, he was called Buller?
David: Oh, I was, I was, yeah, he was, I was, I was, I hoped I could remember that! (Jenny laughs)
Steve: At the top end, at the top end of our street, we . . .
Steve: . . . we had, there was a family lived there called the McKeowns who were related to us by marriage and, just opposite from their house, right next to the railway cutting, there was, there was stables, and there was a guy called Buller - I can’t remember his second name - but that was his stables and, and he was, he was the coalman . . .
Steve: I don’t think it was Mills, though.
Jenny: What, Buller was his first name?
Steve: That was his nickname . . .
David: That’s, what was, that was his nickname.
Steve: . . . probably would have been his family name or something like thar.
Jenny: Oh, right, oh! (laughs)
Steve: But he used to deliver coal, and he actually used to keep the horses there, and sometimes we used to go an muck the horses out for him, as well.
David: Oh, we, we, that was one of the favourite activities, whenever he’d come into the bottom of our street, and started making his way down, the kids would always want to get on to the, to the wagon or lead the horses, and, yeah, we used to go and, despite the fact that it wasn’t a particularly pleasant job we used to go and help clean the stables out and . . .
Jenny: Oh, wow!
David: . . . it was, yeah, it was good, I must say I enjoyed that, yeah.
Categorised under: The Station & Railway Pioneers