Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Stand And Deliver


Today's doorway photograph is a quite charming study of what I presume is a mother and daughter. Now, it may be that it was a carefully posed shot (the poor child being compelled to gaze up at her mother by any reasonable or unreasonable combination of carrot and stick), but I would be prepared to bet my old bulb shutter-release against a new SD card that it was a natural moment that the photographer cleverly caught on camera. As for the who and the where, I have no idea. As for the when, I would once again guess the early 1930s.

In a comment on yesterday's post, my friend Heldrun Khokhar asked about the strange hole in the wall next to the feet of the leaning man. This was what was known in these parts as a "coal hole". It was an opening which - via a chute - gave access to the cellar of the house and through which coal could be delivered. Coal delivery men along with their donkey and carts would deliver coal on a weekly basis. The coal would be in sacks which would be emptied down "t'hole". I can still just remember coal being delivered to our house when I was young, although, by then, we had an outside coal-house where it was stored.


  1. You might be right Ali, but it looks too small for a coal hole. I wonder if a stop valve is lurking in there.

    On a different observation: I notice that many of the houses in your old photos have a pebble-dash finish - a finish that could not withstand bouncing a ball against. By dint of bouncing I managed to reduced the back wall of 6 Southmere Drive to raw cement.

  2. Have I seen holes like this with a boot scraper in?

  3. Ah, the coalhouse! We had one of those; I remember counting the sacks in. Where we lived, in Nottingham, many of our neighbours were miners and we were surrounded by pit villages. I remember a play by Alan Plater at the Nottingham Playhouse, called ‘Close the Coalhouse Door’.

  4. Thanks for the enlightenment. The child's shoes remind me of mine but that was in the late '40 after the war. I recall coal cellars but not wholes like that.

  5. Anonymous12:24 PM

    You might be right Ali, but it looks too small for a coal hole.




I was attempting to follow the course of the Hebble Brook yesterday as it slunk its way under North Bridge before it gets lost deep beneath ...