Oldham Historical Research Group

'Oldham Stories'

     'Oldham Stories'
by Mary Dickinson

A Bag of Coal

There used to be one or two coal yards near where we lived. There was one in Whiteley St., which we called Lord's Hill, and one between Horsedge St. and Dorothy Lane, which was always very busy in the winter. lf we ran short of coal and the coalman wasn't due our mam would call us in from play and send us for a bag of coal.

We would go with a few friends of our own age. When we got to the coal yard there was a big shed full of bright shiny black coal, and a large pair of scales. We paid for a bag of coal and borrowed a wagon to wheel it home. It was a very strong wagon with iron wheels and a long iron handle. When we had delivered the coal we were never in a hurry to take back the wagon and we would give each other rides up and down the street in it till bedtime. As it was getting dark, you could hear shouts of "Bring back the wagons," and everyone would roll them back along the cobbled streets. It was very noisy and I think some mothers had problems getting their babies to sleep.

Then it was peaceful again and the children returned home very dirty but very happy. Mothers always knew where their children were then.

Happy Days! Wagons Roll!

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