Coalman

Cheshunt

By Dawn Harmer

Cheshunt Station 1950s
Hertfordshire Archives & Local Studies

One of my earliest memories is going to work with my father, Jim Wyllie, who if alive today would be 92, back in the 50/60s.  My father was the local coalman in Cheshunt.  The local coal yard was down Windmill Lane by the train station, where now you will find the Wallpaper store Coalman’s and the parking for the train station.  This whole area was piled high with loose coal, which my father would shovel by hand into sacks and stack on the back of a small lorry. 

There was an old fashion caravan in the yard where an older man called Bill would make mugs of tea and keep watch of the yard.  This is where I would have to sit and wait for my father. I would watch him from the open door of the caravan.  The coal would be delivered by train and the couple of men that work with Jim would shove it into the yard to make these giant stacks of shiny, dusty, smelly coal.  Once the lorry was loaded, Jim would drive and deliver the coal to local residents.

We lived in a tied house (house went with the job) Number 67 Windmill Lane. I remember my mother (Alice Wyllie, 90) filling a tin bath with hot water and a big block of coaltar soap, ready for my father, when he came home from work.    I remember Jim had enormous strong hands, must have been from all the shovelling and lifting those very heavy sacks everyday. 

This page was added on 06/05/2012.

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