I realise that this is not strictly Industrial Archaeology, but the
following letter recently appeared in the Barnsley Chronicle (19/7/2002)
"I attended Cannon Hall on Sunday along with thousands of others. I was with
my grandchildren and came across a stall selling models made with coal.
I was explaining to the kids how my dad actually knew someone who carved
figures from coal and, as a youngster, I was taken to see them.
Immediately, the stallholder chipped in that all coal models were made from
coal dust which is poured into moulds much like concrete and anyone claiming
to have carved models was a liar as it is impossible to carve because of its
I tried to explain that the coal was a special type (I believe it was called
Kennel Coal) but he was having nothing of it. If I am wrong then I apologise
to the stallholder, but if I am right I think he needs to study the heritage
of this area before scorning it."
I have seen 'carved coal figures' elsewhere, including the Yorkshire Mining
Museum, and believe that coal can be carved, but most items sold nowadays is
Can anyone give further details, especially about the type of coal that can