Sunday, 7 August 2005 - 00:31 BSTName: Joanna
I remember seeing coal delivered to my grandma's coal cellar...which was a whole room underground next to the furnace...which would have been big enough to hold a standing up Shadrach, Meshech, and Abednego. On winter nights she sat in the basement by the furnace working over her rug loom. The roar, snap and pop from the furnace were a cozy acompaniment to Grandma's stories of long ago when western Pennsylvania was a less comfortable place, where people kept warm with wood fires, a fireplace in each room.
I also remember specks of coal dust in the city air around
Grandma's house, black flakes drifting down to settle on clothes which were then ruined.
Sunday, 7 August 2005 - 11:45 BSTName: Tessa
I vaguely remember the London Smogs in the early 1950's. They were mainly caused by pollution from coal fires and soot in the air together with sulphur dioxide and other nasty by-products of coal burning. What I remember most was seeing my sister, Maud, coming home from work with her face completely swathed in numerous scarves. A lo-tech solution to breathing it all in! It was quite toxic and a lot of people died.
The use of smokeless fuel became compulsory but London was still 'dirty' for a long time. I can remember visiting another sister, Janine, in her flat in Balham when I was about fifteen. Spent the day going round London museums and, when I went to bed, I was horrified to discover that the lower part of my new white petticoat had turned a really filthy grey from the dust and dirt!