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Is burning coal still a thing?

From Mark H

Monday, 25 February 2019

Spent today in Manchester getting a dose of urban culture including the Martin Parr exhibition in the Manchester Art Gallery.

A career-long exhibition of his photographs - including student shots of Salford and Manchester in decay; the original Dirty Old Town. 

Walking back through the city in the 16 degree sunshine was a treat. Electric buses. Trams. No lorries or cars.

Train back to Hebden Bridge as dusk was falling. Walking across the park was like stepping back in time. The stink and smoke of coal hung very low in the still air, drifting across and getting thicker as we crossed the canal. From the bridge we saw several boats tied up around the marina with chimney pipes pouring coal smoke into the air. 

I expect there is a loophole in the Smoke Abatement legislation allowing boat dwellers to burn coal, but this is surely taking the heritage preservation angle a little too far?
Let's bring back leaded petrol, rickets, phossy jaw and mercury too, for authenticity...

Do any boaters, historians, coal merchants have a comment on this?

I dreamed a dream, by the old canal....

From Anthony Rae

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

At the same time of night on Sunday I too was returning to Hebden, and as I turned the corner into Albert Street noted the strong smell of coal fires in the air (and felt the same feeling of exasperation as Mark did). I looked about me for tell-tale smoke from chimney stacks but by then it was too dark to see. Around 80% of air pollution is caused by road traffic but in this town coal and wood burning stoves are clearly making a perceptible contribution. Since most people must know we are living in an air quality management area, is it that these coal burners think the law and some responsibility to their fellow citizens just doesn’t apply to them?

From Julie C

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Nobody in the bottom should be burning anything but smokeless coal; the Tops it's still legal, but why would you. I remember Hebden before smoke control came in. It was beautiful and clear only very early in the morning. By breakfast time every household had unbanked their fire and the whole town disappeared beneath a great yellow black murk, horrible.

From Tim Brooks

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Not just coal, but massively elevated levels of air pollution in West Yorkshire (not just Leeds) at the moment. 

Warning issued as Leeds sees dangerously high levels of air pollution Leeds Live

It's so bad people are being advised not to do strenuous exercise.

From Adrian Riley

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Wood burning stoves are an increasing problem and with one nearby it can get impossible to have a bedroom window open without filling the room with the smell of acrid smoke.  Needless to say the stove-owner does not experience the smell as the smoke drifts away to another's property.

It also has an impact on local trees as these are seen as a 'free' for the taking resource. 

The Council needs to take a more active approach to ensuring wood burning stoves are legally compliant with smoke control zones.