Thursday, 20 August 2015

York Square, London E14

I was recently in the Limehouse area of East London and straying a few yards north of the busy Commercial Road, stumbled across the Georgian oasis of the York Square Conservation Area and its surrounding streets including a Saxon church.

The buildings were nearly all handsome 2 storey brick homes, directly fronting onto York stone pavements. York Square itself has 2 pubs fronting onto it. I even saw a family of song thrushes in the churchyard. As you'd expect this close to the City, gentrification has set in and houses in York Sq sell for over £700,000.

There were some lovely coal hole covers around which were mainly not marked with the maker or suppliers name but I did find a CM McCarthy of 284 Mile End Road and another from Stepney. The area is mainly in Tower Hamlets and the Council has published a guide, although it doesn't specifically refer to coal hole covers.

Monday, 20 April 2015

North Gower Street, London NW1

Up in London for beer and curry,  I found these 2 beauties just off the Euston Road. They're from Thomas Sampson 394-398 Euston Road, an ironmongers or foundry I've not encountered before.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Ahoy there. .HMS Warrior, Portsmouth

This is the most unusual place I've seen a coal hole cover. .. on board a ship.

I visited the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard on Saturday and went aboard the fantastically restored HMS Warrior which was built in just 2 years between 1859 &1861. It was an ironclad sail and steamship so had to have coal delivered.  The coal came in through the gun ports and was then put down chutes to the engine room below. The ship was constructed at the Thames Ironworks but I don't know if these are the original coal hole covers over the chutes or replacements when the ship was restored in Hartlepool.

The ship was obsolete within a decade and never fired a gun in anger.
It's well worth a visit. More info here:

Friday, 6 March 2015

New finds in Euston

I was visiting a different part of London to normal yesterday and was hoping to find some interesting new covers. I wasn't disappointed.  Just outside Euston station on Euston Square I saw this Dudley and Dowell cover from Warley in Worcestershire. Perhaps it came in a train to Euston.  In Tavistock Place in the yard of Mary Sumner House there were 3 double sized Winser and Co (London) covers. They were notable because they had places for an iron ring to help lift them.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Portland Place, Brighton

One of the few bonuses of visiting the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton is mooching around the backstreets looking for coal hole covers. This one is in the fine wide avenue of Portland Place and is  the first Every and Newman plate I've seen featuring anything but circles.