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J.H. Bean & Co. Ltd, Cast-Iron Cover

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J.H. Bean & Co. Ltd, Cast-Iron Cover
Description:
1971. View shows a cast iron cover set in a brick wall, possibly for a coal chute, manufactured by J.H. Bean & Co. Ltd. of Leeds. J.H. Bean & Co. were a firm of hardware merchants established in 1857, originally in premises at 42 Basinghall Street. They later moved to 6 Albion Street till c1883 when they built their own premises at 31-32 Upper Mill Hill. This remained their head office though they also established warehouses at 22 Lower Basinghall Street, 17 & 19 Ventnor Street, Burley, and 141 Kirkstall Road, Burley as their business prospered for over 100 years; the name is listed in directories up until 1968. They kept a stock of all kinds of builders' hardware and ironmongery goods from kitchen ranges and fireplacees to nails, bolts and nuts and were patentees of the 'Leeds' Door Check and Spring which fitted to the tops of doors to closed them automatically and quietly. In later years they also specialised in noise control with sound insulation systems. The firm exported all over the world, particularly to Holland, America and Australia, and their business was 'one of the most improving and flourishing of its kind in Leeds' according to Industries of Yorkshire, Part 1 (Historical Publishing Company Ltd. 1888).

User Comments:

Name:
John Bean

Comment:
These were most certainly used for delivering coal to the cellars of terraced houses. The 'coalman' as kids knew him would put a wooden or sheet metal chute into the hole created when the plate was removed, hence the handle on the top. Your fingers would fit under the curved rim and the plate would slide out vertically. My dad was always proud of the J.H.B one we had and kept it blackleaded and shiny, obviously due to the family name on it. I have not managed to discover, as yet, if we were related to the J.H.Bean family lineage. I was on holiday some years ago in Seahouses Northumberland and whilst visiting the harbour I decided to take a rest and sit on one of the bollards, where the boats were tied up. When I got closer the name J.H.Bean was cast into the top of each one, some coincidence!

Date:
05-Jun-2013

Email:
beanj@btinternet.com

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Name:
Eamonn Cronin

Comment:
I remember these grates well. on Evanston Avenue Kirkstall road we all, or most, had one. I remember the sound like thunder when the coal was tipped down the tin shoot.we used to count the bags this way to make sure we got the right amount. Once or twice when I was around 9 or 10 I climed through this way when locked out, praying the kitchen door at the top of the cellar steps was not latched from inside!!

Date:
08-Oct-2013

Email:
eamonn.cronin@sky.com

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Name:
John Bean

Comment:
Like Eamonn I helped my family gain access if locked out too, in this manner. One had to hope that there was sufficient coal pile below to land on, otherwise it was a hard landing in the dark. Plus his statement that having entered the darkness the cellar door could have been locked too, so you were stuck until someone turned up with a house key. Although many houses had this easy access, I never heard of anyone being robbed, probably as non of us were wealthy enough to have anything worth stealing.

Date:
31-Oct-2013

Email:
beanj@btinternet.com

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Name:
Jacko

Comment:
I'd imagine most coal hatches would be either bolted or bricked up nowadays unless the occupier kept a large nasty dog down there.

Date:
06-Mar-2016

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
Brenda Scott nee Johnson

Comment:
My Mum put me through the coal-hole when I was about 7, as she'd locked herself out of the house. Luckily there was a good heap of coal to land on! It was an adventure, back then, nowadays it would probably be classed as 'cruelty'!! I well remember my Mum's last words as I disappeared into the gloomy depths..... '...and don't get your socks dirty!' I used to be on counting duty when the coalman was due...sit at the top of the cellar steps and count each bag as it rumbled down the shute!

Date:
09-Aug-2016

Email:
Not displayed

________________________________________________________________________________

Name:
Graham A. Schofield

Comment:
Good heavens! The design on this cover renders it as somewhat of 'A Work Of Art'. Quite a bit of work would have gone into its creation. The individual shapes would have had to have been made in wood by the pattern-maker, and then set into position as per the draughtsman's drawing. Apart from the handle and the lettering there would have been twenty-eight pieces to be made plus the double rimmed centre-boss, which would probably have been turned as one piece. Then the Core-Maker would have to make cores which would then be positioned by the Moulder to restrict the flow of iron in order to create the holes. There must have been hundreds of thousands of such covers all over the country, with different designs in many areas. I was surprised to find that this same design, or one very similar was to be found in other Yorkshire Towns, such as Leeds, Bradford , Otley etc., but bearing various other company names. This seems to point a system where the foundry which cast these covers, did so to order, and with each cover bearing the customer's name and locality. The Globe Foundry in Leeds made a lot of such covers. Perhaps the one shown here was one of theirs. For anyone interested, Google something like, 'Victorian Leeds Cast Iron Coal Chute Covers' or 'Yorkshire Coal Hole Covers', in order to learn a bit more about these items.

Date:
10-Aug-2016

Email:
GrahamScho@AOL.com

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