Wednesday, December 27, 2017


One of the  boyhood joys of Christmas past in Brigg during the late 1960s and early 1970s was settling down in front of a roaring coal fire to toast  crumpets (pikelets) on the end of a long fork and and roast chestnuts among the embers.
That was before the entire council housing stock had central heating installed by Brigg UDC.
These memories were rekindled by the following well-intentioned news release from North Lincolnshire Council, which highlights just how much things have changed since we were a lad...

Be smoke aware this winter
North Lincolnshire Council is asking residents to be neighbourly and think of others when stoking their open fire or wood burning stove this winter.
The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs has issued a practical guide that shows residents how to reduce environmental and health issues and save money.
Open fires and wood-burning stoves in particular are more popular than ever.
The guidance can be found on the DEFRA website and

It explains how you can be more fuel efficient, the importance of maintaining your open fire/stove, the law in smoke control areas and about choosing the right appliance, plus what residents can do to help reduce the harmful effects from smoke.
Cllr Rob Waltham (Brigg & Wolds), leader, North Lincolnshire Council, said: “As open fires and wood burning stoves have risen in popularity in recent years, chimneys are churning out more smoke than ever. This has a negative impact on air quality and can cause health problems such as asthma attacks and other health conditions.
“We’re not saying don’t use them, just be considerate to your neighbours. There’s lots of helpful advice on the council and DEFRA website that is there to help you. By doing simple things like burning less fuel and using smokeless fuels where possible or ready to burn fuel, you can be more fuel efficient and save money in the long run.”


Ken Harrison said...

I remember roasting chestnuts on an open fire....having ready a saucer of salt...and getting a splinter of the very hot shell down my finger nail, but it was worth it.
But a slight clarication, Nige; wood, like straw in the local straw burner power station, is environmentally carbon-neutral - they are not fossil fuels. Burning plants only emit gases, compounds and elements that the plant has needed to grow during it life....the same are consumed by the next generation of plants and a balance is maintained. Whether burnt, allowed to rot/decay naturally, the same ingredients, accepting that there is the volume of plant-life is constant goes thro' a natural cycle.
Even with a major forest fire, while the local population may be suffer a major smoke pollution for a relatively short period, the same, or more precisely, their equivalent 'pollutants' are absorbed by new growth and maturing trees of the next generation within the forest.
Fossil fuels is like breaking into a reservoir of captured gases and compounds from millions of years ago being allowed to escape into the atmosphere during a comparatively short period..(particularly since the Industerial Revolution)...and the World becomes over-dosed, with the resultant consequences.

Ken Harrison said...

'All power is from the Sun' - comment.
Clue: wind power is generated by wind: wind is caused by the Earth's surface/atmosphere being heated at different rates, thus causing high and low pressure areas: wind blows from high to wind is created by the Sun.