Lullymores and coal blocks

 

A chara, – Peter McIlwaine (Letters, January 28th) wrote about “Lullymores”, as peat briquettes were known at first, which were milled peat bonded into blocks for burning. My parents also referred to them as Lullymores.

They had a precursor, “coal blocks”, coal dust bonded (with tar?) to form solid lumps, a form of cheaper fuel at the time. Éamonn Mac Thomáis wrote a book called Gur Cakes and Coal Blocks.

My mother Eileen (born in 1906) grew up in the Gulistan area of Rathmines, Dublin. It is curious how this part of Rathmines had a Persian name meaning “rose garden”.

She told of how the “Bell Man” would come around the streets on a horse-drawn cart, ringing a bell for customers, and shouting out, “Coal blocks!”

She and her friends playing on the street would run after the cart. They shouted out, “What do you feed your mother on?” The Bell Man would ring his bell and answer, “Coal blocks! Coal blocks!” – Is mise,

PÁDRAIG McCARTHY,

Sandyford,

Dublin 16.