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  Colliery Guardian, 23rd January 1858
State of Trade—Price of Coal—Hard Tops
and Cannel—Reduced Wages The Iron Trade

THE price of coals in this district has experienced no variation. At the Hales Field pits, where a good trade is done in what is called land sale, “hard tops,” are selling at 11s. 8d. per ton ; lumps at 8s- 4d. ; and refuse slack, 5s. per ton ; “big flints “ are 10s., and “flint lumps “ 7s. 6d.; hard tops, as they are called, represent the best top coals, a highly bituminous seam of no very great thickness, and by no means general throughout the Shropshire field. A singular layer of cannel coal is usually found associated with it, and this is appropriated to the use of the workmen-

The ton consists of 20 cwt- and not of 21 cwt., as it does when sent by canal to Coalport, where the extra hundred weight is allowed for loss. The men are this fortnight at work at the reduced prices, and, as I anticipated in a former letter, have resumed labour without hesitation, although an impression generally prevails among the men that the improved tone of the trade will very likely induce the masters to withdraw the reduction. The books of some of the largest firms, it is true, have not been so barren of orders for iron for eighteen years as they were a month ago, but they now present an improved aspect.


Submitted by Steve Dewhirst

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