Photos to be included soon.
When I was a lad we didn’t have any fancy central heating and radiators, oh no. Coal fire in the front room and a Rayburn (think cheap Aga) in the dining room. The Rayburn was always on and in winter we would move the tv into the dining room so there was only one room to heat. As soon as you got out of bed or the bath you’d run to the dining room as quick as you could.
The only winter day in the lounge was Christmas day. We’d move the tv back for the day and the tree and presents would be in there. It was my job to start the coal fire in the lounge. It was nice to have the responsibility.
I’m worried that starting a fire is a dying skill. Mind you it’s just not really needed anymore. Central heating and all that! Unlike, say, changing a wheel, surely all people can and have done this for practice but people I’ve spoken to have no idea about this. I will be doing this for fun with my sons when they are older.
So the easiest way to get a fire going requires a little time to set up but you save time in the long run having to start again.
Take some news paper, lay it flat and then gather up along the fold line so it’s bow shaped and then fold in half and put these pieces under the grate (these are the bits you light).
Now take more newspaper and lay it flat. Then roll into a pipe about 2cm in diameter along a diagonal of the rectangle. Now take your tube and tie it in a loose knot and even out the circle. Place these on top of the grate to cover the surface. These will light the kindling.
The kindling should be places in a check pattern on top of the paper circles. A couple of layers should be enough.
Lastly get some coal, without too much dust, and place a layer evenly on the kindling. The kindling should be placed so no lumps of coal can fall onto the paper circles. That’s it!
Get a match and light the paper under the grate in a few places and your fire will start beautifully.