In this day and age we simple press a button and on comes our gas or oil fired boiler. Very rarely nowadays you may come across a house with a solid fuel back boiler – these were all the rage in the late 1960s but were not quite the fantastic development heralded at the time. It involved a huge space being needed behind the main domestic fireplace in which the boiler was installed – the fire in the front had to be kept going at all hours to keep the boiler running to produce hot water and heating. In my grandmother’s old people’s bungalow however the council stuipidly cut costs and corners and only put the back boiler in for water – for a very little extra, they could have installed radiators in the 3 rooms which would not have cost Gran any extra to run! Instead, she used to have to run a coal or anthracite fire, which would get the water boiling hot, but she could never use all that hot water and had to ‘run it off’ down the bath, before the storage tank exploded!