| shaking screens with various sizes of perforations. The
coal is hand picked on five travelling tables with lowering
ends to prevent or reduce breakage at the waggons. The dross
is carried from all the screens by a scraper conveyor to the
elevator pit, from whence it is raised by an elevator capable
of raising 50 tons per hour. It is then divided into six sizes
by a revolving riddle composed of perforated steel plates,
the perforations being kept open by means of a blower. Five
sizes of dross are washed in " bash " tanks and
delivered into hoppers, the unwashed "gum" being
conveyed to the boiler dross-hole by a scraper conveyor. Provision
is also made for loading large and small coal into carts by
means of three coal screens and four hoppers for washed dross.
Composition brick, fire brick, covers, blocks, pipes, traps,
vent linings, chimney cans, and fancy ware are made from the
blaes and fire-clay drawn from the colliery. These are all
hand made, except the pipes and vent linings which are made
by a Titley pipe machine having a cylinder 42 inches in diameter.
The green ware is all steam dried and burnt in circular arid
At the harbour provision is made for loading and disloading
vessels either afloat or on the ground. One of the berths
is furnished with a movable shoot so that steamers may be
loaded and bunkered without being shifted. The capacity of
this shoot is about 90 tons per hour.
All the surface plant, the brickwork, office, and harbour
are lighted by electricity. The installation consists of a
Silvertown dynamo with an output of 370 amperes at 60 volts
at 460 revolutions per minute. There are 10 arc lamps and
160 incandescent lamps. This plant is driven by a 13-inch
cylinder engine with a 3-feet stroke running at the rate of
60 revolutions per minute.
There are about 250 workmen's houses connected with the colliery,
another block of thirty-two newly erected, and more in course
of construction. These recently built are two-storied, two-roomed
houses of brick.
Salt Making, 1189—King David's Grant—Increase of Salt Works—
Complete Description of Salt Making in the Early Centuries—Salt
Smuggling—The Bludewife—Bamboozling the Ganger—Sandy Hewit,
the Cockenzie Salt Smuggler, and how he did it—Repeal of the
Salt Duty— Price of Salt—From an Edinburgh Source.
THE manufacture of salt, like the digging of coal, began at
a very early period in this locality. We have already referred
to charters emanating from De Quincy of Winton and Tranent,
wherein he granted the monks of Newbattle a footing at Preston
in 1184, where they formed a home and did not delay to set
their house in order, for soon we find them not only with
their sheep in the meadows and their hands at the plough,
but, so early as the year 1198, we find this same religious
order busily engaged in the art of making salt.
At what period the monks of Newbattle ceased from their labours
as manufacturers of salt at Prieststown would now be difficult
to determine. Very likely it would be during Reformation times.
No doubt the salters would take unto themselves wives from
among the fisher folks, and perhaps we have a direct line
of continuance down through all these years to our no less
worthy labourers at the salt pans of the present day.
That it has, however, been a never ceasing branch of industry
in the village since that early date may readily be taken
for granted. Some two centuries later we have information
to the effect that there were no less than ten salt works
belonging to the town, and that they were capable of producing
between 800 and 900 bushels of salt per week.
In an old MS. we find a curious fragment under the heading
" Prestonpans. " It says, " King David I.,
among other places, granted them two salt pans Out in the
Forth, but, " continues the writer, " whether these
were here or elsewhere