Temperatures may be soaring but this is a good time to stock up on coal because summer discounts are being offered by Blackford’s until the end of the month.
The coal merchants who are celebrating their 80th anniversary this year say all fuels in stock are discounted. There will be more discounts from the end of the month until September but the best value is now.
“We don’t know yet what is going to happen to the price of fuel as a result of the falling value of the pound but we know, from a log merchant, that the price of logs has soared already,” said Philip Blackford, who runs the business with his father Alan and brother Richard.
“If people buy fuel for the winter now they will be ready when the weather takes a turn for the worse but will also not have to worry about fuel prices later.” he added.
R. A. Blackford is based at Five Ash Down, in Cobdown Lane, and delivers within an area stretching from Eastbourne to Clacket Lane near the M25 and between the A21 and A23, also going to Shoreham and Worthing.
Customers are also welcome to call in to take advantage of a cash and carry service.
The family business – launched by Philip’s grandfather 80 years ago – can advise on the best fuel to suit the purpose, whether for boilers, wood burners, multi-fuel stoves, open fires, gravity feed fires or for blacksmiths and farriers.
R. A. Blackford also sells kindling, logs, firelighters, coal bunkers, coal buckets, hods and fireside companion sets.
Philip’s father Alan was a teenager when he came into the family business after his father died at the age of 39 in 1954.
He worked with his mother and two employees to keep the coal merchants going, as well as a furniture removal business started during the war years – a lot of work was done in those days moving evacuees – and in 1958 the Blackfords went into haulage.
The coal merchant used to work out of the railway station where the fuel was brought in by rail. Alan said they worked alongside at least five or six other merchants. There were more in Crowborough and in places such as Isfield and Barcombe too – all the little villages used to have them at one time.
Of course all that has changed and the introduction of gas and oil heating means many R. A. Blackford customers these days light fires to enjoy them rather than because of necessity.
The coal merchant delivers coal loose (50kg) or in pre-packed plastic sacks (10/25kg). The coal depot is open Monday to Friday, 8am to 4.30pm and on Saturday (November to Easter) 9am to noon.
For more information please call 01825 732183 or visit the R. A. Blackford website at www.rablackford.com.