On a rather cold day fourteen of advent we bring you this piece of coal. We have a lot of coal at Beamish Museum as you can imagine and it’s always useful on a day like today to keep the home fires burning, but this piece has particular significance. It’s long been tradition, particularly in Scotland and the North of England, for the first person over the threshold on New Years Day to come offering a piece of coal. This is meant to signify prosperity and bring luck to all those living in the home. It is also preferable that the first person across the threshold is a tall, dark haired male.