There’s a nice story about about Dales economics from Selside, It’s a tiny village – blink and you’ve missed it. But if you’re coming up from Horton in Ribblesdale towards the Ribblehead viaduct there’s a little barn by the side of the road where someone, years ago, put up this lovely sign saying Selside. Its right in the middle of the Three Peaks and you get a gorgeous view of Penyghent all the way up that road.
Now there’s a group of houses there that back onto the railway line and an old dear used to live in one of them, and she came up with a great way of keeping warm in winter.
Every time she had something out of a tin she would take the empty tin and put it on the back wall where the trains went by. Then, whenever one of the engines passed, the driver and fireman would chuck pieces of coal to try and knock off the tins. So then she would go out and, hey presto, free coal!
Of course the only downsides to this were that she had to remember not to put up the tins when she had her washing out, and she had to dash indoors whenever she heard a train coming to avoid get clobbered.
This is the Settle to Carlisle Railway by the way, where the very last British Rail steam train ran in August 1968 so this story has to come from before then. I don’t know what she did for fuel when they changed over to diesels.