Sea coal is a rare bounty on Saltburn beach, generally only found after large storms and spring tides. The coal originates from offshore seams and has been gathered from North East beaches since at least the 7th century.
I was taught to use sea coal sparingly as it burns with great heat and can damage a fireplace. It is best used to cover a fire at the end of a night where it forms a crust which retains the heat of the fire until the following morning. I was also taught that a fire should not be extinguished but allowed to go out naturally.