During the late 1950s and early 60s Vaughan drew and painted a series of workers and labourers. These include gardeners, farmers, fruit-pickers and harvesters within a pastoral context and in an urban context, railway porters, newspaper sellers, builders, road-workers and hod-carriers. The present example represents a pair of coalmen delivering sacks of coal. While such images reflect Vaughan's interest in exploring the human form within various contexts, they also provided a means of shriving himself of a gnawing guilt concerning his growing success and his subsequent command of higher prices. He wrote, 'The rather dreary and unattractive men who dig anthracite out of the bowels of the earth for me to burn on my cosy studio stove are paid (at a guess) 120 a month. I am paid about 600 a month just to sit beside it and feel wretched, lonely and depressed' (see M. Yorke, Keith Vaughan his Life and Work, London, 1990, p. 259).