I'm not sure what your fuel is, but there are a few ways to start a coal fire without wood.
The favorite way is to use a hand-held propane torch. I'm not sure if these are available in the UK or not. We use them for soldering/brazing water pipes. It is a small propane or butane cylinder with a burner attachment screwed onto it.
If using a propane torch, first crumble several pieces of your 'smokeless' coal and make a row or pile of the crumbles, and put the other coal around the pile or row of 'crumbles' Use the propane torch to light the 'crumbles'.
We have a product in the states called a 'coal mouse' it is a small box with a 'tail' coming out of it, you bury the box in the coal, and you light the 'tail' and the box burns hot to get the coal burning. I don't think they can be shipped due to the fire hazard.
If you use very small thin very dry sticks of wood, they won't smoke at all, you could use them without being 'caught' burning 'smokey fuel'
Hope this helps. Greg L