A word from Fireplace.co.uk’s resident Sweep-Katie

Katie SweepAs the autumn arrives and the winter draws near, along comes our very busiest time of year. Happy in our work as our customers prepare for a cosy winter around a warm friendly fire,

I have been a chimney sweep for 8 years now and over this time it has become obvious to me that people are very much creatures of habit and a clear pattern can be seen, as to how the weather still plays such a leading role in our routine. Even with all the technology that we rely upon in our busy day to day lives our inbuilt human instinct to prepare for the winter months still leaps in to action at the first signs of summer drawing to a close.

This year in particular after a chilly and gloomy August, us sweeps and no doubt, others within our industry have been busier than ever. Many people have remarked upon how strange it has felt to be lighting their fires and stoves in what should have been a warm summer month. I personally have never needed much encouragement to get the fire lit, often resulting later on in the evening having a grumbling husband, complaining of it been far too warm. I have many a fond memory of my younger self spending a great deal of time sat in front of a warm fireside often at my Grandparents farmhouse and my wonderful Granddad would regularly have an entire tree trunk across the living room, one end burning in the fire, the other propped up on a specially made stand, as the end in the fire gradually burnt down, he would just keep feeding it in!  We grew up thinking this was perfectly normal and thought nothing of stepping across the giant log to cross the room. (This is not a recommended practice) Little did i know i would grow up to become a chimney sweep!  

My Grandparents had never ever had their chimney swept, and my Granddad would often have their chimney on fire. Sadly my Granddad is no longer with us but I now sweep the chimney twice a year for my lovely Grandma who has taken on the fire duties. She always remarks on what a difference it makes having her, now wood burning stove swept and serviced, it is also piece of mind for her knowing it is safe and set for use with no risk of a chimney fire.

A number of our elderly customers (especially the ones that live alone) find that their fires are wonderful company, and having a working fire has always played a big part in their lives with the fire been the heart of the home, offering warmth, light and hot water.
Where I now live in our beautiful Victorian farmhouse we are fortunate enough to have an original Victorian Range cooker in our family kitchen. It is truly wonderful and I often think what an important role it played in the lives of the families who lived here around 200 years before us, catering to all their, cooking, hot water and heating needs.

Whilst 'they don't make them like they used to' ,the modern day equivalent has vastly improved on the product of yesteryear! The new take on the traditional range is proving more and more popular, with the likes of famous TV chef Hugh Fearnly Whittingstall cooking up all sorts of delicious feasts on his Esse Wood firedKatie Sweep 2 Iron heart range. You also have the ever popular Raburn solid fuel and wood cookers providing more than just a kitchen focal point with heating and hot water for the home. And as innovation, technology and the demand for eco-friendly heating solutions collide together, culminating with a surge in the use of wood/pellet fed Biomass boilers, one thing remains as true back then as is it is now... all of these appliances require a regular sweeping of their flue to keep them is safe working order and it goes to show that although chimney sweeping is an age old traditional occupation our services are still very much required for the most cutting edge heating technology.

 

Read more from Katie Sweeps Diary https://www.fireplace.co.uk/chimney-sweep-diarist/59

 

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