Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps

To improve the standards and professionalism of the UK chimney sweeping industry ensuring the longevity of the chimney sweeping profession for chimney sweeps while safeguarding both the public and trade from the risk of chimney fires and CO poisoning.

The Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps was established with the goal to improve standards within the industry by introducing professional training and assessment for sweeps.

Today, the Guild is both nationally and internationally recognised for its efforts and achievements in improving standards for both chimney sweeps and their customers.

The Guild is also a member of the 'Europaische Schornsteinfegermeister Föderation' or the European Federation of Master Chimney Sweeps (ESCHFOE). Some countries take chimney sweeping more seriously than others for example, in Germany, it is a legal requirement that chimneys are swept once a year. This has resulted in Germany having a drastically lower number of chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisonings than the UK.


Sweeps within the UK are still not legally obliged to pursue any training or gain any qualifications in order to trade. However, for a chimney sweep to become a member of the Guild they must meet and adhere to strict criteria while also achieving the highest minimum standards in the industry.

Guild of master chimney sweeps logoFor chimney sweeps this means that they can provide the highest level of service to their customers while having the support and experience of a national trade organisation. Many Guild members go on to gain further qualifications within the chimney sweeping industry.

For their customers, when they seek the service of a Guild Chimney Sweep, they can have the peace of mind knowing that they will be receiving an excellent standard of service and knowledge from a professionally registered person.

 

(Guilds Promise)

www.guildofmasterchimneysweeps.co.uk

 

LATEST NEWS & ARTICLES

Lawson Wight reports on big online changes for the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps.

The Guild has launched two new websites. One serves consumers and the other is for members and trade. It was a big decision and an even bigger task but we now have two excellent sites which are useful to all visitors. It was technically difficult to do and cost a lot but members are already feeling the benefit. Splitting the sites was a risk but it’s looking like a great decision.

Consumers can now easily find a sweep using www.findachimneysweep.co.uk and there are new features to help find the right sweep for them, save details easily etc. The consumer site is also a great place for us to deliver important messages and generally increase consumer awareness on many issues concerning fires, stoves, fuels and chimneys. As with all websites it’s never quite finished but it can now evolve to meet consumer needs for the foreseeable future.

The second site keeps the original domain name www.guildofmasterchimneysweeps.co.uk This site serves Guild members, those seeking training and the wider trade. It has lots of new features from an attractive newsletter archive to the new Trade Partners programme (coming soon). The new member’s area will be a hub for Guild information and news and now seamlessly links to the members forum, facebook, Trade Partner pages etc.

Running in tandem with the new sites there are also two all change onlne for the guild 1new Facebook pages.

Again, one is aimed at consumers and the other at members, sweeps and the wider trade. Consumer Facebook is @FindaSweepUK. It is developing in to an excellent place to engage and inform consumers on all aspects of their fires, fuels and chimneys. All sweeps can find great information here to share with the followers on their own pages.

The second page is @MCSGuild This page is more trade orientated and contains plenty of useful and occasionally amusing information for sweeps and those in the solid fuel trade. Visitors can get involved and contribute. Perhaps you will find something on these pages that will be of interest or useful to you or your audience. There are also two new Twitter accounts if you like to keep up that way.

 

Guild Trade Exhibition - Oxford Belfry, Thame on Fri 10th and Sat 11th March. - 10/03/2017

With less than two weeks until the Guild Trade Exhibition the exhibitor offers and promotions are appearing in inboxes and all over social media and online forums. Raffle prizes for the famous charity raffle are being offered and this year Stephanie Trotter, president of CO Gas Safety will be attending the dinner to accept a cheque. There are over 100 Gala dinners booked and this year for the first time we have sweeps from other associations joining us so perhaps another record may be raised (If you are a supplier and wish to donate to this very worthy cause, please get in touch with David Wooffindin 01226 242357– we’ll credit you in a variety of our publications and releases following the show and over the coming year) Stop press: The Thatch Advisory Centre will be running a Thatch Fire Safety seminar plus Q&A on Sat 11th at 10.45. Approx ½ hour.

It’s shaping up to be busy: Saturday afternoon certainly will be as over 120 Guild members have already booked their free lunch that day so if you need plenty time and space to talk to exhibitors, the mornings may be best for you. . Come along and see just what marks out The Guild Exhibition as a quality and inclusive event.

30 of the best companies and suppliers in the industry, many with great offers. There are also all the usual prize winning opportunities and competitions which are open to all. £250 for the winner of Best Van competition and now a runner up prize also – is your pride and joy good enough? There are also Guild Trade Exhibition 20172 door prizes of places on the Guild Thatch Property Sweeping course and on the combined Integrity / CCTV course, just put your business card in the top hat at the door ( a year’s free subs if won by a Guild member).

If you are thinking of joining as a member you’ll find all you need to know at the Guild stand and many of the existing members attending will be more than happy to answer questions; you can get a lot of information for the price of a beer!

Everyone is welcome at the Guild and we are looking forward to seeing you there.

Guild Exhibition Breaks All Records

The recent Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps Trade Exhibition has been hailed as an Guild exhibition breaks all recordsout and out success by all who attended.  Swindon proved a popular venue as 23 exhibitors and around 300 visitors gathered for the two day event. Safety Director Steven Howard said “It’s great when all the hard work that goes in to these events pays off, at one point on the Saturday it was difficult to get in the door! I’m delighted. Exhibitors reported consistent trade throughout and because the Guild members had their AGM after the close on the Saturday, the hall was buzzing right up to the end.” (Find out more about the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps Exhibition here)

One noticeable  difference on previous years was the number of non-Guild members who attended. “We pulled out all the stops on promoting the event this year” said Lawson Wight, PR. “Half the visitors were non-members and it was very gratifying to hear their comments on the quality of exhibitors and the friendly welcoming atmosphere”.

The Exhibition is also the time for prizes and awards. The ever popular and hotly contested Best Van competition attracted a record 15 entries. The competition is open to any sweep and was won by Craig Forster, Kent, the first non-member to take the trophy and a cheque for £250. Craig said “Many thanks to the Guild team who allowed me to enter and unbelievably to win, as for the van being a bit scruffy, I arrived after working that morning sweeping chimneys.”

The prize draw is made from visitors business cards collected at the door.  First out of the top hat was NACS member Paul Morgan, Hertfordshire. Paul wins a place on the Guild training course worth over £1300. Next was ICS member Bertie the Sweep, Oxfordshire who wins a place on the Thatched Property Sweeping course worth £250.

The Guild gives two industry awards and the best supplier 2016 went to The Wakefield Brush Company. Gavin Brook of Wakefield said "we were honoured to receive the award and were very happy to have been involved in such a well attended and extremely well organised trade show". The best new product award was won by Landyvent for the Creaway tar and creosote modifier range.

Guild SilhouetteImmediately following the close of the exhibition on the Saturday, 85 Guild members moved on to their AGM, a new record attendance. Saturday night was the occasion of the Gala dinner with another record number booked in. It was great to see so many wives and partners come to enjoy the food and company. The dinner is also the occasion of the famous Guild Charity Raffle and the presentation of the raffle proceeds, as well as some internal awards and certifications. This year’s raffle was a special affair and you can find all the details in a separate article.

After all the positive feedback, arrangements are being made for next year’s exhibition. It will once again be in early March and final details will be published soon. Anyone wishing to discuss exhibiting next year should contact Steven Howard at: exhibition.gomcs@gmail.com

 

Guild Charity Raffle - best yet

One hundred members and guests attended the recent Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps annual Gala Dinner at the Swindon Marriott. The dinner was a great opportunity for members and organizers to relax and enjoy themselves following their Trade Exhibition and AGM. The highlight of the evening was undoubtedly the charity raffle. The many prize donations from the trade were on view throughout the Exhibition and ticket sales were brisk.

This year the funds raised are donated to Gary Atkins, a Guild member who suffered terrible injuries after a fall last year. Visitors and members were very generous and a new record of £2135 was raised. This will be added to the £10 000 + already raised through the United Chimney Sweeps Forum and the Guild Just Giving page. Training Director David Wooffindin visited Gary recently and you can see a short video update here

We wish Gary and his family all the best for the future and hope the funds will help when he moves back to the Ipswich area. The Guild board would like to say a really big thank you to all who helped, the donations and messages were really humbling.

Guild Charity Raffle Best Yet 1Some readers may recall that the Guild also supports CO Gas Safety. This charity does excellent work with those affected by carbon monoxide poisoning. They also promote awareness of the issue through the schools poster competition and with the statistics in their excellent press pack – all stats from http://www.co-gassafety.co.uk/data/

CO poisoning survivor Sue Westwood was Guest of Honour at the dinner. Sue accepted a cheque for £1225 raised by Guild members. She then told her remarkable story spanning three years of chronic CO poisoning and the years of ensuing problems for her family. Her story is both a warning and an inspiration. You can read all about it here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/real-life-stories/thought-early-dementia-three-years-5930721  and she has made a short video for CO Gas Safety - http://www.co-gassafety.co.uk/one-survivors-story/

Guild Charity Raffle Best Yet 2The raffle would not be possible without the very kind donations from the following companies:
AMAC,  Brewer Cowls,  Codastar,  Dust Control,  Exodraft,  Fireplace Specialist Magazine,  Flue Technology,  The Guild (4 prizes),  Midtec,  Panda Press,  Rotary Power Sweeping (3 prizes),   Rod Station,  Rytons,  Tamar Specialist Brushes,  Stove Industry Supplies,  Sturdy Vac,  Sweepmate, WT Knowles, Wohler,  David Wooffindin, John Eardley, Steven Howard, Steve Borowdale

Thank you all very much indeed.