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Author Topic: Chimney Sweeps  (Read 1782 times)

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Offline smiffy

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Re: Chimney Sweeps
« Reply #20 on: July 08, 2019, 13:06:41 »
Yes, MartinR, and also listening to the crackles and pops as the fire took hold. Being a boy, there was also the somewhat perverse pleasure of placing a plastic figure of some kind (probably from a cereal packet) on top of a piece of coal and watching it slowly turn into a molten blob and catch fire.

As well as a coal fire in the living room, there was a coke burner in the kitchen, which i think must have been something to do with heating the water.

Offline MartinR

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Re: Chimney Sweeps
« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2019, 10:15:45 »
The two things I miss most about open fires are toast (particularly crumpets) and gazing into the flames seeing pictures.  As a lad in the Black Country we had coal files (not surprising, there was coal everywhere including a seam about 4' under our drive).  Toasting bread or crumpets over the fire on Sunday (with real butter melting on top) was a treat.  When we moved to Sheffield in 1965 we had to burn coke which was not as good for toasting (or gazing).  Later we used a gas fire for toasting: nice fresh hot toast but no tastier than under the grill on the cooker.

Offline pr1uk

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Re: Chimney Sweeps
« Reply #18 on: July 08, 2019, 09:00:17 »
I can't remember our chimney being swept every year, although i do remember that if you didn't bother there was a chance of a chimney fire. Would a log burner produce more or less soot?

Coal produces more soot but wood also produces a finer soot so will need cleaning if not so often.
Back in the day when you only had 1 fire in a house you had to use coal as you could bed it in at night we used to use damp tea leaves to damp ours down, then the first up got the paper out to cover the fire to get it back into life. Log fires today tend to be in houses with central heating and used as a romantic centre piece not as a single heating supple.
To be contented in life you must learn the difference between what you want and what you need
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Offline pr1uk

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Re: Chimney Sweeps
« Reply #17 on: July 08, 2019, 08:34:24 »
I'm glad I can remember what it's like to sit in front of a proper coal fire. :)

People think it was romantic sitting in front of a coal fire what I remember the most was the draughts as open fires draw in air and the rest of the house being so cold beds were always damp. Up to the age of 9 we also only had gas and the lighting only worked downstairs so you took a candle to bed.
Happy days yes because I was young would I want to go back now, no way
To be contented in life you must learn the difference between what you want and what you need
-Peter

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Chimney Sweeps
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2019, 22:57:24 »
Two more female chimney sweeps from Gillingham.

WOMEN'S SOOTY FACES

Chimney Sweeps Earn £10 a Week

It may be argued that to be truly domesticated in England, to-day, a woman must master many a job which was once definitely in man's province. Chimney sweeps, for instance, are scarce just now, as housewives have learned to their cost when the chimney starts to smoke and husbands are not available to deal with the trouble. So some of them have turned chimney sweeps. Mrs. S. Alice Allen, of Gillingham, Kent, was among the first to take to this profession and this is why and how she did it.
One morning she found her sitting room chimney needed a sweep and having tried in vain to get someone to do the job for her, she went out and bought a set of brushes so that she might tackle the work herself. And tackle it, she did, and so successfully that neighbours began to come to her to sweep their chimneys. That was the small beginning of the chimney sweep's business she and a friend set up.


GOOD PUBLICITY

Now the two of them sometimes do as many as 22 chimneys a day, earning 2/- for each chimney swept. "If we kept this up we could earn £10 a week or more," Mrs. Allen told me. She thinks hers is an ideal job. No, it doesn't spoil the hands if you do as they do and put cream on them and wear gloves. It seems it's a good thing to dab a little soot on your face when you go out to look for custom. Mrs. Allen says that "soot is the best kind of publicity because everyone looks at a woman with a sooty face."

A NEAT UNIFORM

Out of their first money they bought a bicycle and a uniform. The uniform is like a man's boiler suit--dark blue trousers and jumper, a dark blue overcoat and a peaked cap. There is an "L.S." in front of the cap, which stands for "Lady Sweep."

     From The Examiner (Aus) fri 21st march 1941.

CHIMNEY SWEEPING

New Work for Women

Because she could not find a sweep to come and do her chimney. 25-year-old Mrs. Alice Allen, of Gillingham, Kent, bought a brush and canes and did the job for herself, says the 'Evening standard.'
Neighbors saw her and asked her to do theirs, and in a few days she had a bookful' of orders and took her sister-in-law, Mrs. Olive Ward, aged31, into partnership.
Now they have enough work to keep them going from 7 o'clock in the morning till black-out time.
They wear smart peaked caps with luminous buttons bearing the letters "LB." — for Lady Sweep— trousers and overalls.
Their record for a day so far is 22 chimneys. At the same time they run a Joint household with two husbands and Mrs. Ward's two children.


From the Morning Bulletin (Aus) Wed 26th March 1941.

Offline smiffy

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Re: Chimney Sweeps
« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2019, 14:18:41 »
I can't remember our chimney being swept every year, although i do remember that if you didn't bother there was a chance of a chimney fire. Would a log burner produce more or less soot?

Offline filmer01

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Re: Chimney Sweeps
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2019, 10:12:23 »
Just got the reminder from our chimney sweep for our annual visit, as like DTT we have a log burner - that he installed.

He also still checks that the brush has reached the top by going outside and looking up at the pot. I certainly remember doing that in the 50s when the open fires were our only source of warmth.
Illegitimus nil carborundum

Offline DaveTheTrain

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Re: Chimney Sweeps
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2019, 22:00:32 »
Can anyone remember the last time they used a sweep - I certainly can't.

Yes, we have our chimney swept every year.  We have a log burner and it protects the flue liner.
Cheers
Dtt

Offline Mickleburgh

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Re: Chimney Sweeps
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2019, 16:23:44 »
I'm glad I can remember what it's like to sit in front of a proper coal fire. :)


Aye, `twas  great, but I fancy there are a few wives yet around who remember the chore of putting the ashes out!

Offline smiffy

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Re: Chimney Sweeps
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2019, 13:28:11 »
I'm glad I can remember what it's like to sit in front of a proper coal fire. :)

Offline Mickleburgh

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Re: Chimney Sweeps
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2019, 11:27:51 »
In many rural areas `sweeps` turned to supplying and servicing wood burning stoves, but it seems these are also now deemed `bad thing` so what their future will be, who knows.

Offline lutonman1

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Re: Chimney Sweeps
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2019, 10:52:16 »
 The last time I saw one was only a few years ago
 Our flats had the opening sealed up after, except for an air vent.
 Lately, our gas oven top, has been replace, by an electric one
 The only gas we have now, is the boiler for hot water.

 He did eight single chimney`s, a good contract --- for him.
MoK

Offline smiffy

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Re: Chimney Sweeps
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2019, 13:34:46 »
After doing a little bit of research, it turns out that there are still around a hundred Chimney Sweeps still operating in Kent, so there must still be a demand. I would think it costs a bit more now than it used to though. Can anyone remember the last time they used a sweep - I certainly can't.

Offline pr1uk

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Re: Chimney Sweeps
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2019, 11:32:16 »
Think most of us remember watching  and waiting for the brush to come out of the chimney pot, it was a good way to get the kids out of the way for a few minutes.
 
To be contented in life you must learn the difference between what you want and what you need
-Peter

Offline Mickleburgh

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Re: Chimney Sweeps
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2019, 11:21:28 »
Once witnessed another method whereby a shotgun was discharged upward behind the fireplace covering and hastily withdrawn. Quite effective.

 

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