Thursday, 15 September 2011

Childhood memories

We decided a couple of weeks ago that we'd like to put a wood burning stove/fire in our lounge. We've been talking about doing this for the past couple of years but always seem to talk about it in the middle of winter when it's too late to do anything about it. This year we thought we'd do something about it a bit earlier in the year...well sort of!

Anyway, today the chimney sweep came.
My grandad was a chimney sweep in London and amongst other places, cleaned the chimneys at the Savoy Hotel and also Scotland Yard.
He had many a tale to tell of his antics while sweeping chimneys including the time he emptied a bag of soot over one of London's bridges in to the Thames just when the Police boat was passing underneath and covered the policemen in soot!
When I was young we would travel most weekends from the south coast to London to visit my grandparents who lived in a flat in Brixton. It wasn't until we had our chimney cleaned a few years ago that I realised what their flat smelt of ....soot!
Oh, how that bought back memories of our visits.
The flat had a communal laundry room up in the roof of the block of flats and only a boiler and a mangle to wash with. Can you imagine washing sooty clothes without a washing machine?!

Today I watched as the rods went up the chimney and sneaked a couple of photos while he'd gone to his van.

This one is a bit blurry as I had to rush it. I didn't want him to think I was a complete nut job as I'd already asked him if he could let me know when the brush was out of the chimney so that I could take a photo. He said that it was usually only children that ask that!

Ahh, there it is, and what a lovely day for it too!
The house smells delicious and I've been taken back in time by a few (well more than a few!) years and I've enjoyed every minute of it!


  1. Ohhh, what memories, you don't see that many of them about these days do you? Aren't they supposed to be lucky? We had a woodburning stove at our old house, they are brilliant, sometimes almost too good!!!

  2. lol love it, especially that last photo! We have a chimney sweep and he is called Mr Bristle - what an apt name for a chimney sweep :-)

  3. My dad always swept our chimney himself - I remember running outside to waite for the brush to pop up!
    We have a woodburner - highly recommend them!

  4. Know what you mean about taking rushed pics incase you get noticed, I have started more than ever taking my camera anywhere, I reckon I may end up with a reputation if not careful! You wood burning stove sounds lovely, we have an open fire in our house and I can't wait to light it.