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Back in the day, before I was a chimney sweep, I called in a so called chimney sweep who decimated my kitchen, he even emptied his hoover in the middle of the room stating “it’s not my crap!”. I must admit that I found this strange but all I knew back then about chimney sweeping was Bert from Mary Poppins and it would be a dirty job. Clearly I was not disappointed!

About six months later I was messing around with an old fire. I pulled on a piece of metal just above the fire opening to release a little piece of old newspaper to see what the date was, a harmless endeavour I thought, until a cascade of mess – skeleton birds heads and wings started falling from the chimney. We (myself and my lovely Lynne) had only finished decorating the room around two weeks earlier so having the seven riders of the apocalypse trying to enter this world through the fire opening was a bit of a frustration. Clearly Lynne asking me to get the chimney swept before we started decorating was playing in my head like a scratched record.

After ringing round trying to get a chimney sweep and only getting answer phones I rang a mobile number and the sweep who answered was in a traffic jam less than a 100 yards from where I lived.

Within five minutes he was standing beside me. He took over and around 30 minutes later he had swept and cleaned the chimney. I was so impressed by the contrast from the first chimney sweep to this hero standing before me. If he wasn’t so ugly I could have kissed him, but happy to say, we were both glad he was ugly. So after a cup of coffee and a chat I mentioned that if I got fed up with my job I would become a chimney sweep. We both laughed but little did I know that around two years later I would have started on this path.

I have now been a proud member of The National Association of Chimney Sweeps coming up to 18 years, lining chimneys for around 15 years and fitting stoves for the past 11. I have become a member of Hetas and am Gas Safe Registered.