About The Woburn Sweep


Your local chimney expert in Milton Keynes

A Little More About The Woburn Sweep

Long before The Woburn Sweep, I grew up in the mining valleys of South Wales; where coal fires were our only source of heating. We burned dirty coal and chimney fires were a regular spectacle. Luckily my grandfather, who worked in the mines, was the street sweep and our chimney was regularly cleaned. I used to watch him sweeping our two flues in awe. When I was around ten years old I began helping him, both at home and down the street. He never sent me up the chimney, thank heavens, but my first job was to blow a whistle outside in the street when the brush appeared through the top of the chimney. I progressed to sweeping alongside him and then on my own. However, when I was eighteen I left the valleys for the student life and spent the subsequent forty years teaching and didn’t sweep again.

When I retired from teaching I wanted a second career that would be completely different to my first one and it’s no surprise that I decided to revisit my youth and become a full-time sweep. I was conscious that things have moved on in the sweeping business and was impressed with the training and ethos of the Guild of Master Sweeps, so I enrolled with them to become a fully trained member; which was rather like being a sexagenarian apprentice.

And now?

One huge difference I’ve noticed in the trade is the remarkable improvement in equipment and cleanliness. Instead of the stiff old rods my granddad used, the modern nylon rods and brushes are a revelation; not to mention the wonderful Viper, which would probably sweep a figure of eight if I ever encountered one. Moreover, health and safety are now paramount and the cleanliness of the sweeping process is astonishing. I can assure you that the combination of my own fastidiousness and my ultra-powerful Numatic vac, with industrial filters, will leave your home looking as if the sweep hasn’t been. Only the fact that your chimney will be cleaner and safer will be a testament to the fact that he has.
Further proof of sweeping will be the Guild’s sweeping certificate, which I’ll issue on completion. This not only asserts that the chimney has been cleaned to the high standard set by the Guild, but also alerts you to any issues of safety which the sweep feels should be addressed. Insurance companies accept this certificate as proof of sweep maintenance; which could prove priceless to you in the unfortunate event of a house fire, when insurers will often try to avoid payment by citing lack of sweep maintenance as contributory negligence.