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Therfield – Petite Godin Stove

Posted By paddy

 I recently swept this very unusual and attractive tall Petite Godin Stove at an address in Therfield near Royston. These antique stoves are quite a rare find these days, although I have come across one or two of these tall Petite Godin Stoves. I think these antique stoves are rather beautiful and in the right setting they can really add to the ambiance of a room and add value to a property. This stove was an admirable finishing touch to a snug room in an old, thatched cottage. I’m sure its presence means that the snug can be enjoyed by the family all year round! Looking on the internet they really hold their value and are now quite sought after, with a number of websites dealing with their acquisition and sale.

The Godin stove is the foundational of the history of French stove making, and indeed to the history of domestic stove manufacturing as a whole. Before the era of cast iron, domestic fuel took on many forms from the open hearth fire to the clay or stone kiln, but then the 23 year Godin started his business in 1840 making fireplaces in a shed in the centre of Thierache with a loan of about 4,000 francs from his parent, this quickly became too small.

The works soon moved to Guise where he started employing 30 people and in spite of fierce competition his business grew rapidly. The most important reason for this was his innovation. Godin applied for many patents for his products and concentrated on continually improving them both aesthetically and technically, making antique stoves from his era especially valuable.
Godin became a figure to know in French industrial relations. Godin offered his employees living wages or higher at a time of economic downturn, hired from a small pool of people in one geographical area reducing turn over and improving employee reliability.

By the end of the 1900’s, with a further 2000 employees, Godin was dominating the European stove market. Stove designs became ornate and stylised with the advent of the 20th century and the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements. Godin’s stove design in this period did not become as elaborate and decorative as some other companies, such as Deville and Rosières, etc. But the stoves they produced in the early 20th century were, as always with Godin, extremely efficient and featured superb quality enamelling. Some of these original designs are still in production in the Godin factory today, laying testament to their design and efficiency.

Our 2024 Annual Welsh Chimney Sweeping Holiday

Posted By paddy

At the end of this week we have been on our end of January annual chimney sweeping visit to south Wales. This involves sweeping the chimneys of Claire’s dad’s friends in the Wenvoe farming community and a couple of addresses in Mumbles Swansea, for free! This year we did eight chimneys all of which were lined stoves, bar one standard open fire, which makes things quite easy. As usual, much tea was drunk, and cake and biscuits consumed along the way! We were fit to burst from all the kindness once we were done!

The sweeping included two Clearview Vision 500’s, a Villager Flatmate, a Villager Chelsea, A Hunter Hawk and a Double-sided Woodwarm Fireview. Truly a busman’s holiday in another country.

Cat and Chimney in Abbotsbury Dorset

Posted By paddy

I saw this thatched cat next to a chimney whilst I was on holiday in Dorset and visiting the beautiful historic village of Abbotsbury, where in the Middle Ages there had been a large abbey. It is a beautiful village with many thatched cottages all of which are built from the wonderful honey coloured Oolitic Limestone. The village is situated sandwiched between Chesil beach and the saltwater lagoon called the fleet and the downs behind the village. There is so much history around the village with Bronze Age barrows and an Iron Age hill fort on the hills behind the village, the ruins of the abbey and a large thatched Tithe barn which belonged to the abbey. There is even a chantry chapel, St Katherines Chapel on a low hill just outside the village. Abbotsbury was also at the end of a small branch line from Weymouth – The line opened in November 1885 but closed in November 1952 10 years prior to the Beeching cuts. There is also a Swannery which once belonged to the abbey and some renowned tropical gardens. All in all Abbotsbury is well worth a visit if you are ever in Dorset and make sure you look for the cat and chimney along the high street.


Saffron Walden – Art Decco Parkray Room Heater

Posted By paddy

I have previously written a blog about the number of old Parkray room heaters that I come across and sweep on quire a regular basis, but this week’s blog is something quite rare. I first came across one of these Art Decco appearance/design Parkray in the vicarage at Great Canfield whilst sweeping for the Bishop of Chelmsford, where it was actually located in the office for the property – See my previous blog in 2022 I think. I came across this example in a house in Saffron Walden where it was located in the main sitting room. The customer told me that he had only seen one other example of his model of Parkray, and that was in the Victoria and Albert Museum in the design section. As can be seen in the photograph, this Parkray appliance has a beautiful rich golden brown colour, it put me in find of the French enameled stoves of the 1920’s and 1930’s that I sometimes see in people’s houses and sun rooms. It always amazes me to find these Parkray room heaters in people’s homes, still working very efficiently after having been installed many, many years ago! They certainly are a testament to great British design and engineering of the past. Things were definitely made to last in those days!

Parkray have been the leading name in solid fuel stoves for more than a century, producing heating components since 1850. Originally known as ‘Park Foundry’, the company quickly became the leading name in solid fuel appliances. Today, Parkray is based near Exeter in Devon. Parkray room heaters have been in existence for over 40 years, some of the older applainces (some 20, 30, 40 years old or in some cases even older) are still in existence and used daily by households all over the UK.  This is a testament to the build quality of some of these earlier Parkray models. As there are so many models and sizes of the Parkray, they can look very similar, however, the parts inside of them are different.  Some parts fit many appliances and others are more specific.

Contura i50 Wood-Burning Cassette Stove Swept in Clare

Posted By paddy

I sweep a lot of Contura appliances, as can be seen from my previous blogs, but I had never done one of these before. This is a Contura i50 Wood-Burning Cassette Stove that I swept recently at an address in Clare shortly before Christmas. It is certainly unusual, almost like a built-in fireplace as opposed to a stove. When it is not in use it looks rather like a fish tank in the wall in my mind, it certainly has a very contemporary appearance. Although I should imagine that when it is all fired up and in operation it will look quite spectacular. This stove was installed a number of years ago by Cut Maple Stoves from New England, who install a large number of stoves in the area.

Contura Stoves are a Swedish company based in the town of Markaryd – Markaryd is a municipality in Kronoberg County at the southern tip of Sweden. Contura Stoves are known for their distinctive contemporary stove designs and the appliance of the most up to date stove technology.

Contura Stoves

Box 134

Skulptorvagen 10

285 23 Markaryd, Sweden

T: 046433275100



Cut Maple Stove & Fire Company,

Sturmer Road,

New England,

Halstead CO9 4BB

Telephone: 01440 788788

Email: cutmaple@fireplacesetc.co.uk

Website: http://www.fireplacesetc.co.uk

Happy New Year & a Salamader Hobbit Wood-Burning Stove Swept in Haverhill

Posted By paddy

Back to business for 2024 and may Claire and I wish all our friends and customers a very happy and prosperous New Year!

I thought that this little stove would be worthy of a blog, the Salamader Hobbit Wood-Burning Stove, if for nothing more than it is the smallest stove that you can buy. I know that there are a number of very small wood burning stoves, but I understand that the Salamader Hobbit is the smallest of the small. I recently swept this Hobbit at an address in Haverhill, but I do sweep a number of then across the area, They are particularly useful where space is at a premium and no other stove will fit in the available space, but usually the Hobbit will fit into that small space. The customer told me that the stove provided more than adequate warm on the coldest winter day in the little sitting room that it is situated in. He went on to tell me that he has to get his wood cut particularly small as only very small logs will fit into the tiny firebox. I couldn’t resist asking whether his Hobbit was called Bilbo or Frodo!

Christmas Wishes – Wimbish a Snowy Thatched Pig from December 2023

Posted By paddy

We wish all our customers and friends a Peaceful and Very Happy Christmas! And a Happy and much improved New Year.

We hope you all have a great time over the Christmas period and get everything you desire from Santa! Also, it is time to make the most of your wood-burning stoves, open fires and inglenooks to create that real festive atmosphere.

The picture here is a of a thatched pig covered in snow and was taken last December at one of our customers’ house in Wimbish. If anyone can remember we had a really cold couple of weeks at the start of December 2022, with lying snow for a long time.

Our last working day before Christmas is Wednesday 20th December – Claire and I will then be having a much-needed rest with the family. Goodbye to 6 and 7 days a week working for a few days!

We will next be working in the New Year; starting on Tuesday 2nd January and our lead time for appointments is the beginning of April 2024.

Happy Christmas to everyone from Paddy and Claire at Walden Sweeps and wishing you a very happy and prosperous New Year!

A Little Starling Rescued from a chimney in Littlebury

Posted By paddy

Here is a real good news story – At the beginning of December we performed the rescue of this little starling from a chimney in Littlebury. The poor thing had dropped down a factory made chimney with an open cowl and was stuck behind the double baffle system of a Meg 4.5Kw Original Stove. It was a simple matter of dismantling the stove and removing both baffle plates and gently taking hold of the little bird to get it out of the stove. I then released it outside where it flew up into a tree. Where it rested for a moment, had a good look around to see where it was, and then flew off, glad to have been released from the chimney I should imagine. Whilst I was holding it I had a chance to have a good look at it, I had always thought that Starlings were black in colour, but on closer inspection its feathers were somewhat iridescent and were dark green and purple in colour.  Needless to say, the customer, one of our regulars, was very heppy to have saved a little life as well as having the bird removed from the chimney!

Starlings are small to medium-sized passerine birds in the family Sturnidae. The Sturnidae are named for the genus Sturnus, which in turn comes from the Latin word for starling, sturnus. The family contains 128 species which are divided into 36 genera. Many Asian species, particularly the larger ones, are called mynas, and many African species are known as glossy starlings because of their iridescent plumage. Starlings are native to Europe, Asia, and Africa, as well as northern Australia and the islands of the tropical Pacific. Several European and Asian species have been introduced to these areas, as well as North America, Hawaii, and New Zealand, where they generally compete for habitats with native birds and are considered to be invasive species. The starling species familiar to most people in Europe and North America is the common starling, and throughout much of Asia and the Pacific, the common myna is indeed common.

Hadstock – Arizona AO8E 8Kw Multi-Fuel Stove

Posted By paddy

I know that this is not the most interesting looking stove in the world, but I had to include it in my blog as I had just not seen one of these before, it’s an Arizona AO8E 8Kw Multi-Fuel Stove. I recently swept this example in an address in Hadstock and had to ask the customer what it was, because I simply had not come across one before! From what I could find out on the internet, the company are based in Lisburn in Ireland and distribute stove throughout the UK. They make a number of different stove models including the Oregon, the Newark, the Kansas, the Nevada, the Montana and the Denver. The customer told me that he had sourced the stove himself and had bought it from a site on the internet for a very reasonable price.

1a Hallstown Road
Ballinderry Upper
BT28 2NE

Tel: +44 (0)28 9262 0880
Fax: +44 (0)28 9262 0886
email: mail@micon-dist.com
Web: http://www.micon-dist.com


Radwinter – Nobel Cooking Range

Posted By paddy

 Well, I have not seen one of these before, it looks like an Aga or a Rayburn cooking range, but it is actually a Nobel Cooking Range. I have just never heard of this manufacturer/brand before! Recently swept this example in blue enamel at an address in Radwinter. I had a quick look on the internet, but I couldn’t find any details for Nobel range cookers, so I’m thinking that it is no longer in production and probably hasn’t been manufactured for quite some time. I did find plenty of photos of them and plenty of adverts for people attempting to sell one. There was even one advert offering one for free, provided you came and collected it yourself and took it away. I should think they must weigh quite a bit and you would require a few people to move one. This was a solid fuel example, which is a rarity these days as most range cookers are gas or oil fired or have been converted to use these fuels. I think, like me that it is an attractive little range, and as the customer stated, it is an excellent source of heat on a cold winters day.