When you hear the words ‘chimney sweeper’, the mental picture that pops into most people’s minds is that of Dick Van Dyke’s character in the Disney film, Mary Poppins. However, as we’re now in 2018, things have evolved considerably over the last century or so.

Old Chimney Sweeping Methods

In the days before child labour laws were introduced, chimney sweeping was often performed by young children. Their small size meant they were perfect for climbing up and down narrow chimneys. Armed with little scrubber brushes, the little boys would scrub away at the coal deposits until all had been removed. As most boys were forced and scared to climb the chimneys, the chimney masters would often light a small fire under the boys to give them a little encouragement to climb up.

The old methods were very dangerous and fatal falls were not uncommon. In addition, children often developed respiratory problems and other related issues.

The English poet, William Blake, illustrated the difficult life of a chimney sweep boy in his poem, The Chimney Sweeper.

Modern Chimney Sweeping Methods

Thankfully, chimney sweeping methods have progressed and little boys are no longer required to climb up chimneys. Therefore, call the police if a young child does turn up to clean your chimney!

A fully grown adult will turn up to complete the job nowadays, and will have various tools to assist him or her in completing the task. Tools used include respirators, jumpsuits, gloves, knee pads, ear protection, goggles or heavy-duty glasses, and safety shoes.

The chimney brush is the one thing that has stood the test of time and is still widely used today, although it is now attached to a long rod or cord. Beyond that, industrial vacuums are used to clean up dust and soot.

At Sooty & Sweeps, our chimney sweepers have undertaken the highest standards in chimney sweep training in the UK. Their expertise allows them to complete tasks with little risk to the sweeper, the client and any bystanders (including wildlife).

Book a chimney sweep with Sooty & Sweeps today.