Father And Son


Today work began on our fireplace. First Baz and Owen inspected the prospective purchase at Gordleton Barn, pronounced it suitable, and set about making ready for it.

This is the doubtful D.I.Y. effort that started the day in our living room.

Barry and Owen Chislett-Bruce are New Forest Chimney Sweeping & Repairs. This father and son team are personable, thorough, efficient, and work quickly, cleanly, and tidily.

Here they are at work removing the orange shelf and the bodged tiling.

They were pleased not to have damaged any of the tiles, which Owen stacked up neatly.

They then carried out the task of clearing the raised rock-hard concrete from the open space,

hoovering as they went along.

Baz and Owen contemplating fireplace 1

Baz and Owen then collected the Victorian replacement from the barn, and contemplated it for a while.

Baz and Owen contemplating fireplace 2

This involvedย Bazย sticking his head up the chimney.

There were several possible options for ensuring a tight fit, the preferred one being removing a row of the original hearth floor tiles, and removing more of the concrete. This required considerable effort.

Fireplace 3

The cast iron tiled fireplace was firmly fixed, ready for the next stage.

A final vacuuming was carried out,

Fireplace 4

and this is how they left us until further elements are obtained and fitted.

Observant readers will have noticed that the men, while working their socks off, do so in their socks. This, the groundsheets, the hoovering,

Rubble bags

and bagging up the rubble as they go along, demonstrates their careful attention to the homes in which they work.

Whilst at the barn, I took a few more pictures of the interior.

It is now soon after 3.00 p.m. We will be driving over to Elizabeth’s for the three of us to attend Margery’s exhibition at Southampton Art Gallery, after which we will have a meal together. I will then have no time (or energy) to post this, so I will do so know and report the evening tomorrow.


  1. Yes, so very nice! The new insert is lovely, and that is some father-and-son team. Looking forward to hearing about your evening.

  2. It’s gorgeous …. really lovely and I loved watching your chaps working. I could do with them in France, actually …. but I imagine they are fully booked in your area – careful, thorough, thoughtful workmen are gold nuggets indeed!

    1. Hi Osyth,its Barry the chimney sweep thank you for your kind words,if im fully booked i’d still make time to come to France,i like being called a gold nugget too…You look like gold too! Best wishes Barry.

      1. Hello Barry! How lovely of you to reply. Honestly, you are welcome in France any time with or without your brushes … We gold stars must stick together! ๐Ÿ˜™

      1. Somehow I can’t imagine a Scot, an Irishman or a Welshman wearing a tie, they’d have more sense; this is a typical Pommy thing.I doubt even a Geordie or a Scouse would wear a tie,
        Reminds me a bit of my dad; he was a ‘Blacksmith’ ( and a master at that too) always toddled off to work wearing a suit, tie & trilby,; he changed at the ‘office’; He didn’t take his lunch in a briefcase, he took his in a ‘Gladstone Bag’!
        Thanks for bringing back fond memories of my d.o.d!

  3. Derrick, This is the best decorating post ever. This is the kind of thing I dream about doing, but most people say, “Get a gas fireplace.” It is not the same. This will be the heart of your home. I’m so happy for you both.

  4. I remember the Gordleton Barn, Derrick and the atmospheric lamps placed throughout! I am so happy to see this purchase installed with careful craftsmanship!
    The men were a pleasure to watch and the fact they wear socks on instead of boots or shoes makes them men after my own heart. My landlord ignores my small “please take shoes off” sign on my door. Lovely and entertaining post today.

  5. Beautiful tiles for the fireplace. I did notice the men worked in their socks.
    I always thought our house should have a fireplace, but so far one has not magically appeared. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Lovely chimney. I miss the chimney I used to have at my home in France. Here there are some fires when the temperature goes down to 8 or 14 degrees Celsius but they are most of the time in caldrons.

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