Off piste posting again!

17 Aug

ready for tiles
Even with the recent hot weather, we have been either unable to get away or lacked the energy to do so. So, I thought that I would divert from the campervan theme to show what we have been up to.
Some years ago, my brother uncovered a stone Inglenook fireplace in a bijou cottage he had bought in the Staffordshire Moorlands. Under some rather ordinary plasterboards , someoe had hidden away a locally quarried rustic stone feature. It was dated 1803.

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(Now ! This man does know what he is doing!)

I fell in love with the design and Hollington Stone, made a replica from pink sandstone. The intention , back then, was to continue making these fireplaces and sell them as kits and/or fit them as a business. Events overtook both myself and my brother. I sold my house where the first replica was to be fitted and he became very busy with bigger building projects. Anyway, I recently decided to take the plunge and install the Inglenook in our current home. It had been in storage long enough!!!!
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Massively heavy, I needed an engine hoist to lift the lintol into place. It is shown being propped up for safety above, whilst the slings were removed prior to being secured with interlocking, hidden , timber supports. (We do get little earthquakes around the potteries from time to time…..). The vertical sidecheek stones were a one man job to heave, red faced, into the space carved from the existing brickwork with a small, very sharp chisel and a new masonry drill. Similarly, the corbels were a one man job to lift up and slide carefully into place. The lintol had to be prodded into place with a long timber by my long suffering wife whilst I carefully controlled the “sticky” hydraulic controls on the lifting gear. Below it is shown tiled awaiting the restored Larbert “Portable” (LOL) solid fuel cast iron range.

tiled hearth
The tiles came from Congleton, dug up by someone from Stoke-on-Trent from a “Minton” hallway, common in the older parts of the potteries. Below is the stove , which will burn small logs. There are two hot plates and a two tier oven. It is an estimated 4 kw max but will stay hot for long periods. My wife has plans for home baked bread, pizza and tagine slow cooked meat dishes next winter. (when we are not travelling, The stove is not THAT portable!) Stoves of this type could be moved , house to house as families moved around. they were also fitted in Riverboats and narrow boats when the canals were working.
larbert portable range
The stove is about 2 feet wide, 18 inches deep and 2 feet high. I collected it ages ago from East Anglia and carried it home in a Ford Fiesta. I cannot, for the life of me, remember how I did that !!!!     It is very heavy.

Hope that you have found this interesting. Another diversion from the real, original intention for the Blog, but it is mostly behind the recent lack of posts.

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