Guild Of Master Sweeps Certified
07587 134589
Guild Of Master Sweeps Certified

… always a bargain with James the Sweep

EVERYONE loves a good bargain – that’s why TV shows about people finding priceless antiques in their attics and sending them off to auction are so popular.

Whether you’re the landed gentry or a happy-go-lucky chap, we all love to pay reasonable prices for services rendered. That’s why James the Sweep is called upon time and again by folk across the county of Kent to sweep chimneys. James offers a competitive standard rate of £60 to sweep your chimney. That includes a full sweep of the flue, a smoke test to check the draw and also a certificate useful for household insurance, which has been created by the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps.

Let’s not forget either that the service given by James isn’t just the sweeping. He completes a safety and fire risk assessment before sweeping and ascertains any risk of carbon monoxide poisoning or uncontrolled chimney fires. James will give free advice about any remedial works needed – and only IF it is needed.

That’s why it really is a ‘bargain’ to enlist the services of James the Sweep, a member of the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps. As the Master Sweep for Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, Southborough and nearby towns, James doesn’t just offer sweeping. He provides a comprehensive A to Z service so that your chimney is not only swept but safety checked. We could say that’s two services for the price of one. But – as above – let’s not forget that James also provides an insurance certificate and gives free advice. It would be more accurate to say that you get a multitude of services for the price of a swept chimney when you call on James the Sweep.

Why does James offer so much to customers? As a Master Sweep, James is focused on safety and risk assessment. He is not out there to make a quick buck but to provide professional support. He is keenly aware that the care and attention given to customers protects their welfare. You’ve probably read it before, but here it is again: Wouldn’t you rather see James the Sweep on your doorstep than a fire fighter?

So… James the Sweep offers a real bargain when he offers to sweep your chimney. The sweeping appointment involves a number of chimney care aspects and that’s why it makes sense for you to book a chimney sweeping appointment right now. Please call James now on 07587 134589.

4 frightening reasons why your chimney needs sweeping

You and your family could be seriously at risk if you do not arrange for an annual chimney sweep. Make an appointment today with James the Sweep.

If that sounds dramatic – please take some time and read these ‘4 frightening reasons’ why it’s true. Chimney sweeping isn’t about Mary Poppins songs and kissing a bride at weddings. Sweeping is a serious business, which protects you and your household, so that you can safely enjoy indoor fires. If you live in the Tunbridge Wells or nearby areas of Kent, or even as far as Crowborough – James the Sweep is your local chimney sweep. He knows all about stoves and chimney liners and all aspects of chimney care. Call him now on 07587 134589 and get some free advice.

Here are the 4 reasons why an unswept chimney is life threatening:-

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning – Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas produced by the incomplete combustion of fuels which are carbon-based, including wood and coal. This gas cannot be seen and give no odour – and yet inhalation causes death or serious injury within minutes. CO reacts with haemoglobin in the blood to stop oxygen reaching vital bodily organs. This reduction of oxygen has serious consequences. What is the connection between CO and chimneys? CO is produced as a gas by fire and needs to escape via the chimney to the outside atmosphere. But if the flue is blocked with soot, then the gas has nowhere to escape. It will roll back down the flue and into the room housing the fire. If your chimney is blocked and you light a fire, you basically poison yourself. And don’t forget that CO kills in no time at all.

Other toxic fumes – Carbon monoxide is arguably the most dominant gas from fuel combustion. Yet indoor fires can also produce amounts of other toxic gas, such as (examples) sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxide,. The important thing to remember is that your indoor fire is a wonderful way to enjoy heating at home or at your local business premises. Yet it needs care and attention for safety’s sake. A blocked chimney flue means toxic fumes won’t leave your home. A clean chimney, on the other hand, does the job!

Chimney fire – An unswept chimney results in creosote, tar, soot… all manner of fire residue getting clogged up in the inside of your chimney flue. This residue is highly flammable and a stray spark from the fire below can result in the chimney itself catching fire. Once the residue is alight, the flames can spread – then it’s time to call 999! Even better… rewind a bit and call James the Sweep. PREVENT the chimney fire happening in the first place by booking regular sweeping appointments with James. Then you can enjoy your indoor fire with complete peace of mind that your family is safe.

Damaged structure – Chimney sweeping involves inspecting the chimney flue itself. This inspection carried out by James can sometimes highlight damage to the structure of the chimney. This could be for a variety of reasons: poor quality of brickwork, no proper cowl or chimney pot, birds’ nests, damage from rainfall and damp, incorrect burning techniques of the indoor fire, etc. If James does discover any issues, he will inform you promptly and give best advice about any required remedial work.

If you don’t arrange chimney sweeping with James – it’s asking for trouble. You put yourself, your children and anyone else in your home at risk of losing their lives. The good news is that if you arrange regular chimney sweeping with James the Sweep, your chimney will be safe to use and you can use your woodburner or open fire safe in the knowledge that there are no hidden issues.

Book a chimney sweep now with James the Sweep on 07587 134589.


The future of heating homes in Kent

Climate change is at the top of the political agenda on a global basis and what scientists are saying is worrying a lot of folk.

Kent is a county where people really do care about the environment and chimney sweeping is an important part of that. Perhaps that sounds strange because you’re read headlines about the Government banning woodburners (btw that’s not happening). Yet chimney sweeping is a professional trade which deters air pollution by keeping flues clean and effective. It helps the climate if you keep your chimney clean and make sure you burn fuel correctly. In fact, using your woodburner correctly will reduce the impact on air pollution by an incredible 80 per cent!

What kind of changes can we anticipate for heating homes, when we look to the future? Solar energy is an emerging technology and we are seeing various experiments with central heating linked to energy networks. Wood burning at home also remains a key future heating technology. Why? Because wood burning has been a reliable heat source from the beginning of time. Not only that, but with the development of cleaner fuels, the popularity of wood burning will remain in the future too. People love indoor fires and they can continue to use stoves by using the correct fuel and burning methods – alongside a clean chimney!

In fact, the current Government has acknowledged this in its ‘ground-breaking Environment Bill’, pledging to improve air quality: ‘by fighting pollution so children and young people can live longer healthier lives. We will do this by setting an ambitious, legally-binding target to reduce fine particulate matter, PM2.5, and by increasing local powers to address sources of air pollution, enabling local authorities to work with families to cut harmful pollution from domestic burning by using cleaner fuels’.

The future of heating homes in Kent is likely to see us using woodburners with cleaner fuel. That’s a good thing! And if it concerns you about how to anticipate any changes – just ask James the Sweep. James is best-placed to give advice on the use of cleaner fuels. burning techniques and the efficiency of your chimney flue.



Remembering Maidstone’s ace pilot

It sounds like a respectable place for work, and it is – Corbin Business Park in Bearsted near Maidstone. James the Sweep is certainly familiar with the location, travelling past numerous times in his van, on the way to sweep the next chimney.

It’s easy to skip over the ‘Corbin’ part and not understand the significance. Corbin Business Park was named after a heroic wartime pilot from Maidstone, who was granted the freedom of the borough: Jimmy Corbin. His hard work as one of the ‘few’ fighting the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain helped to save the nation.

A former pupil at St Michael’s School in Maidstone, Jimmy died in December 2012 after a post-war career in teaching at Collier Road School, and later Maidstone Technical School.  Jimmy’s work as a pilot for the RAF was noted in a famous book published during the war (1942): ‘Ten Fighter Boys’. A year later, he earned a commission and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC).

Jimmy flew on missions in France and northern Africa. His flying prowess had a devastating effect against the Germans, and it is believed that he brought down at least five aeroplanes, lorries and even a motor torpedo boat. He achieved the status of Flight Lieutenant by the time the war ended but still kept his hand in – he joined the RAFVR from 1948 to 1952.

Jimmy had only 29 hours flying experience with Spitfires when he was first brought to RAF Kenley in August 1940, fresh from practising firing guns at sandbanks in the Dee Estuary, Chester. He was the second oldest in 66 Squadron at the time. Squadron Leader Rupert Leigh, his commanding officer, sent him to get more experience in the North of England.

Jimmy later said this saved his life, allowing him to get more flying experience before facing the Luftwaffe. It was indeed a wise decision. His squadron flew at least four times per day, taking on the enemy. Jimmy said he would fire if he had the opportunity and he described the mayhem from diving into German aeroplanes. It was hard to work out who would survive these dogfights, according to the Maidstone ace pilot, and sharp skills were needed to keep alive.

A particular event saw Maidstone receive a special salute by Jimmy and his fellow pilots when they did a ‘beat up’ over the town, on their way back from fighting the Germans. Some 18 Spitfires went overhead but the town had just been bombed and residents were disturbed by the flypast.

Jimmy completed an impressive 553 operational hours in the air during his wartime experience.  So there you go – Corbin Business Park. A name linked not just to modern trade but originating in a man who was truly one of Maidstone’s bravest sons.

[Photo source: The Battle of Britain Memorial Trust]

What is James the Sweep doing at the moment?

WHERE is James the Sweep – Master Chimney Sweep for Tunbridge Wells and nearby areas of Kent?

Meaning – where is he right now? Regular customers of James the Sweep will know the affectionate name given to his work van: ‘Sweepy’. And there have been reports that Sweepy has been spotted sweeping past various locations across the county: Tonbridge, Maidstone and the like. If you had an interactive map of Kent and James was fitted with a tracking device, you’d see Sweepy popping up in Pembury one day and then Orpington the next… it’s hard to keep up with him, at this time of year. 

The truth is that we’re now in the ‘busy season’ for chimney sweeps and James is working hard sweeping chimneys, keeping people safe from the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning and uncontrolled chimney fires. He knows that people want to use their indoor fires and the chimneys need to be safe to use. That’s why he’s going full throttle, looking after as many people as possible. 

That’s also why if you need your chimney swept at some point in November, December… January, etc – NOW really is the time to pick up your phone and call James to book-in an appointment. If the phone goes through to a voicemail, don’t worry. It just means that James is sweeping a chimney flue but he will respond to your message ASAP and book in the chimney sweeping appointment with you.

James is busy for a very good reason – customers rate him as the region’s top chimney sweep. He has years of experience and reviews testify to the professional services he gives to householders and local businesses. 

If you’re someone who likes to keep very organised: don’t forget that your chimney needs looking after all-year round. Why not get your 2020 diary ready and phone James to book ahead? Give yourself peace of mind that your chimney is being professionally looked after all the time.

Then you won’t have to worry. You can sit back with family and friends, enjoying your indoor fire: celebrating birthdays, Bonfire Night, Christmas, New Year… safe in the knowledge that there is no soot blocking your chimney flue or damage to the chimney structure, which has not been remedied. 

Book a chimney sweep with James the Sweep now on 07587 134589.

Plan to keep safe on Fireworks Night – and enjoy it!

REMEMBER… remember… not only the 5th of November – but also to keep safe on Fireworks Night!

The big evening event is only a couple of weeks or so away (yes, hard to believe), and everyone gets excited at this time of year. Nothing quite beats the spectacular sight of fiery firework lights blazing across the orb, coloured in all sorts: yellow, red, orange, green; whizzing and popping, and ‘shhhushing’ and banging.

Well… mustn’t get carried away. But it’s fantastic, a real highlight of the year for communities across the county of Kent. If you live in T Wells, perhaps you’ll be amongst the crowds planning to ‘oom’ and ‘arr’ at Dunorlan Park. Let’s hope everyone has fun but is also mindful of safety such as not going anywhere near live fireworks and don’t wave sparklers in each other’s faces!

If you’re in charge of lighting the fireworks, make sure there is a safe boundary marked out clearly for any spectators and have a safe procedure for lighting the fireworks (and bonfire). Don’t forget too, to angle the fireworks in the right way. There’s a story about a man who was hit by a rocket at a fireworks display in Lewes a few years ago. It’s easy to forget but the layout of the fireworks display is SO important.

The bonfire also needs a safe boundary line which is clearly marked out for others. Take heed of any older or vulnerable folk, and especially children who can get excited at these events.

Kentish towns put on an array of exciting events at this time of year, as aforementioned and it’s a wonderful opportunity to appreciate the glow and warmth of a good fire. That appreciation is also happening inside residents’ homes as they enjoy indoor fires. Whether you have a stove or open fire, nothing beats the beauty of a fire inside now that the weather is getting colder. Families can get together and enjoy so many good times around a roaring fire (if the chimney is swept).

And, of course, Bonfire Night is a reminder of that.

Another positive Google review for James the Sweep!

ANOTHER positive review has been left on Google recently by a respected customer of James the Sweep.

Nick Hayden, a Local Guide for Google reviews, was so pleased with the chimney sweeping service he received that he felt motivated to write a Five Star review – the highest possible rating. Nick kindly wrote: ‘Friendly and knowledgeable. Definitely worth using above all others’.

James the Sweep appreciates Nick Hayden’s feedback and for taking the time and trouble to write it. It’s a privilege for James to sweep the chimneys for customers across the wider T Wells and Kent region, all the way to Crowborough. James has built a solid reputation as the go-to Master Chimney Sweep for residents living in this beautiful ‘garden of England’. He has been keeping people safe from the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and uncontrolled chimney fires for more than 20 years.

Nick Hayden’s kind review is one of 7 positive reviews on Google and that’s just one online channel. Look at these positive testimonials sent by other customers, and that’s not counting the messages received via Facebook and Twitter.  Comments given by customers are greatly appreciated and valued.

Why are people pleased with James the Sweeps’ chimney sweeping services? Although James employs latest high tech equipment in his work (e.g. power sweeping), customers appreciate old fashioned values. James is professional in every respect: reliable, experienced, diligent, technically aware, honest and affordable. He will go the extra mile to ensure customers are satisfied with his services and that’s why he’s built such a large customer base over the years. People trust James the Sweep to sweep their chimney. They know he will get the job done not well, but very well indeed.

James will sweep your chimney, carry out a smoke test and issue a certificate useful to validate household insurance. He will also carry out a fire and CO risk assessment as part of his work and alert you to the need for any remedial works. A standard sweep only costs £60. That is a very affordable rate appropriate to the professional services and care given by James the Sweep.

If you would like to give your feedback to James the Sweeps’ services – why not send an email to:




Blocked bends in chimneys

CHIMNEY flues don’t always go straight up from top to bottom. There can be corners and varying widths depending on the style of flue, era it was built in and material used in the construction.

The problem is that if your chimney flue has corners/bends there can be a blockage which is very difficult to clear. It’s certainly no job for a householder because specialised equipment is needed and experience in knowing what to do.

James the Sweep is the Master Chimney Sweep for Tunbridge Wells and nearby areas of Kent (Tonbridge. Southborough, Maidstone, etc). He has encountered bends and corners countless times during his sweeping career, which stretches back more than 20 years. 

As a flue technician, James has access to CCTV equipment if needed. He will likely ‘feel’ the blockage though, by using his brushes. He has more than enough experience to know if there is such an issue. 

Why is there a blockage? The common cause is a build-up of soot over time, which causes a problem. It may be that lazy workmen threw mortar down the chimney when the house was being built. Or there could be an issue with the chimney itself whereby parts of brick are loose and falling (this is serious and James will give you advice accordingly).

The worst case scenario involves using a core ball lowered down the flue to break-up the blockage. Or – on very rare occasions – opening the flue to clean the bend/corner. 

James is normally able to clear the corner using the deftness of his hands probing with his brushes. He will sometimes attach a scraper at the end of his rod to help loosen the material. Be assured that James is always careful to not damage flues or flue liners. He will keep you fully informed about the situation and if further remedial work is needed.

Customers trust James the Sweep to get the job done well. He sweeps chimneys for residents all over the county and nearby East Sussex. If you want to know if your chimney has blockages needing treatment, get in touch with James today on 07587 134589.

What is ‘chimney flue technician’?

southborough chimney sweep t wells tunbridge wells hames the sweep james hughes kent tonbridge maidstone sevenoaks orpington crowborough pembury paddock wood

IF YOU live in the wider Kent area – Tunbridge Wells and beyond – you’ll know that your local Master Chimney Sweep is James the Sweep. You may have also noticed that James is not only a Master Sweep but a ‘flue technician’.

What does being a ‘flue technician’ entail? It’s a term that signifies James’ expertise in ALL aspects of chimney care. In the old days, chimney sweeping involved…. chimney sweeping. In the modern era, the job has changed as our understanding has developed on the importance of chimney care and technicalities involved. Sweeping isn’t just about keeping a flue clean and giving a Mary Poppins style dance, like ‘Ol Bert. It’s also about risk assessment, defending the customer against the dangers of chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. 

James is one of a number of elite chimney sweeps who retain advanced knowledge on the importance of proper chimney flue, chimney flue liner and indoor stove installation. He is an expert in scrutinising flues to see if they’re fit for purpose. If the chimney has not been swept or the appliance for the fire is substandard – that’s a red light as far as James is concerned. An indicator that there is a potential issue with carbon monoxide poisoning. Read this article and you will see just how devastating the effect can be, when a chimney is blocked

From the moment James arrives on your doorstep he will be carrying out a risk assessment. He will note the size of the room containing the indoor fire, any air draughts, other appliances, size of the flue in relation to the stove, fuel used, etc. He will inform you of any fire hazards near the indoor fire and the sweeping work itself will only be carried out once he is reassured about the condition of the appliance/open fire and flue itself. If James suspects remedial work is needed – he will let you know. 

James carries out all this risk assessment and sweeps your chimney, AND conducts a smoke test AND gives you a certificate useful for household insurance, by the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps – for just £60! 

Book an appointment today with James the Sweep, Master Chimney Sweep and Chimney Flue Technician!

Gas – let’s take the threat seriously!

EVERYONE loves a warm and snug fire indoors when the colder weather arrives. 

That’s why James the Sweep is so busy at this time of year; sweeping chimneys for customers across Kent, from T Wells to Maidstone to Sevenoaks. He is the Master Sweep for the wider Kent region and with that comes a lot of responsibility, ensuring residents have chimneys which are clean enough and fit for purpose.

Fires are enjoyable in a controlled environment but the safety aspects do need to be taken seriously. It’s not just the flame itself but also harmful gases which can be emitted, such as carbon monoxide. 

That’s important to remember this week, which marks the annual Gas Safety Week. A time when we remind ourselves of the importance of having appliances checked carefully by a professional – and as far as indoor stoves and chimneys are concerned, that means calling-in James the Sweep to give a safety evaluation of your indoor fire set-up. 

To make the pointer clearer – consider this incident, which happened only this week. Rubbish at the front of a house in Trafalgar Street in Gillingham caught fire. It happened at 11.30pm on Monday, Sept 16. Two fire engines raced to the scene and used a hose reel to put out the flames. The damage included a melted window frame.

But the incident also caused damage to a gas main and the gas board had to carry out repairs. A high pressure fan cleared the house of smoke. Paramedics at the scene checked two children and two adults for the effects of smoke inhalation.

The incident is believed to have been accidental. But take a moment to consider the words here – ‘children’… ‘gas main’.. ‘Firefighters’… it’s frightening. We have to be so careful when it comes to gas threats inside the home. As far as your indoor stove and chimney is concerned, take action now. Book a professional chimney inspection and sweep with the most experienced chimney sweep in the county of Kent: James the Chimney Sweep. 

07587 134589 – call this number now to book a sweep with James the Sweep!


How much soot is in your chimney?

ANY glance at your chimney will tell you zero about how much soot is stuck inside the structure.

That’s the frustrating thing for householders. It’s not like breadcrumbs on the table left by the kids after a messy meal or dust hiding under the glass cabinet which you can hoover up in a moment.

All you can do is stare at your fireplace and then walk outside and stare at your chimney. And then make the typical comment, ‘Well, I’d better get that chimney swept’.

The truth is that it’s impossible to know how much soot has clogged up inside your chimney, after you last used your indoor fire, to keep everyone snug and well. It will depend on the amount of fuel you used, the moisture content of the wood, the burn rate and how often your flue has been swept before.

Residents in the Tunbridge Wells – Crowborough – Sevenoaks areas will be fully aware that James the Sweep uses latest technology including power sweeping gear, when sweeping chimneys. This means that James is able to literally access every nook and cranny to sweep out the soot in your chimney flue. Don’t forget that chimneys come in all types of shapes and sizes. The gap can be narrow in places and sometimes there can also be kinks and corners, which are difficult to access.

The challenge of tiny spaces were awful for child chimney sweeps in days of old, when they could get trapped inside the chimney. Fortunately we’ve put those days behind us (although we all know that other types of child labour are still an issue in some countries) and chimney sweeping equipment is able to do the job well. So nevermind how much soot is inside the chimney – the fact that there is ANY soot at all poses a hazard to your family, as it puts you at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning or uncontrolled chimney fires.

Give yourself some peace of mind. Let James sweep your chimney so that you can worry about other things in the house. James charges only £60 as a standard rate to sweep a chimney, which includes a smoke test and a certificate of sweeping, which can be of benefit for household insurance. If you live in Kent or East Sussex – call James the Sweep right now to make a booking. James is a member of the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps and he has swept chimneys in the region for more than 20 years. 07587 134589 – please call that number to book a sweep.



Discover the medieval chimney at Tonbridge Castle

KENT has many fascinating manor houses and castles to wet the appetite of residents and visitors alike to the garden of England.

Tunbridge Castle is such an impressive building, majestically dominating the friendly town of Tonbridge. And in the castle itself, with all its interesting history and artefacts, there is a structure which is surely the masterpiece for any visitor – the medieval chimney.

Surrounded by intricately decorated columns, uppermost on the wall, the chimney is a superb example of craftsmanship situated in the great hall, located on the second floor of the castle. The roof itself is also worth a climb, simply for the beautiful views of the castle area below such as the motte from the Norman era.

So, to ask an obvious question: what purpose did the splendid chimney serve in ye olden times at Tunbridge Castle?

Castles faced a challenge as to how to dispel smoke from fireplaces and it was an important point because the hearth was the centrepiece for any Lord, Lady and family. Smoke would escape visa gaps in the walls but this wasn’t ideal; and louvres were constructed in the roof, which could be controlled with a rope.

Smoke chambers were also created with partitions made by the hearth to trap the smoke. This took up space in the hall which, again, wasn’t ideal. Then – brilliant idea – the thought came to fashion a funnel from the wall to the exterior. In effect, a flue, a rudimentary chimney. Edward King in 1782 noted that the flue in Tunbridge Castle began in the upper state room before it went up and then sloped to the rear within the depths of the wall itself and then exited.

Tunbridge Castle has a long history stretching back to its origins just after the Battle of Hastings in 1066 when Richard Fitzgilbert, supporter of William the Conqueror, was given land in Kent and constructed the forerunner of the present castle: a Motte and Bailey castle.

Yet if you do visit the castle today, please do take time to marvel at the chimney, which was created in Medieval times. It serves as a beautiful reminder of the importance Kentish folk have attached to indoor fires for hundreds of years. A passion that still exists today for householders from Tonbridge right through to Maidstone, then Sevenoaks and further beyond; whether they live in manor or humble dwelling. James the Sweep can verify to the fact this passion exists. People in Kent love their fireplaces and love their chimneys.

Book a sweep in time for Christmas!

Is it too early to mention the word, ‘Christmas’? Whoooops… slip of the brush. Why would we be talking about Santa Claus when we’re still trying our best to lap up the last few weeks of summer; enjoying ice creams when we can, heading to the beach and trying to ignore the fact that the Autumn term starts very soon, the kids are back at school – and colder weather is on the horizon.

And we all know what that means. The sight of those brown and yellow leaves scattered across the beautiful lawns and parks of Kent – from Tunbridge Wells across to Maidstone – indicates the seasons are a’ changing. If there’s one thing that’s sure about Autumn too, it’s that Winter is not far behind!

So, if you are trying to make the most out of your last days in the summer and getting the uniforms ready for the term ahead, spare a thought. It’s just a single thought: about Mr Claus esq. mentioned above. How can the merry red gent manage to fit down your chimney when the famous December 25 date arrives, if it s clogged up with thick, mucky, dirty soot? And how – just HOW – can you enjoy a proper fire indoors, if your chimney has not been swept properly in time?

In the words of Delboy, ‘you know it makes sense’. There’s not a great deal of time left before Christmas arrives. So get your diary out now and book a chimney sweep with James the Sweep, the Master Sweep for Tunbridge Wells and nearby areas (tel: 07587 134589). Don’t forget too that it’s not just the festive season when you’ll need to use your indoor fire. Autumn will bring it a chilly air and it’s wise to prepare for that now. Get your chimney in fine working order for the fire burning season. Enjoy peace of mind so that you can focus on other things. Arrange a chimney sweeping appointment with James and get reassurance that you are protecting your household from the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning from your indoor fire and the chance of uncontrolled chimney fires.

James the Sweep is THE chimney sweep for residents in Tunbridge Wells, Southborough, Tonbridge, Maidstone, Crowborough, Pembury, Paddock Wood, Sevenoaks and areas inbetween. He is a professional in the trade and a standard sweep costs just £60. Why not contact James today and ask his opinion about your indoor fire set-up?

Sweeping your own chimney is not recommended

THIS PHOTO gives an indication as to why sweeping your own chimney is probably not a good idea.

Isn’t that a contradiction? James the Sweep has published advice on how to sweep your own chimney – if you really want to do it.

Even so, things can go wrong! For a start, you need the right equipment. Not just a long-handled broom but a VERY long chimney brush with a brush that perfectly fits your chimney flue, to ensure every nook and cranny is cleared of soot. It’s hard work sweeping the chimney and a chimney camera will help you see if the job’s been a success. You may need get up on the roof to check things (is the cowl alright? What do you think?). Ah… birds’ nest. How will you deal with that? Or perhaps bats have taken up residence.

Don’t forget that the dust sheet needs to be perfectly positioned to catch all the soot. You won’t want any in the room. Is the job finished? How would you know? When is the right moment to definitely say ‘this chimney is clear of soot’. Remember that we want all the soot cleared or there’s a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning or chimney fires.

And it’s not even just about the chimney. Do you have the expert’s eye to know if your stove, open fire, flue and flue liner are in good order, fluently working together and that everything’s a thumbs-up when it comes to efficient indoor burning?

Yes, you can sweep your own chimney but there’s a LOT more to it than just brushing. That’s why James the Sweep isn’t just a chimney sweep but a flue technician. He will be examining the room where the chimney and fire are located, perceiving air draughts and other factors. He will know at a glance if the wood burning stove is fit for purpose. He will see if the flue liner is unspoilt because, as we all know (or we should) any damage to the liner spells trouble for the chimney itself; to say nothing of the risks of CO poisoning and uncontrolled fires.

James the Sweep is the Master Chimney Sweep for Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, Southborough, Sevenoaks, Maidstone, Pembury, Paddock Wood and wider parts of Kent right across to Crowborough. If you want your chimney to be professionally maintained – ask a professional: James. Why not call James the Sweep now and ask for a quotation for chimney sweeping? [Tel: 07587 134589]


Chimney sweeping that’s clean and tidy

‘No mess, no fuss’ – you’ve heard that saying before. But it’s true when it comes to chimney sweeping services provided by James the Sweep to customers in Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, Southborough and further parts of Kent.

The thought of a sooty chimney sweep knocking on the door can fill some tidy householders with dread. Perish the thought that the sweep’s hands may touch the pristine doors or smart furniture. Or a sooty shoe may trample across the white rug resulting in a massive clean-up op once the chimney flue is swept.

Fortunately James the Sweep is meticulously clean and tidy. Did you know that he used to be a hairdresser? [Many years ago, before James picked up a sweeping brush] How’s that relevant? Because as we all know, hairdressers pride themselves on hygiene, cleanliness and keeping tidy.

James has a professional background in cleanliness. He uses fresh dust sheets on EVERY occasion and new customers can be reassured that he will leave no trace of soot behind. That reassurance comes from existing customers who appreciate the respect that James has for home and hearth. When you employ James to sweep your chimney, you’ll find that he won’t be leaving soot and smudge marks around.

Regular customers testify to the high standards of James the Sweep. You can read the testimonials page to see for yourself. You will note that cleanliness is often mentioned: ‘no mess – no fuss and no dust’ (Maiwenn); ‘very clean’ (Sonya); ‘very clean’ (Pippa); ‘quick, efficient and very little mess’ (Fiona).
Did you know that a standard chimney sweep with James costs just £60? That’s not a lot of money to keep your household safe from the risk of chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. CO poisoning has recently hit the headlines after it was revealed that tragic football star Emiliano Sala was poisoned by carbon monoxide before the aeroplane he was travelling on crashed into the English Channel. We must take the dangers of CO seriously. Regular chimney sweeping is important to protect your family. Book a chimney sweep today with the Master Chimney Sweep for Tunbridge Wells – James the Sweep.

Never underestimate the dangers of carbon monoxide


CARBON monoxide is often mentioned by James the Sweep and that’s because too many people are not taking the dangers of CO seriously. 

It sounds abstract to say that there is a ‘danger in your home’ as thought CO was a bogeyman waiting to pounce. 

Yet the simple facts are that about 60 people in the UK die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning.

How? There are stories of people turning cars on in garages (effectively poisoning themselves) or lighting barbecues inside tents. Faulty boilers are another cause and every appliance in the home should be checked. 

The chimney is another potential source of carbon monoxide poisoning. If the chimney is unswept, tar deposits build-up on the inside of the flue. These prevent dangerous gas produced from an indoor fire – including carbon monoxide – from escaping safely to the outside atmosphere. 

That results in the carbon monoxide rolling back down the chimney and into the room. What’s more, you won’t even notice! There’s no strange smell and you can’t see the gas.

The first moment you might notice it is if you have a headache or feeling a bit woozy. Symptoms akin to the flu or a cold. These are just mild symptoms and if it progresses there can be vomiting, and all sorts of symptoms as the oxygen is blocked in the body as a result of CO preventing access to organs. 

Death can occur in literally minutes. So we can’t underestimate the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. 

Fortunately you can deter the risks of CO poisoning from your chimney simply by booking a regular sweep with James the Sweep (if you live in Kent or East Sussex).

It only costs £60 for a standard sweep and James will get the job done quickly and effectively. 

Book a chimney sweep today with the Master Sweep for Tunbridge Wells – James the Sweep – and get peace of mind that your chimney poses no risk of carbon monoxide poisoning to you and your loved ones. 

Don’t forget to get your chimney swept before Autumn!

Summer is still here and everyone is trying their best to get a bit of a holiday before the seasons change. 

We all know what it means when the wind picks up and suddenly brown leaves are scuttling down our street. We look out the window and see that the nearby trees have lost their sunny summer aura. There’s something fresh but also vulnerable about the surroundings of nature at this time. 

Autumn is coming! The time of brown leaves and hibernating badgers and splashy puddles (popular with kids) as the skies open for rainfall. It’s a colder time too – and that’s the way it’s going to be apart from the odd sunny day here and there, for the next six months. 

Don’t be dismayed though – colder weather and that depressive hue of grey skies are beaten back by the fierce golden flames of your indoor fire! That’s right, we can still reminisce over the joys of summer by relaxing in front of the cheerful woodburner or open fire. Of course, don’t forget that your chimney needs a proper sweep to make it ready for the colder season ahead.

Please don’t fret if you live in Kent or East Sussex – it’s easy to arrange a chimney sweep with James the Sweep, the master sweep for Tunbridge Wells. 

Just call James and make an appointment at your convenience. Don’t risk chimney fires or carbon monoxide poisoning. Get your chimney swept so that you can enjoy safe fires indoors throughout the Autumn, and into the winter. In fact, regular sweeping ensures you can use your fire all-year round!

‘The fire is the main comfort of the camp, whether in summer or winter, and is about as ample at one season as at another. It is well for cheerfulness as for warmth and dryness.’ (Henry David Thoreau). 

Phone this number: 07587 134 589. You will be able to ask James any questions about your indoor fire and book a chimney sweeping appointment. 

James is a member of the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps and he has been sweeping chimneys in the wider Tunbridge Wells area for the past 20 years.

Why James loves sweeping in Southborough

SOUTHBOROUGH is a town where there’s always something happening and that’s why James loves his role as master chimney sweep in the local area.

Kentish towns in general have a relaxed atmosphere, no doubt due to the beautiful natural environment in which people live. Southborough has that aspect but an extra plus-point when it comes to dynamic interaction in the community itself. 

Here’s a latest example: a new FM community radio station. This fantastic idea, which will see radio programmes of local interest being broadcast to 100,000 listeners not only in Southborough, but also Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge, will become a reality within the next couple of years. Or so we hope. The transmitter site is likely to be in Southborough itself, between T Wells and Tonbridge. Discussions are still ongoing and it seems Hospital Radio Tunbridge Wells could be given the responsibility of running the radio station. We shall see but what a fantastic idea. 

It’s typical too of the interest that Southborough residents have in their local community. It’s an interest that spans back centuries and you can read more about Southborough itself on this page found in the James the Sweep website. 

The town’s coat of arms (pictured) speaks of this self-confidence that residents have in the many positive aspects of living in Southborough. After all, the town is located in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Nothing quite beats spending time browsing shops in the town centre on a Saturday morning before heading out of the town for a picnic lunch at one of the many natural beauty spots which surround Southborough. That’s something James the Sweep has managed to do only a few times. Most of the time it is his customers who are enjoying the surroundings of the town where they love to live and work. James, meanwhile, is kept busy inspecting and sweeping customers’ chimney flues; making them safe to use when the colder weather bites and it’s time to enjoy indoor fires once again!

James the Sweep’s role as Southborough’s Master Chimney Sweep has been ongoing for at least 20 years – alongside sweeping chimneys for residents in nearby Royal Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge. His vast experience in chimney sweeping is quite considerable and his advice is often called upon by other sweeps with less experience in the trade. Chimney sweeping, after all, involves not just the sweeping but detailed safety inspections of chimney flues and often a proper review of the wood burning stove or open fire. Safety checking certain forms a major aspect of James’ role supporting people in Kent. That’s why Kent Fire & Rescue Service recommends that residents and business owners call on chimney sweeps, such as James, to ensure the indoor fire is safe to use. After all, you’d rather see a chimney sweep at your door than a firefighter! Call James the Sweep right now for a professional safety review of your chimney.  Tel: 07587 134589.



Chimney fire in Tunbridge Wells

CHIMNEY fires should never ever happen – but they do and that’s an ongoing tragedy.

Why? Because regular chimney inspections and sweeping prevents the fires happening in the first place. 

If you live in the counties of Kent and East Sussex (Tunbridge Wells to Crowborough) then James the Sweep is ready to both inspect and sweep your chimney for you. He is a highly trained and experienced chimney sweep and flue technician. It makes sense to call James (07587 134589). 

Unfortunately it looks as though property owners at a home in Lamberhurst didn’t call James the Sweep in time. Kent Fire and Rescue Service reports that a chimney fire erupted at a home in Hastings Road on June 8. Two fire engines had to attend and firemen were able to extinguish the blaze but they had to wear breathing apparatus. The fire crews were at the scene at 3.45pm and didn’t leave until 5.32pm once it was all safe.

A man who is presumed to live there was given treatment by paramedics and then taken to hospital. 

That injured man could be you if you don’t book a chimney sweep right now. Don’t delay, don’t take risks, protect your loved ones – call James the Sweep (again… 07587 134589).

And if you’re wondering why chimneys catch fire in the first place, here’s why. Fumes from your woodburner or open fire leave a soot and tar residue on the inside of your flue. If you don’t get your chimney swept with James, this tar substance builds up over time. That can have two devastating consequences: [1] it prevents carbon monoxide (CO) from safely escaping your home to the outside atmosphere (CO – an invisible and odourless gas – will seep back down into your property instead) and [2] this tar residue is flammable and a stray spark can catch it alight, causing your chimney to catch fire. 

There you go… PLEASE do keep safe and book a chimney sweep right now with James the Sweep, the Master Sweep for Tunbridge Wells! (In case you’ve forgotten… 07587 134589).

Brexit… Boris… is your head spinning?

BREXIT… Boris… your head is probably spinning right now with all the things happening in the political scene.

Nobody knows what will happen with the Brexit question: deal or no deal, referendum or no referendum – it’s pretty wild out there in the Westminster circus. We can sense the pandemonium of politics here in the hideaway paradise that is Kent.

And during times like this, it makes perfect sense to hold back the pennies in case prices go up. We just don’t know what will happen with the economy.

If you’re looking at your household budget, getting the chimney swept may seem like less of a priority compared to setting aside money for food, bills, kids’ clothes and the like. 

Yet think about it. Your indoor fire represents a real cost saving in terms of heat. Turning the central heating up and down, on the other hand, results in a hefty bill landing on the doormat from your energy company. 

The advantage of log burning is that you’re really in control. If you follow James the Sweep’s guidance on correct burning techniques (e.g. robust burning and using wood with a moisture content of 20 per cent or less) – then you’re achieving 4 things: [1] you can use as much or as little as you want; [2] you’re helping the environment IF you’re following James’ advice on wood burning; [3] wood burners are a reliable source of heating. No fear of boilers bursting, etc! And [4] the sight of a crackling beautiful fire builds a positive atmosphere in the home for the family to enjoy. Nobody enjoys sitting in front of a radiator…

When times are hard or look uncertain, it’s sensible to fall back on tried and tested – and reliable – sources for the home. Your woodburner is a workhorse which you can always trust. As long as you book regular chimney sweeping to keep it all safe. James charges customers in T Wells, Southborough and nearby areas, just £60 to keep your household safe by providing a professional chimney sweep. BOOK NOW