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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Common skills now forgotten or redundant - Page 3 EmptySun 28 Oct 2018, 22:02

@LadyinRetirement wrote:
On another thread I mentioned the old saying "If ifs and ands were pots and pans there'd be no need for tinkers".  I guess tinkers are fairly scarce now.  Periodically some gypsy people (well travellers anyway though they may be on a permanent site now) come down the road looking for scrap though they seem to do that it vans now rather than with a pony and trap (as they did a few decades ago).  When my last washing machine (twin tub) gave up it was in the front garden while I intended to ring the Council to arrange for collection and a traveller (Irish voice) knocked on the door and asked if he could have it.  I said yes.  I haven't bought another washing machine; I'm within walking distance of a launderette.

Lady,

no tinkers anymore overhere... we have municipal parcs (they call it "container parcs" overhere), where we can bring all our waste including old household machines and all that...as I have from time to time a lot of waste from "refurbishing appartments" in the time, especially for old lead tubes, I went to a specialized "old iron marchand" but nowadays there are no big prizes anymore for small amounts of old metal...but the neighbour behind the door is still collecting them and select the "metals" I suppose more as an entertainment than to gain money...

Kind regards from Paul.
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Common skills now forgotten or redundant - Page 3 EmptyMon 07 Jan 2019, 11:19

Steeplejacks ... the comments about Fred Dibnah on the Tumbleweed thread made me think of steeplejacks and how their skills are not really required anymore, not because there are no longer any tall buildings - far from it - but because these days H&S legislation requires tall buildings to be constructed with access already in place and also because technology and techniques have changed (roped access, helicopters, drones etc).

Fred Dibnah was first and foremost an old-school steeplejack, working principally on Victorian factory chimneys and church steeples, which were usually built without any fixed access. Accordingly a steeplejacks first job was to put ladders up them. Here's the first part of a BBC film with Fred explaining the old technique of getting ladders erected up the side of a huge chimney, starting from the ground and working up.



And part 2:

Youtube : Fred Dibnah laddering a chimney part 2

Even more stomach-churning is this from the same BBC series, where Fred explains how to then construct a scaffold platform at the top of a chimney.

Youtube : Fred Dibnah how to erect a chimney scaffold

Those of a nevous disposition be warned ... the chimney is 300 feet/100m tall and Fred, then in his 50s, uses no safety harness and calmly works away at the top of a wobbling ladder with just his leg hooked over the top rung or swings around sitting on a plank suspended from a rope. I hate going up on my roof just 30 feet up!

Inevitably in the Youtube comments there are disparaging remarks about the "snowflake generation" and modern 'elf 'n safety directives, but it should not be forgotten that serious injury and death was a common occupational hazard of 19th century steeplejacks, roofers, tilers, weathervane cleaners, sailors and all others that were expected to work on high structures with at most some rickety scaffolding and a bit of hemp rope tied around their waist.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Common skills now forgotten or redundant - Page 3 EmptyMon 07 Jan 2019, 11:38

Tottenham Hotspur's new stadium is very near completion, and I've been watching with interest as live cams throughout the project meant that one could follow modern-day roofers in all their abseiling safety harness glory shimmying up and down tethers as they made their way to their day job hundreds of feet above terra firma.

Contrast this to a previous incarnation of their stadium, old White Hart Lane, and the lads who were snapped during construction of Archibald Leitch's famous East Stand in the 1930s ...

Common skills now forgotten or redundant - Page 3 White-hart-lane-4
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Common skills now forgotten or redundant - Page 3 EmptyMon 07 Jan 2019, 12:27

MM, your remark about health and safety takes me back to a couple of conversations I had with work colleagues in the past.  I had a discussion with a lady whose husband was in the building trade (or had been at one time in his life at least) and mentioned that I thought miners had one of the most dangerous jobs (there was still a coal mining industry in the UK then - though I appreciate other substances are mined besides coal).  The lady said that the trade of the steeplejack was yet more dangerous.  I never actually checked up on that.  Then in the 1990s I worked for a time with a young woman whose partner had been a steeplejack but had fallen and injured himself. I don't think he had lost his head for heights but his doctor told him his injuries meant he shouldn't go back to the job.  He was working on a market stall (I think it was his own stall) then because he was one of those people who feel constrained in an office.  If the modern health and safety at work rules mean less people suffer a fatality or are injured then I won't moan about them.  A few days ago I posted some videos of film from (roughly) the turn of the 19th century into the 20th century and there were comments about how in those days there were no or at least less persons with skin of a darker hue.

I don't think coal mining can be called a forgotten skill because it still goes on in some countries (South Africa for example).  I haven't got round to watching any of the 21st century adaptation of the Poldark books but I read quite a few of the books at one time in my life.  Tin-mining has pretty well gone from Cornwall I think.
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Common skills now forgotten or redundant - Page 3 EmptyMon 07 Jan 2019, 13:11

Mining for tin (and copper) mostly ended in Cornwall in the mid 19th century when richer and more easily exploitable ore deposits were discovered elsewhere around the world. But the mining of tin and copper, and of course gold, silver platinum ... nickel, chromium, manganese, ... uranium ... and many other metals, still needed miners skilled in hard-rock, deep mining. And so it is said that all around the world, wherever there was a deep mine, from Australia to Arizona, Canada to Chile, or Peru to Pretoria, you'd always find a Cornishman at the bottom of it.

Edit ..... Oops, Mea culpa.

Carried away by my aliteration I forgot that Pretoria is not actually the South African centre for metal mining, but is rather the centre for diamond mining. The mine/quarry there is very deep, but certainly nothing like the two miles' deep South African gold mines around Johannesburg. My error is all the more embarassing, for me, as I used to be the assay/laboratory manager in a gold and platinum refinery - in England - but where the majority of the pre-refined metal ingots that came to us were from Jo'burg in South Africa, Ontario in Canada, and Novrislk in Russia ... or the slightly dodgey ones that came, via the Bank of England, Credit Suisse, or the Banque de France etc ... for confirmation that they had/hadn't been sold a 'pig in a poke'.
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Common skills now forgotten or redundant - Page 3 EmptyMon 07 Jan 2019, 23:11

@Meles meles wrote:
Steeplejacks ... the comments about Fred Dibnah on the Tumbleweed thread made me think of steeplejacks and how their skills are not really required anymore, not because there are no longer any tall buildings - far from it - but because these days H&S legislation requires tall buildings to be constructed with access already in place and also because technology and techniques have changed (roped access, helicopters, drones etc).

Yes Meles meles, I was in the building branch in the Sixties, enough to learn what maconry was...and ladders in three pieces to climb without protection 8 metres high...it is not allowed anymore I think above the 6 metres and mostly with protection...and nowadays it is with this
Common skills now forgotten or redundant - Page 3 1-87-KAIDIWEI-Manlift-Hydraulische-Hoogwerker-Speelgoed.jpg_640x640
and for the backside of the building even reaching above the roof to the backside...and for the higher buildings a cage lowering from the roof platform...I was once repairing a front, 11 metres high from a platform of three wooden beams coming from inside a window, with weights on the end of the beams inside. But I still see windows cleaners high on their ladders nowadays...

Kind regards from Paul.
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Green George
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Common skills now forgotten or redundant - Page 3 EmptyTue 08 Jan 2019, 00:18

Increasingly, house-to-house domestic window cleaners use "long pole" techniques round here - with deionised water to stop the streaks.
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Common skills now forgotten or redundant - Page 3 EmptyTue 08 Jan 2019, 11:08

What G, not white vinegar and newspaper.  Though I suppose there is less newspaper around (at least as in a physical newspaper) with so many people getting their news online.
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Dirk Marinus
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Common skills now forgotten or redundant - Page 3 EmptyTue 08 Jan 2019, 20:33

And talking about working at heights what about this :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QCYDzsQ_yM



Dirk
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Common skills now forgotten or redundant - Page 3 EmptyTue 08 Jan 2019, 21:53

Gives me vertigo just looking at it (i.e. the video Dirk linked to).  There was a cafe near where I lodged in Ilford at one time where I would sometimes buy my sandwiches on the way to work (if I hadn't made any the preceding night).  That had stills of some of the shots in the clip on the walls. For some reason all this talk of building has made me think of Tales from Hoffnung and the story about the barrel (about construction - humorous story) but I'm very tired at the moment so will have to explain that another day (unless anyone else feels like doing so).
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Green George
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Common skills now forgotten or redundant - Page 3 EmptyTue 08 Jan 2019, 23:17

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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Common skills now forgotten or redundant - Page 3 EmptyWed 09 Jan 2019, 09:57

Looks about right, G - at about 10 mins in. Thanks. Looking at Wikipedia, Mr Hoffnung died quite young, in his 30s.  The tale inspired Irish songwriter Pat Cooksey to write a song (mostly sung in folk clubs) called The Sick Note.  Here is a version from Sean Cannon.  Although it is a comic song it does show that working at heights could indeed be dangerous.
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Common skills now forgotten or redundant - Page 3 EmptyWed 09 Jan 2019, 20:24

@LadyinRetirement wrote:
What G, not white vinegar and newspaper.  Though I suppose there is less newspaper around (at least as in a physical newspaper) with so many people getting their news online.
 
Lady,

bah vinegar...that stinks...I have such spray thingie filled with nice smelling tensioactif (to make the water moe moistering)...then a tag
one side waterabsorbing, other side (zeemlap) zeem?...and then finishing touch: rubbing the glass with a badroom towel...paper with vinegar? if the paper becomes too dry, you don't believe it, can make scratches in the glass...

Kind regards from Paul.
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Common skills now forgotten or redundant - Page 3 EmptyWed 09 Jan 2019, 21:11

@LadyinRetirement wrote:
Looks about right, G - at about 10 mins in. Thanks. Looking at Wikipedia, Mr Hoffnung died quite young, in his 30s.  The tale inspired Irish songwriter Pat Cooksey to write a song (mostly sung in folk clubs) called The Sick Note.  Here is a version from Sean Cannon.  Although it is a comic song it does show that working at heights could indeed be dangerous
 
Lady and Gil,

as I didn't know Mr. Hoffnung (English: Mr. Hope) I had to look at wiki too:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerard_Hoffnung
And as there were no subtitles in Gil's link (I see now in your Irish link there are subtitles)
https://monologues.co.uk/Sketches/Bricklayers_Story.htm

Kind regards to both from Paul.
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Common skills now forgotten or redundant - Page 3 EmptyThu 07 Feb 2019, 17:17

Not a skill that has entirely disappeared but in my town at least there seem to be less dry cleaning establishments than there were a few years ago.  There is a Johnson's (quite a big nationwide chain of dry cleaners) but when I tried to take my jacket there on Monday, the shop was closed for a week for "exciting alterations".  I suppose it will still be there next week if I take my jacket then but at one time there used to be quite a few of these establishments.
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Common skills now forgotten or redundant - Page 3 EmptySat 02 Mar 2019, 12:30

I've managed to locate a couple of dry cleaning establishments in my hometown.  One is a (covered in) booth outside the local Asda.  It's actually a Timpson's (a chain of shoe repairers for those outside the UK) - I don't know when Timpson's started offering dry cleaning services.  The booth is not that large so I presume items are sent offsite for the actual cleaning to take place.  I eventually had my jacket cleaned at the Johnson's after it re-opened.

I think there was a film a few years ago about when dry cleaning (or spirit cleaning) businesses were starting up in the USA though I can't recall the name.  Back in the day I remember at one place I worked  carbon tetrachloride was used to clean the photocopier.  Health and safety was a bit slacker then but one member of staff said to glove up if I ever used it because it could be harmful and could be absorbed through the skin (the dangers were probably mentioned on the bottle but one doesn't or didn't always read the instructions - though I read the instructions on bottles more attentively nowadays).
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Common skills now forgotten or redundant - Page 3 EmptyThu 15 Aug 2019, 15:24

Something came up on the home page of my computer (the less powerful one, not the MacBook) about 25 professions which were disappearing.  I clicked on it expecting it to be an article but it was a slideshow.  Too laborious for me to plough through.  I found something about the first five professions named in the article on YouTube.  They were estate agent, lawyer, mortgage broker, bookkeeper and broadcaster.  I will concede that artificial intelligence is replacing the human touch in many ways but I can't see lawyers disappearing completely - not straightaway.  I can't copy over the YouTube link at present.  I found a critique of the work https://www.icas.com/education-and-qualifications/the-dying-professions-and-how-to-outlive-them-student-blog  The author of the book from which the list was taken hasn't been credited though.  His name is John Pugliano and the book is called "The Robots are Coming".
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Common skills now forgotten or redundant - Page 3 EmptySun 22 Sep 2019, 02:07

I recently mentioned on another thread that I had seen something about a nun suggesting that artificial intelligence be used to introduce robot priests.  I've seen a downturn in the amount of sound files I am sent for typing.  I have seen a few places recruiting though so I might see what else I can turn up.  I know that voice recognition software  has improved (things like "Siri") so maybe folks are dictating letters directly into their computers. Then again, I've done audio-typing for several years and I wouldn't mind doing something different.
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Common skills now forgotten or redundant - Page 3 EmptyFri 13 Dec 2019, 21:19

I don't know about a totally forgotten skill but I've had a fruitless attempt at folding the tarp I bought last year when I had the flat roof leak.  It's a large tarpaulin so I had to take it in the garden to lie it flat and did so after dark because it's been raining all day.  I gave up in the end because it just wasn't feasible by light of the street lamps. Very frustrating. I just hope the rain eases tomorrow and perhaps I can try by daylight.
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Common skills now forgotten or redundant - Page 3 EmptyFri 13 Dec 2019, 22:38

LiR, rolling up in one long end?

Kind regards, Paul.
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Green George
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Common skills now forgotten or redundant - Page 3 EmptySat 14 Dec 2019, 22:46

Irrelevant thought : Rolling up the tarp reminded me of a song the late George Melly used to sing.
"Dreamin bout a viper five mile long". A viper is/was another name for a spliff.
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Common skills now forgotten or redundant - Page 3 EmptySat 14 Dec 2019, 23:28

GG,

I had to look for "spliff"...here we call it a "joint"...I too old...in our time it was beer...and too young for absinth and opium...that opium from the "Opium Wars"...nowadays they make such stuff synthetic in Limburg for the international market...from time to time there are some noxious vapours which kill the blenders...and the labos drop their waste products along the streets...really a nuissance there in Limburg...

And thinking about LiR, I hope she hasn't done it my proposed way...here it is the first not rainy afternoon... perhaps better; as she perhaps proposed, to spread it in the garden then fold it in two halves in the length and then again in four and so on...I don't know how heavy the packet then will be...I can't come over to help...

And btw happy to see you once back Gil, after all those worries of the elections.

Kind regards from Paul.
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Common skills now forgotten or redundant - Page 3 EmptySun 15 Dec 2019, 12:33

The tarpaulin is in the front room still somewhat scrunched up(which I'm not using as a "sitting" room at present).  It is large and I think I managed to tear a hole in it the other night - probably on a shrub in the garden.  I may have to wait until spring (unless there is a bright and dry winter day).  It has been very damp here - there have been occasional spells of sunshine over the last few days but they haven't lasted.  There is a method of folding a tarpaulin where you grab the ends of the tarpaulin exactly on the middle and then pass the centre point of the tarpaulin between the two ends but the demonstration I watched was on a smaller tarpaulin than mine.  I wanted to get it out of the living room (where I'd put in when I had the problem with the flat roof last year).  I wanted to get the place looking at least half-way tidy because someone was supposed to be delivering me a cat but he said he'd ring this morning and I've heard nothing yet.  Maybe he's decided he doesn't want to part with her.
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Common skills now forgotten or redundant - Page 3 EmptyTue 11 Feb 2020, 20:04

I noticed that in an old post I had mentioned my "manly arm" rather than "manky* arm" (after I had bashed my arm once).

Thinking of earlier posts, I noticed MM's post about Hillaire Belloc's poem about Lord Finchley perishing whilst attempting to fix the electric light. I suppose that is a fictional Lord Finchley?

* An explanation for "manky" https://www.lexico.com/definition/manky - it is given as inferior or worthless or dirty.  I've come across it informally used to mean not functioning properly.  Like if I had bought a machine which didn't work it would be "a manky one".
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Common skills now forgotten or redundant - Page 3 EmptyTue 10 Mar 2020, 12:22

I've watched a few medieval craft type videos recently including this one about fingerloop braiding.  Going by the comments under the video the skill is still practised in some parts of eastern Europe and the Faroe Islands.  I wondered if the child's game of "cat's cradle" might have been derived from this craft. 
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Common skills now forgotten or redundant - Page 3 EmptyWed 11 Mar 2020, 18:16

A had my chimney swept this morning and that's another trade that will soon be gone, seeing that Britain has just legislated to ban burning of coal and logs for domestic heating (to be phased out between 2021 and 2023). In France many people still heat with logs and as yet there are no plans to end this, and so the associated job of woodcutter is also still going strong. Interestingly when the metric system of weights and measures was first introduced by revolutionary France in 1793, along with the metre and the kilogram, one of the other new units was the stère - corresponding to a cubic metre of cut wood - and firewood here is still sold by the stère.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Common skills now forgotten or redundant - Page 3 EmptyWed 11 Mar 2020, 19:41

Oddly enough, I too had my chimney swept recently. Many people in Devon - especially those living old cottages and farmhouses - have woodburners or multi-fuel burners that will remain legal (it's "wet" wood and dirty-burning coal that is to be banned), so hopefully this old profession is not in danger here - at least for the time being. The chap who swept my chimney was like a character out of Dickens: he spoke very slowly and precisely, explaining the different function of each of his impressive collection of brushes. He included my name - formally as Mrs. R. - in every remark. "A brush for every eventuality, Mrs. R, every eventuality."

Although the skill is not yet dying in the South West, my chimney sweep - who has been in the job since his youth - complained that young sweeps haven't a clue: they apparently turn up with just one brush and a pathetically underpowered little "Henry" vacuum cleaner. His vacuum cleaner was bigger than he was and was rolled about on a trolley. New sweeps also often tell everyone they need a new flue liner - often recommending someone who can "fix your chimney for six hundred quid". My sweep had a camera linked to a computer screen, and he was able to show me all the way up my chimney: the "tube" of metal liner looked rather like a small intestine.Watching as his selected brush did its work was all a bit like observing keyhole surgery. Sort of Dickens chimney sweep meets modern IT! He assured me I did not need to fork out £600 to replace mine - great relief.


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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Common skills now forgotten or redundant - Page 3 EmptyWed 11 Mar 2020, 20:04

Perhaps old-fashioned politeness goes with the job of chimney sweeping; mine never comes to the front door but always taps first on the kitchen window - the tradesman's entrance as it were - before doffing his cap and asking if it's a convenient time. He too has a huge vacuum machine that looks like R2D2.
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Common skills now forgotten or redundant - Page 3 EmptyFri 13 Mar 2020, 10:28

The Government aren't giving folk much time to change over from wood burners to an alternative form of heating are they?  I know someone who lives in a rural part of Shropshire and this will affect her (though I've just read Temperance's comment above properly - not just speedreading it as I did in first instance - and see that there are some caveats to the new rule).

Temperance, I didn't know that chimney-sweeping (disappearing skill or not) could be so high tech!
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Common skills now forgotten or redundant - Page 3 EmptyFri 13 Mar 2020, 12:07

Neither did I, LiR - it was fascinating! I didn't know a long metal tube could be so interesting. I thought his camera (it was attached to the top of one of his special brushes) would reveal all sorts of dreadful things, but it didn't. 

How the government will enforce the ban on wet wood is anyone's guess - bit like the foxhunting?
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PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Common skills now forgotten or redundant - Page 3 EmptySat 14 Mar 2020, 08:07

Having learned about the highly technical equipment used in sweeping windows now, I wondered if mentioning the braiding in a "disappearing skill" thread was quite right.  Maybe finger braiding is not used so very much now but braiding has not gone out of use and there are machines to make braids including those which make heavy duty braids from metal.  Then there are the complicated braids (French braid for example) that some ladies use on their crowning glories.  I'm sure the other ladies who visit this site are all very elegantly coiffed but I could never manage any other plait than the pigtail and nowadays wear my hair quite short in a bob.  I was thinking of perhaps having a go at braiding to replace a mock drawstring that has seen better days on some slacks I own (the actual work is done by elastic) but I'll probably buy some braid.  Google has also informed me that there is a Braid Society in England
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LadyinRetirement
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LadyinRetirement

Posts : 2592
Join date : 2013-09-16
Location : North-West Midlands, England

Common skills now forgotten or redundant - Page 3 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Common skills now forgotten or redundant - Page 3 EmptySat 14 Mar 2020, 08:07

Having learned about the highly technical equipment used in sweeping windows now, I wondered if mentioning the braiding in a "disappearing skill" thread was quite right.  Maybe finger braiding is not used so very much now but braiding has not gone out of use and there are machines to make braids including those which make heavy duty braids from metal.  Then there are the complicated braids (French braid for example) that some ladies use on their crowning glories.  I'm sure the other ladies who visit this site are all very elegantly coiffed but I could never manage any other plait than the pigtail and nowadays wear my hair quite short in a bob.  I was thinking of perhaps having a go at braiding to replace a mock drawstring that has seen better days on some slacks I own (the actual work is done by elastic) but I'll probably buy some braid.  Google has also informed me that there is a Braid Society in England
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Common skills now forgotten or redundant - Page 3 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Common skills now forgotten or redundant   Common skills now forgotten or redundant - Page 3 Empty

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