The ‘Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps’ hosted their annual trade exhibition and it was a record breaker – more sweeps, more suppliers, more fun!
‘Herding Sweeps’ – group photo
The Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps is the UK’s premier ‘not-for-profit’ trade association for professional chimney sweeps. Established more than 25 years ago, the Guild works with authorities such as Defra and HETAS to promote the highest industry standards, which are environmentally friendly. They also represent the interests of chimney sweeps in the UK to international bodies, such as the European Federation of Master Chimney Sweeps.
What an amazing weekend! This year the event was held at The Chesford Grange Hotel in Warwick. The venue and central location was excellent and encouraged sweeps from all over the UK to attend. This year’s event was sponsored by SNAPLOK and kicked off with an exhibition of well over 30 trade exhibitors ranging from rod manufacturers, training courses and testing equipment. There were serious deals to be had and it was great to meet suppliers face to face and be able to handle the equipment.
SNAPLOK – exhibition sponsors
The Evening was a chance for old friends to catch up and a great opportunity to make new ones. This year a meal was organised at a local Indian restaurant and needless to say it was fully booked that night. The event, finally, transferred back to the hotel and continued into the early hours.🍻
Indian restaurant full of chimney sweeps
Saturday started early with the exhibition and free seminars continuing throughout the day. There was an introduction to the new NVQ in chimney sweeping and an update on the amazing progress of the Burnight campaign along with a list of future plans – please take the time to read about the Burnight campaign here
Signing autographs for the fans 😃
Midday was the time of the much anticipated ‘Van of the Year’ competition which SweepSmart was proud to have won in 2014. We had high hopes for this year but we were too busy ‘talking chimneys’ and missed the announcement ☹️ . This year’s well-deserved winner was Emma Roddy, a sweep from Manchester.
‘Van of the Year’ winner
3.30pm was the time of the AGM. This was our 7th AGM and it was by far the best attended. There was a really encouraging atmosphere with a mixture of excitement for what the future would bring. The Guild has been doing a brilliant job and there was a strong, positive feeling amongst members reflecting just how well they all felt their needs were being represented.
You would have thought that was enough, but no, the finale -The Gala dinner. The dinner, as with the whole weekend (other than the AGM) was open to everyone from the industry and that sense of welcoming made for a brilliant atmosphere. This year we had a Live band – Grooveology which is a proper party band who do superb first class covers of everyone’s favourite disco hits. The female lead singer Andrea Grant – has sung in the house band for BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing. The other lead vocalist is our very own Iain Stevens, Guild Regional Officer for the South West. The Evening’s entertainment also involved a casino and charity raffle which always gives very generous prizes.
Me and Mrs Sweep
When there is such a great atmosphere the night never ends early – the hotel bar was still full at 4 am and a few blurry eyed sweeps were still there until the lights were turned off at 5.30am.🍻😵
Sunday morning was checkout time and a chance to say goodbyes………………….until next year. We are full of anticipation and can’t wait.
Thank you to everyone involved – THE BEST ONE YET! 👊