Half a crown per Lum
"Like Bob, I too worked as a chimney
sweep, not as part of an apprenticeship but to earn extra cash to
help pay for the holidays. It was mainly when I worked the
Night Shift and, on occasions, Saturday mornings.
It was half-a-crown
lum, as I had an Electric Sweep. It was an industrial
cleaner, made for chimneys and / or for clearing up after the
builders in the private sector housing market.
I did the roofs and May's nephew cleaned
out the soot that didn't fall into our wee bucket. The
fireplace got hoovered and dusted until it was clean again.
I remember the day I cleaned the wrong
lum. it only happened once. Fortunately it wasn't too
bad as the lady had had the sweep (not us) the day before.
To save any problems, I
promised to clean her lum for nothing for a year, and 2/6 x 4
wouldn't break me. In those days, if you cleaned the chimneys
4 times a year, you were doing fine.
Our signal wasn't a shout, but the lad
rattling a stick inside the chimney. If you were lucky to get
four in a block needing the sweep I could then walk across the roof
and drop the brush when i was told it was OK, but those were few and
best ones were the farmers' houses as we got extra from them because
of the Rayburn stoves.
Matt Rooney, Ayrshire, Scotland December 8, 2007