Chim chim-in-ey for the sweeps

Clean Sweep: Vice Chairman Sascha Meding, Public Relations Director Lawson White, Education Director David Wooffindin, Chairman Daniel Hodgson and Technical Director Stefan Waumsley.

Clean Sweep: Vice Chairman Sascha Meding, Public Relations Director Lawson White, Education Director David Wooffindin, Chairman Daniel Hodgson and Technical Director Stefan Waumsley.

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All ‘Mary Poppins’ quips are to be put aside as chimney sweeps from all over the world descend on Ripley for an international trades fair.

More than 300 tradesmen and women are expected to head to the The Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps head office at Heage Road Industrial Estate.

Public relations director for the organisation Lawson White said 37 stalls were available today and Thursday (August 22) for traders to peruse.

“Everything a chimney sweep could ever need will be available,” he said. “There’s all sorts of products and services. Anything from a £10 brush to a £5,000 chimney testing equipment.”

The guild, which seeks to establish a code of conduct in the unregulated trade here in the UK, held its annual general meeting for UK members on Tuesday. This year’s fair is to feature traders from all over the globe as Ripley plays host to the annual meeting of the European Federation of Chimney Sweeps as well.

Somercotes sweep John Eardley says the event is vital for anyone starting out in the business.“It keeps you up-to-date with the latest products and inventions, “ said the 51-year-old, of Warwick Road, “It’s good to get to one of these shows, chat to people and pass on things you’ve learned.”

John, set to launch his firm the Derbyshire Chimney Sweep this week, says the trader stereotype seen in films like Mary Poppins could not be further from the truth.

“It’s actually a growing trade,” he said. “There are thousands of wood stoves being installed every year because of rising fuel and oil prices - these are all going to all going to need sweeping.”