Since pagan times, the images of fire and the hearth have been associated with luck – when a new bride inherited the fire irons, she symbolically inherited a home and a new family.
It’s because of his blackened face and his relationship with hearths and fires that the chimney sweep carries the luck with him where ever he goes, and when you meet him, his luck rubs off onto you. Coal, again connected with fire and hearths, is also believed to be lucky; when given by a sweep the luck is multiplied. Soldiers have carried small lumps of coal into battle to ensure survival, and sailors kept coal in their pockets while at sea.
If a chimney sweep meets a bride and groom at their wedding, it’s a very good omen for their future, especially if he wishes them good luck. Even though sweeps have been giving luck for over 100 years, it is still prestigious for a sweep to turn up at a wedding; so special that pictures of the encounter often make their way into the local press.
Indeed one very famous meeting was reported in a newspaper of the 1950s
… not by mere chance was a sooty chimney-sweeper sauntering in front of Kensington Palace on the wedding morning of Prince Philip and Princess Elizabeth, thereby affording the excited bridegroom an opportunity to dash out from the royal apartments to wring his grubby hand for chimney sweep’s luck.
Good Luck is sure to rub off when the groom shakes hands with a Lucky Chimney Sweep who will have a “Lucky Kiss” for the new bride. With the power vested in him by King George III, he will recite a goodwill message and present a keepsake of good fortune which the happy couple may keep and treasure … This follows a tradition that started about 200 years ago when a London chimney sweeper saved the life of King George III. The sweep had been the only person brave enough to stop the King’s out of control horses and carriage.
By Royal Decree the King proclaimed that all sweeps are good luck bearers and should be treated with respect. The folklore was established and to this day chimney sweepers are still invited to attend weddings and kiss the bride for good luck.
To see a Chimney Sweep on your wedding day is a sign of Good Luck & Fertility for the newly married couple. When a Lucky Chimney Sweep attends the wedding, this 200 year old timeless tradition is said to bring Good Luck to the happy couple.
The Sweep greets the guests and Bride and Groom, the Good Luck custom of the Bride kissing the Sweep and the Groom shaking his hand is performed, then he reads a special message and presents the couple with a Traditional Scroll. A bottle of bubbly is presented to the newlyweds with best wishes for the future.
Then a photo opportunity is available with the Lucky Sweep for guests and the official photographer to capture this traditional custom.Contact us to arrange a Lucky Sweep
Essex Chimney Sweep Articles
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need to have my chimney / flue swept?
Chimneys need to allow free passage of dangerous combustion gasses. Regular cleaning will remove soot and creosote, helping prevent dangerous chimney fires. Cleaning will increase the efficiency of some appliances. Bird nests, cobwebs and other blockages will be removed.
How often does my chimney need sweeping?
The sweeping frequencies below are for guidance. Frequency will depend on a number of factors including: Type of fuel, appliance used, duration of use, moisture content of wood fuel, type of chimney. Give us a call and we will be able to advise on sweeping frequency during the appointment.
SMOKELESS FUEL: ~Once a year
BITUMINOUS COAL: ~Quarterly
OIL: Once a year
GAS: Once a year
Does it make mess?
This is a very good question to ask when booking any sweep. The answer should be - very rarely. Guild sweeps are able to draw on the collective knowledge of the whole organisation and have a number of best practice techniques for preventing dust escapes. A rare exception may be when the chimney is blocked with a bird’s nest when it is sometimes difficult to contain all dust.
Why do I need to see the brush out the top of the chimney?
To demonstrate to you that the flue has been swept throughout its length, and that the sweep has done his work properly.
Why do I need to sweep a chimney before it is closed off?
If a chimney is closed off, it can get a bit damp. If there is and soot up there, then this soot can turn to a black acidic slurry that in an old chimney can soak into the internal walls causing severe problems. If bad enough this damp can penetrate through to the room where it will cause unpleasant stains on the walls.
Do I need to have my gas / oil flues swept?
Yes. Although burning these fuels does not normally deposit soot there are numerous other problems which can affect chimney function and sweeping can solve or identify these. In countries such as Germany, where sweeping all chimneys and flues is a legal requirement, the number of carbon monoxide poisonings and chimney fires are a fraction of the UK.