Hey, do you remember these?
Back when I got the keys in July (arrrg, it’s been so long since then D:) these wonderful tributes to the not so distant past stood boldly in the sitting room and dining room. Fire surrounds with square tiles were popular in the 50s with the thin vertical ones making their way in the 60s, so these weird hybrids I can only guess at.
Back in august Karen helped me rip the front sitting room fireplace out, and we found some pretty special original tiles inside:
I’ve got a build date of approximately 1899, making this house barely victorian. You can see the beginnings of art nouveau influence in these which is about all over the house.
I had a spare evening to myself, so it was time to take out the second fireplace, and see what treasures lurked within..
First find was this pencil. Makeshift shim or lost relic? WE SHALL NEVER KNOW.
The last fire was easy to crow away from the wall, but this one was firmly fixed in place. As I was on my own (and the last one was too heavy for two people to lift, let alone one small ginger person) this fireplace was going to come out in pieces.
My hard hat has a visor which was important to prevent the shards of tiles hitting me in the face.
DIYBDBAI- Do it yourself but don’t be an idiot.
Timber! Good thing my neighbours are still on holiday…
There were a couple of iron ties holding it into place which I attempted to saw off but soon realised it was quicker to just hit it all with a hammer until the concrete holding it broke away. I then smashed up the fire and pulled it away, eager to get to the fire underneath.
THE GRATES OF HELL. I mean woah, better use my camera flash for this one.
Some more smashing and I got the bottom section broken up enough to move. It was made of some kind of concrete with metal strips running through it which makes me wonder whether it was premade and dragged in by very strong people, or if they assembled it onsite.
The old grate had some kind of lever system inside and on further inspection this old ash bucket. It also had some water in there under a layer of soot which was creepy as hell to poke and watch wobble.
Unfortunately there were no magical tiles under this one, just the remains of a big slate. This leads me to believe that this was originally the kitchen fire- something practical for cooking while the other room was the fancy one for visitors. I shall rack my brain thinking of how to make this one fancy, possibly something using the old broken tiles we found in the other fireplace:
It’s like a museum exhibit! 😀
Righto, time to clean up all this soot, get rid of this lot of rubble, then it’s on to stripping the wallpaper.
And one day the underneath of my nails will be clean again, but today is not this day.