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STORY AT BED TIME, The Yorkshire man in Wales.


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It started of as a nice morning and i did not have any bookings and as i sat at my desk "cup of hot coffee" in hand and the Land rover parked on the waste land opposite , Life could not be better,

Then the phone rang and things started to change,

Hello is this the swept,?

I replied This is SOOTY AND SWEEP Chimney cleaning services can i help you?

Well that why i am calling you, I need elp and bloody fast,

It was a Yorkshire man calling me and it was hard to understand half what he said,

I replied,

What is the problem then?

Yorkshire caller, The Bloody chimney needs sorting, that's what up !!!

I replied,

Right then  can you tell me we're you are?


I am here in the bloody phone box and it is costing me a fortune, Are you coming or not?

Give me your address and i can come and sort your chimney problem out,



I replied As soon as you give me your address and directions would help?

Caller, The place is called Track cottage, And it is on the quarry at HALYN.

Just come off the A55 by the Springfield Puplic house and go over the hill and at the top of the Quarry look to the right and turn down we're the tree is on the corner and go through the woods and keep looking to the right, you will see our chimney and as you continue to drive you will see our roof and then the cottage appears and a wire fence, stop there and walk down the hilly bit and your at thee cottage, What time will thee be here ???

I replied about 11AM,

The reply was   "GOOD" and the line went buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz  dead

I finished my nearly cold coffee and set off to the cottage ,

I went over the quarry and down the dusty road looking for this Tree on the corner, The only problem was it was all wood land a sea of tree's and a road full of stray welsh lawn mowers all going BHARRRRRRRRR

I could not see any track like the one i had been told to use, Every other track looked like a sheep track and no sign of any human life or vehicle tracks,

Then in my rear view mirror lights flashing and the sound of a horn blowing, I thought if you can get passed me on this pencil thin track ??Go on and try!!

Then i found a bit of grass i could pull over and let this idiot pass,   It was the Police!!

One of the two of them came to the drivers door while the other looked at my tax disc,

Hello are you SOOTY OR SWEEP THEN???? a big grin and sad Saint Bernard type eyes looking at me,


Well we have been keeping an eye open for sheep rustler's and  we have seen you going up and down the track and thought ???

I replied I can assure you i am not into sheep rustling,

The Officer,

Well whats the story then ?

I replied, I am looking for a cottage called "Track cottage" and i think he is a YORKSHIRE MAN who phoned me this morning wanting his Chimney sorting out, But in spite of directions I can not find the place,

Both Police officers looked at each other and then they said,

We will turn around and you do the same, when you see our 4 ways flashing you turn left down that track and the place your looking for is on the right, if you continue on down the track you will be in a farm yard and the farmer wont be very happy.

We both turned around and started on the track dodging mad sheep as we went and then the 4 x flashing lights started,

I got out of my Land Rover and thanked the officers, They smiled and wished me luck!!!!!!!!!!

As i drove through a woods i kept looking for this CHIMNEY Appearing through the fields hilly grass bank, And just as i thought the first chance i get to turn around and go back to the shop the better,

Then it was there a chimney and as a drove on    "The roof" and then   "YES  YES  " The rest of the cottage appeared, but no gate just a wire fence, I stopped and got out of the Land Rover and looked across this field towards the cottage,

Then i heard the voice, What time do yer call this then swep???

It was a small rounded bald fat man looking at his watch ? 

I replied i can not see a gate, ?

The caller Shouted just get over the Bloody fence its only 3feet high,  Come man come on,

I got the brushes and vacuum on wheels over the fence locked the Land Rover and started across the field dodging sheep dropping as I went,

As i arrived at the yard area I could see this little man asking me what time i thought it was,?

I replied almost 11-45,

He said ,

You told me 11AM?

Standing behind him was a woman , She really was thin, skinny, And she looked like she was on strings " like a puppet  " operated one, her Arms going up and down and her head looked like it was going to fall off her shoulders,

He shouted at her to go inside, she obeyed and rushed indoors,

Well come on man, you wont do any good standing there, I was told,

We went inside and to greet me was a black & white sheep dog, hiding under the table,  The skin and bone woman informed me that was "Molly"

Then he said it was a useless  beast that should have been put down years ago,

Well are you going to sort this chimney out  "THEN"

I looked at the mess still in the fire bucket and the Black burn marks around the face of the fire,

I asked "What have you been burning"

I was told

"WOOD" what else,

I went out side to look at the chimney pots and could see there had been a fire in the chimney, I also noticed a pile of old windows /doors all painted and these had been a bulk buy job,

When i returned inside i asked if he had been burning that painted wood?

He replied

What of it,?

I pointed out that was the easiest way to light your chimney , the melted paint sticks to the clay pot as it melts with the heat and naked flame and the hole in the pot gets smaller & smaller a bit like a bee hive effect,

He was not impressed and told me i was here to clean the chimney and not lecture him,

As i got down on me knees to get the brush and rods up the chimney he was leaning on my shoulder,

I said could he not lean on my shoulder,

He replied Are you a "PUFF" or something ?

No i replied its just hard enough doing it while kneeling,

His woman was in the doorway like the puppet,  She looked like someone was above the door frame pulling the strings as her arms went up & down,

I was asked by the dwarf with the bald head,

If i would do the bedroom chimney for half price as i was late arriving ?

I thought as i was hear i might as well,

We went up the very narrow stair case and into the bedroom, it was shabby by any ones standards and the fire place was small and narrow,

I started to get my Brush up the small space, and it went about a foot or so and nothing,   not a  budge , I put my hand up the chimney to see if i had missed something to stop the brush moving,

He decided to lean on me "AGAIN" and just as he did i felt something move across the back of my hand, (It brought  thoughts of years ago when a nest of rats we're nesting in a bakers oven and i put my hand in it for the same reason i was doing the same today and a rat scratched the back of my hand and it was a hospital visit after that rat meeting)

As my hand felt this feeling of something touching the back of my hand "And it was a much fatter   (as i thought rats tail)

I pulled my hand out very quick, The Bald man went rolling across the bedroom floor and as i got away from the fire place "  He jumped to his feet like grease lightening and i thought he was going to hit me as he made a  leap forward towards the fire place shouting at the top of his  "THAT'S MINE, Anything up that chimney is my property,

His woman appearing in the doorway with her hands up to her face in fear,

He had a hand bag in his hands  soot  all over the place,  He opening the bag and pulling out all kinds of letter's Started to question

Whats all this "ALICE" WHO THE BLOODY HELL IS GRATTENS & Littlewood mail order ??????


Replied I could not manage to buy clothing on the money you gave me,

I do not think i have ever cleaned a chimney so fast and i had my stuff packed and as i was paid he said, You've Caused Now't but trouble since you've been here, Late and upset Alice and the Bloody dog,

I arrived back at the Land Rover only to find somebody had used grease to stick a note saying do not park in my private lane again,

It took me ages to get the windscreen clear enough to see through "after all that grease,

I packed my brushes etc and drove to the end of the lane and into a huge yard, The Farmer came out and i said i was  sorry

I just followed instructions regarding getting to the cottage,

The Farmer said that mans mental and we left it at that,

A week to the day the phoned rang and it was the local fire station admin officer and he ask if i could fit a new chimney pot of a cottage the fire crew had visited evening before and the pot had cracked, I asked for the Phone number and address and name

OK HE SAID' Mr Jacob, No Telephone address The Track cottage,

Now let me give you directions,


Oh you know the area

I replied yes i know the cottage, I said a very loud man ??

NO NO The officer said, just the opposite 

I got the Kit loaded and as i was driving over the Quarry lane I WAS FLASHED AND WAVED BY TWO POLICE Officer's

We both stopped and had a chat, They informed me about the fire and then said a word of warning, "He is a little different from the last time you saw him,

I pulled into the Farmers yard (I did not want an other greased windscreen) He welcomed me and said not to worry about the Land Rover just go through his gateway to the cottage,

I arrived and the sheep dog gave me a good welcome,

Hello Molly,

"The it appeared",

Same jumper, same overalls,

I told him i had the new pot,

He said in a low voice you let me know when you have finished,

I did the job and the place was quiet except for "Molly" talking to me in a sort of gruff gruff,

I came off the roof area and he appeared with his wallet,

He paid me and "Molly" did the sheep dog twirl between my legs, I'd not seen "ALICE" and thought it only a nice thing to ask if she was well?

And then i was told "ALICE" had passed away , Then he turned and went inside and closed the door.

I returned to the Land Rover and again ended up talking to the farmer he told me she died in bed ,

The end.


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