A Visit to the Mr. Soot Training Centre in Wigan, England | Feature in Fireplace Specialist Magazine

In my exploration of chimney sweep practices across Europe—Austria, Germany, France, and Switzerland—I couldn’t miss the opportunity to delve into British techniques and standards. Understanding how structures are built and how chimneys integrate into them is crucial to honing our craft.

During my travels, I had the pleasure of visiting the Mr. Soot Training Centre in Wigan, England. There, I met David Sudworth, the owner of Mr. Soot Chimney Sweep and Training Centre. David’s warm hospitality and expertise as an instructor were evident as I attended his H003DS training course.

Chimney Standards, Chimney inspections between UK and USA

During my time at Mr. Soot’s, I not only learned valuable insights but also had the chance to share some observations about the differences between British and American industry standards. From how houses are constructed to chimney inspections near wood framing or floor joists, the contrasts were enlightening.

I was particularly impressed by Mr. Soot’s dedication to learning and raising industry standards. Their leadership in the field is commendable and serves as a source of inspiration as I steer my own company forward. The training center’s welcoming atmosphere and the array of equipment on display provided an immersive learning experience. From conducting smoke tests to pressure integrity tests with tools like the Wohler DP600, every aspect was meticulously covered. And who could forget the exhilarating experience of recovering a lost chimney brush up a flue?

How to sweep a flue in the UK and start a proper British fire.

While in the training center I was offered the chance to sweep a small dual-fuel stove. A student filmed us as we built a proper British fire. See the video to see how we used wood to start the smokeless coal on fire and then create a toasty warm and safe heat in the room!

Mr. Soot prides itself on being “Not Your Typical Tradespeople.” Their commitment to excellence in communication, professionalism, and overall politeness sets them apart in the industry. Beyond providing a service, they strive to build trust and long-term respect with customers while training individuals from across the UK.

I extend my gratitude to David for including my visit in his piece featured in Fireplace Specialist Magazine, where readers can find more insights into our industry.

To discover more about David and the Mr. Soot team, visit their website.

To learn more about David and the Mr. Soot team, head to their website here.

Article prepared by:
Annie Boyd Sowell, Marketer and Content Creator
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