We’ve been fortunate, over the year, to have garnered in stories of a few tradespeople in this patch (like Glenn Nattrass, electrician; or Nigel Baynes, Calor gas distributor; or Peter Dodd, fencing; or Trudie McConnachie’s mobile hairdressing; Jill’s Catering pre-prepared meals) but there are more individuals doing skilled jobs around the houses than I’ve managed to write about.
Folks like John Elliott and his Unicorn Fuel Wood service, for example. We always have a great chat when John arrives up at ours with a double load of softwood (while some customers prefer hardwood, softwood burns briskly and dependably for firing the bakery oven). John always kindly helped me stack the specially dried log sections, until his back challenges proved too much for that. We’ll need another load after Christmas, just before our track becomes too impassable for anything but a quad.
Or Nick, who is North Pennine Sweep. We have four chimneys emanating from our house now, each a modern stainless steel flue with some sort of down-draft protection. We probably could stand an inspection, at least, of these flues, soon, though I’ve been pushing our own chimney brushes up through the bakery oven’s flue and it’s coming out clean so far.
Or Steve Robson, who does an excellent job of Building Electrical Testing. Steve went through Allendale Village Hall a couple years ago, noting all the components then that were not up to code, after which Glenn Nattrass and Jack Milburn remedied them all!
Or general building and maintenance services (including plumbing, stonework, roofing, joinery, window cleaning, landscaping, mowing and strimming and heavy garden work, among others), perhaps a dozen such trades listed in the current Pocket Directory. And then, also listed, there’s the more specialised trades and services (like milk deliveries, signmaking, wordsmiths, designers, disco providers, valeting, for example). There are a few other local tradespeople who are happy enough to pursue their trade by word-of-mouth only, who aren’t noted in the directory. I always feel that people working in the trades and services are so busy that an in-depth piece about their labours is too much of an ask, but that doesn’t mean they’re unappreciated!
So, in these waning days of the year, as I try to ensure that everything that’s anything in these valleys gets at least a mention, it’s a delight to say thanks for being there, thanks for keeping all of us folks here in the East and West Allen living comfortably and well, Merry Christmas and hopes for a good rest during this festive season, and very best wishes for the new year’s work ahead!