I would like to introduce my self, my name is Daniel Hodgson and I am the owner of Clean Sweep Chimney Services.
It was in the 1950`s that my grandfather decided to become a chimney sweep. He was working in a coal mine just out side of Newcastle on a particularly cold November morning when he bumped into the village sweep. My grandfather noticed that he was bitterly cold and blackened from head to foot while the Chimney Sweep was fairly clean by comparison and was swigging a hot tea and indulging in a bacon sandwich. After a brief conversation The Sweep agreed to teach my grand father the trade.
It was in 1954 when the decision was taken to move the business to London . Later that year my father began his training, by 1960 he was running the company and It was during 1964 that `Clean Sweep Chimney Services` was officially formed. It was not until 1990 when I began to train as a Sweep and in 1992 My father retired from sweeping and I took over the reigns. The first thing I did was to buy the biggest vacuum that I could find. My father did use a vacuum, although it was something from the 1970`s and did very little to control the dust.
In 1995 My Wife Sarah took over the running of our offices and most recently My eldest son qualified as a Guild chimney sweep and joined our company.
From 1992 I decided that I wanted to improve both myself and the chimney sweeping industry. I began to undertake every training course I could find which appertained to the Industry. I started with ACOPS for gas later both myself and my brothers became HETAS registered later on I retrained in muhlbach in Germany to further my chimney sweeping knowledge. We now have qualifications in, pressure testing, working at heights, camera surveying, chimney relining, appliance installation, installation of steel chimney systems, renewable technologies, pellet systems and the installation of wet solid fuel heating systems.
By 2006 my company was highly qualified in the solid fuel sector but lacked the ability to certify our chimney sweeping work. After lots of searching we discovered that there were two sweeping organisations in the UK that could offer industry approved certification. The Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps and The NACS, after some deliberation I decided that the Guild was the right choice for Clean Sweep and later that year I was assessed and admitted to join. By 2007 it was noticed by the Guild board that I had a vast industry knowledge and was voted into the position of education director. This position carried much responsibility as it involved writing the new training manual and training new sweeps. The manual I co-wrote `Masterful Sweeping` is still used today and was a great achievement. I would like to thank the chimney sweeping institute of America for their help and also Mr Lawson Wight.
In 2009 the past Chairman of the Guild Mr Russell stepped down and I was elected as Chairman. This is a position that I am proud to say that I still hold today. My new role involves general day to day running of the Guild along with representing the chimney sweeping trade in Europe as part of ESCHFOE. We also undertake liason work between the European chimney sweeping associations (ESCHFOE), several stearing groups and sit on carbon monoxide awareness boards (COCAA).
I believe that the standards that I hold, have been instilled in the Clean sweep work force which is steadily growing. We now have several full time Master sweeps and also a superb office staff. I believe that the experience that the Clean sweep staff have cumulatively, is the greatest of any chimney sweeping company within the UK and our values are unbeatable anywhere. We have a motto which is ` Traditional values Modern Excellence`. This motto defines our company as one who upholds age old traditions and customer service while we utilise the newest techniques and best equipment.
Looking to the future we have restarted long lost apprenticeship programs so that our company continues to grow and the art of chimney sweeping is not lost.
All the best