Life’s little ironies and ‘Grate Expectations’ in Harrogate

The Grampsmobile was pressed into service again - this time to haul a marble hearth, marble inset and mantelpiece from Goxhill to Harrogate. The indignities that this car has suffered since it was annexed by the Shortfields beggars belief!  Of course it did not escape our attention that on the hottest day of July (for the last decade according to the Meteorological Office), we were transporting a complete fireplace to Harrogate! Not quite coals to Newcastle...
The Grampsmobile was pressed into service again – this time to haul a marble hearth, marble inset and mantelpiece from Goxhill to Harrogate. The indignities that this car has suffered since it was annexed by the Shortfields beggars belief! Of course it did not escape our attention that on the hottest day of July (for the last decade according to the Meteorological Office), we were transporting a complete fireplace to Harrogate! Not quite coals to Newcastle…

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Guess who was behind the camera? So much easier than heaving great chunks of marble around in the heat. Well done you two!
Guess who was behind the camera? So much easier than heaving great chunks of marble around in the heat. Well done you two!
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“Left a bit, down a bit. Do you think this will go through the gate?”
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Ever the gentleman Chris allows Susanne to go backwards – well, according to him he was carrying the heavy end! Whatever!
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Photo irony – fan in operation as Chris manoeuvres the ‘dead’ gas fire outside.
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Removing the tiles was not too difficult but the solid concrete block definitely presented challenges. Chris sorted it out with a little physics and a lot of brute force – marvellous!
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Note attractive and stylish vent – held in place with duct tape!
More shifting of fireplaces, hearths, tiles and lots of filth.
More shifting of fireplaces, hearths, tiles and lots of filth.
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Susanne doing a fair impression of a Victorian chimney sweep – hopefully doing a better job otherwise she could end up more like Sooty than Sweep.
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All cleared and cleaned and ready for the new installation.
Susanne doing a fair impression of a Victorian chimney sweep - hopefully doing a better job otherwise she could end up more like Sooty than Sweep.
The previous owners had concreted over an original Edwardian tiled hearth … and now we are going to cover it again but not with concrete.
Fireplace and ugly tiled hearth now out, skirting boards removed and all ready for the new fireplace - sorted!
Fireplace and ugly tiled hearth now out, skirting boards removed and all ready for the new fireplace – sorted!
Step 1 - carefully lay out all components and ensure that all furnishings are covered - check.
Step 1 – carefully lay out all components and ensure that all furnishings are covered – check.
Step 2 - lay and level the hearth. Not looking bad, hey?
Step 2 – lay and level the hearth. Not looking bad, hey?
Step 3 - centre the insert and drill holes for retaining screws. Easier said than done as this particular chimney breast seems to be made with pre-stressed concrete - well let's put it this way we were all quite stressed by the time Chris had 'hammered' through to Ripon.
Step 3 – centre the insert and drill holes for retaining screws. Easier said than done as this particular chimney breast seems to be made with pre-stressed concrete – well let’s put it this way we were all quite stressed by the time Chris had ‘hammered’ through to Ripon.
Step 4 - fix mantelpiece to the wall of exceptional hardness and the new fireplace is 'done and dusted'.
Step 4 – fix mantelpiece to the wall of exceptional hardness and the new fireplace is ‘done and dusted’. Not bad for a charity shop find – another serendipitous find as I wandered around the British Red Cross shop in Barton upon Humber, casually wasting time, I spotted this complete fireplace set for £90.00! Also, as I have a loyalty card I get money back later – fantastic!

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