Seven years have passed

It is now the time of year when my fathers passing draws close, this being the seventh year. I will probably make this my final post on the subject, I will always love and miss him with each passing day, especially when I am out working. Sometimes, it can be hard not to remember things and times gone by.

Indeed the good old days, with no masks, just some old clothes, and a pair of half gutted training shoes, haha. There once was a time before roof ladders too and I remember being very reluctant to use it for the first 5 or so years after my father bought it. Yes, it was useful for the few jobs I felt were too risky but it was cumbersome, weighed heavy and I just didn’t like it.

When I think of just some of the many many acrobatic feats my father and I performed daily through the 70’s 80’s and 90’s I get a big warm glow inside. Just knowing that there are very few who could or would be able to do anything like what we used to do; makes me appreciate the uniqueness of the skillset we had to develop and keep polished just to survive each coming week of the season. The customers too, often we would have lovely old ladies prepare banquet sized feasts for us, amazing. Everything all prepared for us coming with military precision, no chambermaid duties for us.

I also think back to my very first climb onto a roof, which must have been 1974 because I was only THREE years old. This was near the top end of Sutherland drive in new farm loch, Kilmarnock. I actually remember that day pretty well despite it being closer to 50 years ago than I’d care to admit. I remember due to the way idiots were driving up and down the street, my father decided it was safer for me to come up on the roof with him and just sit about 3 or 4 foot up from the gutter’s edge. It really was a very slow slope anyway and I being a natural monkey, had already climbed many much more dangerous things by then.

I had been wearing my bright red welly boots that day and was enjoying the views when “long john silver” a promotion-hungry, gung~ho police ‘person’ arrived on the scene. I remember climbing back down and standing inside the customers garden gate. Also getting angry with him because basically, he was being a dick to my dad.

Anyway, luckily for us the case got dismissed in court by the infamous Sherrif D. Smith who astutely listened to my father’s honest version of events, i.e. I was never in any danger. The court reporters decided to run with the story and so I ended up on the front page of the Kilmarnock standard newspaper. The headline was I am led to believe, “The welly boot kid”

Seven years may have passed but the great memories remain forever. Love and miss you always dad.

Gone but never forgotten 5 long years

October the 28th this year marked 5 years since my father passed away. Since then i have always tried to make a short post here on the site each year to mark his remembrance and reflect on the passing years.
I can’t believe it’s been 5 very quick years since you left us and the pain of your loss doesn’t get any less , if anything it gets worse as i realise more and more all the sacrifices you made for us; to give us the many things and lifestyle we enjoyed .
All those many hours of work you used to put in, out in all the harsh weather Scotland could throw at you (often coming home late, soaked to the bone and filthy black from the wet soot).
Everyday more often than not you would risk your life on numerous occasions, free climbing buildings (many of which should probably have been condemned).

Also at home too in the evenings; endlessly calling customers (or going to their doors when most people didn’t have a home phone).Doing the book work to organise the many customers you had built up over the 46 years you spent as the local chimney sweep.
One can only truly appreciate a person once you have had the chance to walk a mile in their shoes and over the last 5 years i have come to realise i am lucky if i am half the man you were. Modern technology has made things a lot easier now than in your time and i only wish you could have stayed around to see some of the developments in the field.

You dealt with the many trials and tribulations that come with being your own boss in a business that demands its’ owner wear so many hats because delegation was impossible.
Now each passing year brings more memories of the many things i realise i took for granted because you never once complained or grumbled about all the things you had to do to keep the ship afloat; just gracefully accepting your duties as a husband , father and business man, taking it all in your stride.
I feel i can never do you justice in these few words i write here , only that you lived your life to the full and as each year passes i can only hope to try my best to emulate the high standards of the determination and integrity examples you set for me.

I love and miss you so very very much dad, i really hope you are in a better place being payed back as generously as you were with us.

Mr T Reid Snr

Mr T Reid Snr

On Wednesday 28th it will have been four years since my father, Mr T Reid Snr passed on, he was only 67 years old and is very sorely missed. I still get regular comments from customers about Tommy or Tammy Reid the sweep (as they used to call him) in the old days. Some tell a wee story that makes me laugh whilst reminding me just how hard he used to work back then and how i can’t believe its been four years already.

My own memories too are still quite vivid; being the sweeps son back in the 70’s brought with it much opportunity for adventure. I being a somewhat precocious child , of course took every chance i got to explore customers gardens , farms , outbuildings , animals and the best part, the views from their rooftops. I remember in the days before we got our first roof ladder, when the job was very much more about climbing skills , judgement and a fair bit of daring…at times it was even acrobatic and at high heights too. No joke, it was a dangerous job and we regularly risked life and limb for just a few pounds each sweep back then [but without any foolishness and we prided ourselves on keeping our skill levels high] and that’s not even considering all the soot that was inhaled and otherwise ingested into our bodies too.

My father was one of the most patient and generous men i ever had the the good fortune to meet and was a great dad who always really went above and beyond for me. He liked his work but him being the very sociable man that he was, liked his customers even more. He had a great relationship and reputation with nearly all his customers, some of them being loyal for decades at a time including familial generations and some are still customers to this very day.

I had a very lucky childhood growing up as the son of the chimney sweep in the 1970’s, of course the days were very different from now back then and after a hard days work he’d often come home with an assortment of gifts from customers farms or whatever businesses and hobbies that they spent their time on. Great times , great memories of a really really great man.