So, being a master chimney sweep i often spend my life either with my head up a chimney, dirty or telling someone off for burning wet wood. But not this saturday. Saturday i was employed as a lucky chimney sweep at a local wedding and i must say it truly was a different and special experience. I could feel the happiness and glee from the bride, groom and especially the brides mother. It is nice to see such an old tradition being carried out in the 21st chimney century. So why are chimney sweeps so lucky? There are many reasons i have detailed the 2 I explained the bride and groom below.
The lucky chimney sweep in the UK dates back the best part of a thousand years to around 1087, this dates all the way back to King William of Britain a story of a brave chimney sweep who saved the kings daughter from a runaway carriage, the king decreed that the chimney sweep must be a lucky person amd thus invited the chimney sweep to his daughters wedding. The guests were intrigued to here more about why the chimney sweeps were so lucky.
The second story i told the guests was of King George in the 1700’s. The story goes that a growling dog startled the horse bucking the king. A chimney sweep dressed in rags came running from the crowd in an attempt to settle the horse catching him by his reigns. The king thanked the chimney sweep for saving him and from then onwards decreed that the chimney sweep would be the only labour based job where the clothing and top hat of the professions and gentleman may be worn. This was a huge honour for the sweeps and truly is a rags to riches story.
For many years prior my father and my grandfather attended weddings as a lucky chimney sweep. My grandfather John William Hodgson was sweeping in the 1960s and attended a wedding every saturday from the 1970s through to his retirement in the 1990s. My father, Daniel Hodgson has been attending weddings since the early 1990s when my grandfather retired up until recently.
I feel truly priveleged to come from a family of chimney sweeps with a lineage that started with my great grand father and i would like to see keep the tradition of the lucky chimney sweep going for many years to come. I wish the bride and groom the very best of luck in the future.
Thank you for reading,
Danny Hodgson Master Chimney Sweep Devon