It's always exciting when you get a call from someone who has just 'discovered' a cooking range in their home. This was the case when I heard from Jenny and John one evening when they were removing their old kitchen for a refit.
They live in Minehead in a very beautiful row of cottages built for coastguard's in the 1860s by the local landowners the Lutrell's. The range was discovered behind some old kitchen units and is Larbert from circa 1920 so not the original but a nice piece nonetheless. The original slate surround was present although in very poor order.
I removed the range (as well as many sacks of chimney refuse!) and the surround and took them back to the workshop for restoration. The range was in reasonable order with only minor damage although someone had smashed off the front edge to enable the units to be fitted in front. The oven and Firestones were replaced and the whole sealed, assembled and polished. The surround was stripped and the parts that were beyond restoration were replaced with original pieces found in outhouse. The head was broken and so I made a hey stone from a redundant plinth to join it back together again.
The chimney was lined and the range installed back where it has come. I limed render the recess returns and lime washed the bricks at the back. The surround was assembled with metal ties and casting plaster as it was originally. The wall was then lime rendered and plastered.
The range runs wonderfully and Jenny has already been cooking casseroles in the oven. It's great to see a job all the way through especially when it is a piece original to the property.