OUR GAS FIRE doesn’t just have a retro look, it is retro; it’s a Cannon gas fire
which had already been installed for a number of years when we bought the house 26
years ago. It gets through its annual service fine each year although eventually
it’s going to be impossible to get spare parts like the ceramic radiants. I like
it because it is what it is; to me this looks exactly as a gas fire should. There
is a fashion for making gas fires look, often very convincingly, like open log fires.
‘Drawing the fire’ was the expression used for getting a strong draught going in
the fireplace when you were lighting a coal fire. You held a newspaper in front of
the fire and the draught roared up the chimney, fanning the flames as it went.
Drawing the fire, using a broadsheet newspaper.
As we relied on the kitchen fire for hot water, the fire in the kitchen range was
kept alight all day, so as a quicker method of getting the lounge fire going for
the evening, my mum would take a shovel-full of glowing coals from the kitchen, down
the hall and into the lounge.
My brother and sister and I would attempt cover the food on the table as she went
through, as particles of soot would drift down as she passed.