Relighting Old Flames

When you first enter an old building that has lay ruined and broken for a long time you get a wonderful if eerie sense of adventure and discovery.

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You feel like you’re stepping where no one has stepped before.

No one but ghosts. You feel both close to humanity and far away. An old abandoned building holds very recognisable traces of human activity, you can see where and how people moved and operated in this space and as you do you start seeing them and feeling them. You start conjuring them up around you, hearing them and seeing them as you do, when I’m in moments like this I feel very special, like I have a privileged view on something, like I’m the only living person with tickets to the most wonderful show on earth.

When we first got into the Old Mine House the first thing that struck us was the ovens. It had these huge ovens, just mind blowingly big ovens, it turned out the place had been temporarily used as a bakery in the late 70s. There was still flour stains on the floor and everything. So one of the first things we decided we would do, when we moved into the place, was to get those ovens going again! We got in touch with Ovenu (‘The UK’s favourite oven cleaning service‘ according to their website) and asked if they fancied branching out a little into Oven renovation. They sent some of their best oven experts round to have a look and boy, I can tell you, these guys know their ovens.

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They got their tool kit out and set about the damn thing. They felt it out and just let the thing fall apart (in a good way) until they had all the little bits and pieces. They cleaned every little bit, added some stuff and took some stuff away, and built some incredible stuff. Eventually the whole thing had been put back together. We all gathered around it and a hushed silence took over the room. He held down the gas and clicked the ignition spark. Nothing. He clicked it again. Still nothing. And then… then… then it happened. A click, a spark, a flame.

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A house reborn.


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