Pot Pecking Order

You thought that because it was a new year that I would be starting to get over my fixation with certain inanimate objects, didn’t you? You thought that my focus would shift to living things like birds and trees and puppy dogs, did you not?

Well, I like photographing those things too but I still love my inanimate objects. And, of course, the most beloved object of all is (drumroll) the CHIMNEY POT.

Did you know there is a chimney pot hierarchy? I didn’t.

I was speaking to my neighbour, June, the other day, who has lived in the area for over fifty years and she told me that the more chimney pots you had back in the day, the greater the status symbol. A chimney pot meant you had a working fire place which meant that not only could you afford to keep your fireplace in order, you could afford the fuel to run it.

So I set about to see if there was any evidence that this chimney pot pecking order might be true. Now, of course there are exceptions, but generally I found that the lowlier single storey semi-detached houses in the area had one chimney pot; while the grander two or three storey detached terraces had umpteen chimney pots. Now there are more rooms to heat in the bigger houses so it stands to reason that there would be more chimney pots, but maybe the size of the house wasn’t taken into account when it came to chimney pot hierarchy, maybe it was all about the pots. Imagine ladies back in the day gazing up at their three or four chimney pots thinking: In your face single chimney pot people. In your face.

In spite of the pecking order I still think one pot has its appeal –

And there is nothing like a smoking single pot. It conjures up images of hot cocoa, sweet woodsmoke and toasty toes.

Dual pots also have their charm – there is a sense of continuity when you look at them, a completeness –

And if you have three or more you’ve just hit the jackpot –

But it doesn’t end there. You might want to brace yourselves because I have found the piece de resistance of chimney pots, the Donald Trump of chimney pots. Feast your eyes on this baby –

Some people have got it made.

However, regardless of whether there be one or two or ten, I still love my chimney pots. A quaint reminder of days gone by.

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24 thoughts on “Pot Pecking Order

  1. Hi Selma,
    I am with you on the chimney’s, I have always loved them, they do have a charm all of their own. ๐Ÿ˜€

    I see you also got the newsletter from WordPress about the ribbon or black out on your blog, good one. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Good on you, Mags. We have to stand against this. If censorship came in we probably wouldn’t be allowed to blog as we do. Can you imagine?

      I do love the humble chimney. There’s just something about it that makes me smile!

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  2. Really hadn’t thought about this before but… in Revolutionary times, there was a black band on the chimney. It created the opportunity for a black-and-white chimney. The chimney was painted white and the band black. This was called a Tory chimney, and it was a secret sign that Loyalists occupied the house. If the band was proportioned correctly, the black-and-white chimney had a certain class to it. It was good looking, and kept those massive chimneys in perspective

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    1. I didn’t know that. How interesting. That is the kind of stuff that I love hearing about – how the ordinary person voiced their support (or not) for revolutionary thought. That is so cool, slpmartin.

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  3. I didn’t know there were so many styles in the chimney pot line! Love them all!
    You don’t see many chimney pots in this country, Selma. I lived in an old farmhouse once with a fireplace and chimney and decided to make a fire the first winter I was there. I struggled to get the fire started – it wouldn’t draw – but I knew zilch about fires and chimneys and so I persisted. Eventually there was a bit of a plop-crunch-smoosh and out of the chimney into the fireplace fell a big bird’s nest! Empty, thank goodness!

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    1. Some of them are quite fancy, aren’t they, Adee? There must have been chimney pot makers around at the time who made all the different styles. I’ll need to research it.

      Oh yeah. I’ve had several birds nests up the chimney and in one case a real, live possum. Thankfully the possum was in a disused chimney. I would have hated to set fire to the little guy!

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    1. Oh yes, Rachel. Hospitals have the most fantastic chimneys. There is a sandstone one near here that has elaborately carved chimneys. They are quite beautiful. I’ll need to visit there soon.

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  4. Oh hooray, I’m loving the return of your chimney pots! What a beautiful collection. I love them too – their shapes, the images they invoke, how they kind of look like little fat men strutting about on chimneys everywhere. Love a lot.

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  5. You have excelled yourself Selma (and so has the person with the deluxe pots in the last picture – wow). I prefer a solo chimney myself, but wouldn’t knock back a double or triple if offered the house as a freebie ๐Ÿ™‚

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  6. We spent yesterday evening sitting & talking around an open fire at the Red Lion in Salisbury …. got me thinking; 15 houses in our street, and only ONE chimbley pot!

    (He says … a high-maintenance pain in the hindquarters most of the time, but he’s got ashes to put on the path when it snows)

    Plenty on sale at the Garden Centre, though … apparently, they make good planters.

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    1. I have used some as planters and they are very good. A few got cracked in my old house (I don’t mean to big note myself but I had 4 chimney pots in that house. Haha…) by a family of possums constantly jumping from pot to pot at night, so I had to get them replaced. They were so nice I couldn’t throw them out so I put plants in them. They looked really good!

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  7. Hee-hee, what great shots of chimney pots! I had no idea there was a hierarchy of sorts. You’re right, though, few things conjure a feeling of warmth and tranquility as a smoking chimney.

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    1. I didn’t know about the hierarchy either, Steph. Amazing what you learn just by wandering about… and yes, there is such a sense of the tranquil with a smoking chimney.

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