Hi and thanks for visiting Stovefitter's...
My name is Julian Patrick, I live in North Wales (not Welsh, escaped from the Midlands). I used to be a full-time Hetas-registered stove installer (although now I tend to spend most of my time working in the shop, answering the phone or tinkering with the Stovefitter's website).
In North Wales stove fitting meant whizzing around in a white Land Rover having adventures. One day we would be at the coast (Conwy, Beaumaris, Colwyn Bay, Llandudno and so on), the next the rugged Snowdonia mountains (Betwys-Y-Coed, Llanwrst, Llanberis, Blaenau Ffestniog). Hard work but a lot of fun; what a lot of adventures (especially with Huw who recently passed away). I met some strange people too, especially in the hills ;-)
I like North Wales - it's gritty. That sunset type picture above is the view from the window of my house - on this particular evening it looked like the Welsh dragon was breathing fire across the top of Conwy mountain.
North Wales was especially gritty in that winter of 2009/10. Fond memories of some hair raising journeys in the mountains (icy roads, big drops, snow chains and minus 18 degrees). I'm almost starting to yearn for another daft winter.
I live with my wife and our dog (Reg the Lurcher). No kids. Outside of work I enjoy reading, writing (still trying to make progress on the unfinished novel), jogging on the beach with the dog, fine wine and more. Also I am learning to stand-up-surf (started July 2015 first lesson Sennen Cove Cornwall).
Deep inside I'm probably a bit of a prepper, daydreaming of "living like The Waltons" (but with Internet access and an Apple phone and laptop :-). Maybe it is this that has unconsciously led me towards wood stoves.
My wife and I have a small cottage in Cornwall and plan to "do it up" over coming years; maybe that's as close as I get to off grid ;-) And there's a big warm Wifi-enabled pub down the road should we run out of logs.
It was 2013 when I launched Stovefitter's. It started with a small blog (how to fit your own stove) followed by a small shop (The Wood Stove Hut). The idea was to stove fit for three days a week and open the shop the other two days.
The Hut was actually my tatty, rented lockup with a lick of paint applied and the aesthetic creativity of my wife. It has turned out surprisingly well I feel (thank you wife). Very cosy in the winter and now with the Twin Wall Design Studio upstairs things are looking good considering.
Stovefitter's took off far faster than I could ever have imagined and is now an online operation, with a warehouse and office, selling liner and stoves all over the UK. Arran joined me in January 2015 and is already well settled in.
As of March 2016 we are presently preparing our new premises to serve the online world: The Chapel. Check out the Twitter feed. Exciting times.
I promise that I will never sell you anything that I do not believe to be fit for purpose and I promise that I have personally used or researched everything I do sell (as just one example our stainless steel Duraflue hanging cowls are devoid of external welds following my experience of other manufacturer's cowls failing within 18 months of being fitted due to weld corrosion.
Arran Hands, MANAGER
My name is Arran, I'm currently living in Llysfaen, North Wales with my wife Donna.
I have worked within the stove industry for about 10 years, gaining essential product knowledge along with some installation experience. Although a lot of people see a stove as a black box, I think they all have a personality and character.
In our home we have a fantastic little wood burner which is used around the clock - making the house warm and cosy.
Julian has been kind enough to sponsor me this year and I cannot thank him enough. The goal still is to compete in the Manx GP on the Isle of Man, although Donna has vowed to divorce me if I start road racing. But as a friend of mine says: "you only get one lap in life, best make it a good one". I couldn't agree more! Maybe some bribery in the new year might change her mind.
When I'm not on the bike my main hobby is spending time with my 11 year old daughter Elvie. Elvie likes to help out around the shop on Saturdays, she's exceptionally keen and a good worker ( I may have to give her a slight wage rise). Donna and I are expecting our first child together in February 2017! Another little girl racer to add to the family!
SCREWS AND BOLTS MANAGER (part time but has own desk)
Elvie runs general errands (fetching the Diet Coke from Morrisons and sausages from the Cafe for the dog) and packs the items for the "Useful Items Kit" that forms a part of our Fitting pack contents. It was this or chimney sweep's assistant but she doesn't like soot.
Reg Harcourt Patrick ENTERTAINMENT MANAGER
My name is Reg. I have a bed at home and a bed at the stove shop.
My main interests in life are food, sleep and chasing rabbits. I am actually obsessed with rabbits and dream about them constantly. I have never actually caught a rabbit. I was once in a field with more than twenty but because I tried to catch all of them I didn't catch even one.
I once stole ten frozen lamb chops and ate nine of them. I was very poorly.
Chasing rabbits and then lying in front of a hot stove and dreaming about rabbits is my idea of a good time.
I don't really know much about stoves so no good asking for me. But if you want to talk about rabbits...