Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Mary Portas and High Street parking

We're glad that Mary Portas raised the issue of High Street parking in her analysis of the problems of the British High Street.  Here in Lee High Road, it has become increasingly difficult for our customers to park close to our shop.  The local streets are now almost exclusively residents' parking.  There are one or two parking bays close to Lee High Road, but the situation is very confusing - on one side of the shop you can park for an hour, but on the other side for only half an hour.

Lewisham Council has said the half hour restriction gives our customers plenty of time - but they've obviously never bought a fireplace from a specialist retailer like Westcombes.  Many of our customers like to spend far longer than that discussing their options, looking at all the fireplaces and stoves that we have and considering the relative pros and cons.

Lewisham Council clearly doesn't have much time for the traditional service and expertise that a shop like ours can offer - but fortunately our customers put up with the confusing parking arrangements because it's the service and expertise that they particularly like about Westcombes.

Chimney lining and sweeps

People often ask if they still need to bother to have their chimney swept if they've had it lined, and the answer is a very definite YES!

Soot can still build up inside a lined chimney and you should have it swept at least once a year.  The chimney sweeps may use slightly different equipment and methods to sweep chimneys, but we always recommend making sure that you use a properly qualified sweep.

At Westcombes, we can recommend local qualified sweeps (who are members of the National Association of Chimney Sweeps) in London, or alternatively you can contact the National Association of Chimney Sweeps who have qualified sweeps across the country.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Christmas Windows

Well, it's not quite Oxford Street, but we have made an attempt to be seasonal and Freddy and Felix, our window cats, are now surrounded by presents and tinsel.  We even have a miniature tree in the main window, and some stockings on the mantelpiece so we're hoping Father Christmas doesn't forget to drop in at 250-252 Lee High Road this year!

It feels like winter...

After a glorious September and a mild autumn, it finally feels as if winter is here.  We're so pleased we've got a Defra-approved woodburner going in the shop to keep us warm, and we're using our fabulous kiln-dried logs from Certainly Wood  - which are suddenly selling like hot cakes! We've also got the luxury of a working gas and an electric fire in our other showrooms which means you can check out a range of options to see which you might prefer in your own home.  So if you're feeling chilly, head to Westcombes!