Aberdeen Training Centre hosts first Guild course
Scotland director John Stone reports on an important new facility.
In early March we got to try out the new training centre in Aberdeen with the first Masterful Sweeping course at the ATC. In case you were unaware, some members choose to attend the first three days of this course in place of the 5 year refresher.
I had been working with the owners of the centre for a couple of months to create installations and rigs that can allow us to deliver quality sweep related courses. It’s particularly important in this part of the world where training facilities are thin on the ground. The centre started life as an office block near the harbour in Aberdeen.
Proprietors Steve Anderson and John Toet are from the Plumbing & Heating industry.
I visited the guys after I saw them advertised them as a new centre in Scotland. I wanted investigate the provision for solid fuel training and in particular, chimney sweeping, and found that it was all quite installation orientated.
After some informal chats, I realised we had an opportunity to purpose build a chimney or two which could be used for not only sweeping courses but lining, stove and fireplace installation. They are built with interchangeable types of liners and faults. We now have the opportunity to expand our training in the north, hopefully with cctv courses etc.
I worked as ‘the laddie’ (labourer) with local builder John Ollason who was introduced to me by fellow Guild member Calum Adams. We broke through from the 1st floor into the room below. We built a fireplace with offset chimney up through the floor and into the room above. John finished it off with a stack with a false flue next to it. Itís been built with multiple options for teaching different sweeping techniques and appliance set ups.
We went on to build a second twin wall steel chimney to 5m. Both flues have intentional faults to help trainees learn about non-compliant installations. It is also very useful for inspection work. Although the whole set up is within an office block, an extractor system allows for both type 1 & 2 smoke testing.
During the build process we decided it would be ideal to be able to insert a flexible liner and relevant fittings, including top plate and clamp or top hanging cowl (including insert sleeves). This would allow for a practical installer course which may fill in the gaps in training left by other organisations. Ideally as a Qualification.
It’s a real bonus to have this facility and we look forward to working at the ATC in the future.