I am Ray Buck, traditional chimney sweep in Milton Keynes and the surrounding area. I learnt the trade of chimney sweeping from my father, Arthur.
The world has changed since he began “Bucks Brush Vacuum Sweeps” in 1950, when the 4 digit phone number he gave to clients was actually the telephone number for a chip shop in St Mary’s Avenue, Bletchley. Also owned by a chap called Arthur, Dad used to pop in each day to pick up his appointments. The chip shop has been replaced by Shanghai House takeaway but their telephone number – 2943 – remains the same, with the addition of 2 extra digits.
I have worked with my Dad since I was 7 years old, particularly in the school holidays when he took me out on his rounds. My job then was chief fetcher and carrier – helping him bringing his brushes to and from the van. I remember well the treat of biscuits from nearly all customers (something still appreciated today), and being told by Dad that they weren’t all for me. As well as regular households we visited grand houses such as Woburn Abbey, where we had the great thrill of being allowed in rooms most people were not. Sometimes we cleaned boilers in cellars, a very frightening experience for a young boy – although I have toughened up since then.
When I left school in 1983 I learnt the building trade in a family business. Building houses in the summer months and sweeping chimneys with Dad in the winter months kept me busy and gave me extensive experience of the construction industry. It was my Mum, Mona, who took the calls by then, organising our diary and sending us off each morning.
In 1990 I took the lead in the Bucks family business, now renamed Bucks Chimney Sweeps (after many customers struggling to fit “Bucks Brush Vacuum Sweeps” on a cheque!). Dad joined me on busy days and to chat with long standing valued customers, many of whom were amazed to see ‘the boy’ now running things.
These days it’s just me and my faithful pup Sweep, who happily joins me in my van. Most of my work comes from customer recommendations, although now the call comes through to my iPhone rather than the local chippy. Who knows what Dad would have thought of a Bucks Chimney Sweep Website and Facebook page but the one thing that hasn’t changed is the high standard of service I provide – chimneys professionally swept using a mix of traditional techniques and modern equipment to keep things clean and tidy.
Based out of my home in Potterspury, I travel to homes and businesses across Milton Keynes, Bletchley, Northampton as well as further afield. My services include traditional chimney sweeping, fireplace building and maintenance, chimney stack maintenance and safety.