A solid fuel Rayburn may not be at the top of everyone’s kitchen wish list but ever since my mum exchanged ours for oil in the mid-nineties I’ve dreamed of having a grand farmhouse kitchen and a Rayburn to match. This didn’t exactly match with my other dream of a Mediterranean kitchen but against the odds, I seem to have mashed the two dreams! Thanks to buying a house up at almost 1000m above sea level the need for central heating is almost greater than it was in England! So thus began the story of my Rayburn.
Inspired by a neighbour who picked one up on ebay I began our search. A short six months later I found her, sitting pretty in racing green and all ready to ship from the south of England. The shipping turned out to be the easiest bit. Sent by pallet freight to our local builder’s yard, who then negotiated our increasingly inaccessible track and craned her in. Piece of cake! Moving all 370kg over the threshold and into the kitchen took slightly longer. My husband’s version of the story is that I moaned so much he somehow summoned the strength of Hercules and lifted / pushed it all by himself!
Installation took longer. We shivered through until February with more snow and ice than we have ever seen here! We finally found someone willing to take her on and thus followed two weeks of dust, water, and an unusable kitchen! How I longed for the takeouts and deliveries of modern living! Still, we struggled on and she is in, -touch wood-running well and bar a couple of teething ‘explosions’ settled in well. We have hot water! Radiators! Warmth! Then to top it off a beast of a cooker!The inner workings of the system are beyond me, just looking at the pipework makes my head spin but I’m slowly learning to control her. Nothing has been burnt yet and we have had our first roast, complete with Yorkshire puddings which Rayburns are famed for!
She (still to be named – suggestions welcome) really has become the heart of the home and each morning I could kiss her for taking the chill out of this old stone house!