Chimney sweeps from across the world gathered to celebrate the trade
A GLOBAL gathering saw hundreds of people from different countries coming together to celebrate the ancient and respected profession that is chimney sweeping.
Rodstation’s Director Adam Pedersen and International Sales Manager, Matthew Jones, brushed off to the 38th International Meeting of Chimney Sweeps held in Vigezzo Valley, Italy from August 30 to September 2. More than 1,000 sweeps travelled to the festival from across the world.
“It was an awesome festival,” said Matthew, “We enjoyed touching base with sweeps who already use Rodstation equipment and friends in the trade. And it was a great opportunity to introduce Rodstation to a wider audience.
“There were sweeps from so many countries at the festival. Everyone had a lot of fun with pizza, pasta and beer aplenty! It was great to chat with everyone about the great range of products Rodstation have to offer as well as meeting potential new distributors”
The International meeting of Chimney Sweeps first began in 1981 and annually sees more than a thousand chimney sweeps from across the world head to the Valle Vigezzo for a series of celebratory events. A particular highlight was the big parade held in the town of Santa Maria Maggiore on the Sunday, witnessed by about 30,000 visitors to the town. Sweeps came from as far as Germany, Sweden, Romania, Russia, the USA and Japan – and the UK. The event is organised by the National Chimney Sweep Association with Santa Maria Maggiore Town Council.
A poignant moment in the festival is the tributes paid to a humble bronze statue perched on a rock in Malesco. Sculpted by Milan’s Leuigi Teruggi in 1983, the figure depicts 13-year old Fausto Cappini, from Re, who tragically died after he touched electric wires protruding from a fireplace after he swept it. It is thought he was the last child sweep to have died.
The statue also serves as a reminder of other young people who left the Vigezzo Valley to practise the trade of chimney sweeping in hard times. The people in the valley were so poor that
the children were sold to master sweeps from across Europe. The international festival celebrates the ending of that abuse of human rights.
Matthew Jones added: “The international meeting is a unique event with lots of laughter and moments of reflection. We thought it was fantastic and definitely plan to return in the future”