How we brought this cowl back to life
We are thrilled to bits with our new cowl! Our poor old cowl was looking the worse for wear after years of no maintenance. It is a landmark in our village, and neighbours use the finger to calculate wind direction before lighting their bonfires. However, we were starting to see daylight through the boards and signs of rot on the finger.
Our little Oast house is a holiday let and timing was important to us to minimise disruption to our guests. We contacted Dude and Arnette from Barming, which specialises in the restoration, maintenance and manufacture of traditional Oast cowls. Darren came out to inspect and we agreed a timetable and method of work which fitted in our with our bookings, so we did not lose revenue. The removal of the cowl, using a crane and some impressive aerobatics, was professional, efficient and marvellous to watch. Once the cowl and the spindle were on the ground, we were able to see just how badly rotted it was. Darren talked me through the reconstruction and assured me that all would be made good, and as much as possible of the original timber would be conserved. We also noted the unusual construction of the cowl, possibly by a boatbuilder; further investigations via Frank Wenham revealed that it was probably made in Northiam around 40 years ago.
... Darren and his team kept to our timetable, and ensured that our Oast was as pristine on the inside as it now is on the outside. They worked safely, cleanly and efficiently, always polite and friendly, and kept me informed at each stage. I would recommend them to anyone considering having work done on their Oast cowl and roof.