Search This Blog


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The gas poker - a truly blood curdling piece of domestic kit

When we moved into our house twenty-three years ago it had no central heating. There was a coal-fired boiler in the kitchen that the elderly couple we were buying from kept going all the time. Of course as soon as we moved in it went out. The only device that could get it started again was a gas poker. I explained to this to the gas engineer we had working in the house yesterday. Nice bloke, in his thirties, I should think. "What's a gas poker?" he asked.

I explained it was a device such as you might use for poking the fire but if you connected it to the gas mains and applied a match to it flames would shoot out of holes in the side. Then you pushed it under the fuel on the fire until it got a glow going. That's a gas poker, I said.

He gulped and handed me a safety leaflet.