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Grate Fires: A hearth warming story


by Roger Linn


friendly advice, then I believe Grate Fires of Sussex should be your first port of call.


N


Any business that was launched in 1978 and is still flourishing today has plainly got a number of things right, including the quality and range of their products, management, service and delivery. While Kim Bishop who owns and runs the company with her husband Tony agrees that these things are all very important, she adds: “we are and have always been a family firm. Our son and my brother are all involved, so that’s helped us to manage very effectively and to keep going in some difficult trading times.” Most importantly, Grate Fires pride themselves on the quality of their customer service. “It is our belief that each customer is unique, so everyone gets a bespoke service because their individual needs and tastes are different.” Experts in supplying everything to do with fireplaces, gas and electric fires, Grate Fires also have their own fully experienced installation team, visiting customers’ homes and making the whole process of changing a fireplace a hassle free – dare I say pleasurable? – experience. Made-to-measure fittings and mix’n match designs for both mantels and fires are very important elements of the Grate Fires service. These days, the customer has a huge range of choice, whether his preference is for electricity, gas, or the increasingly fashionable solid fuel. I was genuinely


Does your fireplace need updating, perhaps to fit in with a new décor or colour scheme? Are you thinking of installing a gas fire, or an electric one? What about solid fuel?


o doubt, there are a hundred questions you would like to ask. If what you really need is some good, honest and


before


after


Above: On-site installation with Tony and Ollie Bishop. Left: George Lovett.


astonished by the extent to which fireplaces and surrounds can be customised, using an exotic range of materials – limestone, marble, slate, brick, and woods like oak, pine and American burr walnut. Colours, too, cross a wide spectrum and customers can even send in a piece of their existing wooden flooring or surround and get Grate Fires to supply perfectly matched wooden mantels. Walking around the store in Haywards Heath’s Commercial Square, so packed with all manner of fireside wares that walking seems an ambitious word, the truth of their slogan ‘The little shop with the big choice’ becomes apparent. There are wall-mounted fires of startling realism. Fires that issue smoke and ‘burn’ with sound effects range alongside every imaginable fireside accessory from chestnut roasting pans to log baskets


“Every customer gets a bespoke service because individual needs and tastes are different.”


and companion sets. Not to mention the amazing range of coal scuttles hanging from the roof in every shape and size. Come on Winter, do your worst. I think we’re sorted here! ■


GRATE FIRES OF SUSSEX 9 Commercial Square Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 1DW Tel. 01444 452626 www.gratefires.co.uk


SUSSEX LIVING October 2011


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