Here at Walkers in Burford we have been selling woodburning stoves since 1970. Over this period there have been huge changes in this industry. When we started selling stoves in 1970 few people had seen or heard about them, and it wasn’t long before we had over 100 makes & models of stoves to choose from.
Most of these early models came from Scandinavia; they did not have glass doors and only burned wood. Some were very simple, looking like rectangular boxes on long legs. Some had three tiers and looked like cast iron wedding cakes. Dutch elm disease was rife – there was a great glut of dead wood available. It burned very well in a stove (if it was dry!) and many people found that they could reduce their heating bills dramatically.
Most of the early glass fronted stoves had narrow glass strips forming the front of the stove door. They all blacked up the glass and it was quite a task to keep the glass clean. Then, in 1987, the breakthrough came. I had a phone call from Jonathan Greenall at Clearview Stoves asking me if I would be interested in stocking their stoves. At this point lots of companies were bringing out new stoves. I pointed this out to Mr Greenall and asked him what was so special about his stoves. “They keep the glass doors clean and are over 70% efficient and they are multifuel. I told them to pull the other leg!! They assured me that their claims were justified. I asked them to send me down some stoves as soon as they were able. I installed the first Clearview stove and proceeded to test the claims the company had made. It ticked all the boxes. It was simple to run, burned wood, all black fuels and peat as they had promised. It was very efficient, kept the doors clear and stayed in over night. After a week doing all these tests I realised that all my stock of other makes of stoves had been made obsolete and I decided there and then to phase out all the other stoves and stick with Clearview.
Walkers & Clearview Stoves
We have promoted Clearview stoves throughout Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Witshire vigorously. It has now become the market leader. In my opinion if properly looked after and not abused, it has a working life of at least 30 years. However our company policy is not to sit on our laurels and to seek out the very best and most efficient stoves for our customers – you deserve that and we do not intend to fall by the wayside.
In 2005, my son Henry joined the company. He is dedicated and, like me, a firm believer in the future of woodburning and multifuel stoves. We both believe fanatically that this is the way forward.