Boiler Repairs in Letchworth

Boiler repairs when you need it most

Modern boilers are very efficient and reliable but they scan still break down occasionally just like any other mechanical device. When your boiler breaks down it can be annoying and frustrating but it can also be dangerous especially for vulnerable people caught in a cold spell. Call Vantage Plumbing and Heating services for a rapid, friendly response. Our fully trained and experienced plumbers are available 24/7 and will work to get your boiler back online as soon as possible.

Boiler repairs can be needed any time of year

We have had a lovely summer, with the United Kingdom reaching record temperatures and very little rain, prompting several water suppliers to declare hose pipe bans. So, the condition of your boiler is unlikely to have been at the top of your list of priorities.

Even when we’re basking in forty-degree heat, we still need hot water, so, if it packs up, we’ll still need to arrange a boiler repair. Still, at least nobody will be putting their heating on.

We are now approaching the colder months, and this is when the heating starts to go on for those chillier mornings and colder, longer nights. More hot water is likely to be needed too as people feel like a soak in a nice hot bath to soothe away their aches and pains. Should the boiler start to play up in the colder months, it really can be a nightmare.

Boiler repairs in winter

Statistically, you are far more likely to require a boiler repair during the winter months than at any other time of the year. This is simply because we tend to use our boilers more when the weather is cold than we would in the summer.

Quite often the fan will go wrong, meaning a boiler repair is needed, and this nearly always happens when it’s cold and you are rushing around trying to get the kids ready for school and yourself off to work.

When a boiler goes wrong, you may be fortunate enough to have an immersion heater to fall back on, so at least you will be able to get some hot water. Unfortunately, this doesn’t help on the day the boiler breaks down, as you need to give the immersion time to heat up the water you require. The other issue here is that heating up that volume of water everyday with electricity can be far more expensive than gas, so a boiler repair is not something you’ll want to put off for long.

An efficient boiler is cheaper to run

Faulty boilers are inefficient and cost more to run, they may even be dangerous if they leak carbon dioxide. Having a boiler repaired, or even having a new one fitted is the best course of action when things go wrong. Many people who track their energy usage state that they notice cheaper bills following a boiler repair. This is not to be sniffed at either owing to the incredibly high energy costs at present and the proposed hikes to them soon.

Industry in Letchworth was also important

One of the most prominent industries to arrive in Letchworth in the early years was the manufacture of corsets; the Spirella Company, an American business, founded its British subsidiary in Letchworth in 1910. In 1912 they built the first phase of a large factory, the instantly recognisable Spirella Building, designed by Cecil Hignett in the Arts and Crafts style. It was completed in 1920. The building’s prominence in the town led to it being nicknamed “Castle Corset”. During the Second World War, the factory was also involved in producing parachutes and decoding machinery. When arriving at Letchworth by train, this was the first large building you would see.

Letchworth attracted and developed a very wide range of industries. Other significant early businesses included:

  1. M. Dent and Son, a well known publishing house, moved to Letchworth from London in 1907.

Kryn & Lahy had a steel foundry founded in 1915 by Belgian refugees, and predictably was a target for German bombers in World War II. The reason was because any place capable of making steel was beneficial to the war effort as they could use the metal for munitions and tanks.

Another business that helped with the war effort was Irvin Great Britain, a parachute factory established in Letchworth in 1926 as the British subsidiary of an American company.

The automotive industry was also strong in the form of Shelvoke and Drewry, a highly specialised manufacturer of dustcarts and fire engines which was founded in Letchworth in 1922 and continued to trade until 1991. Still with the automotive industry, Westinghouse Morse Chain Company, who made parts for engines, began production in Letchworth in 1920, later becoming part of Borg-Warner after the Second World War.

The biggest employer in Letchworth for quite a few years was the British Tabulating Machine Company, which moved from London to Letchworth in 1920. In 1958 it merged with Powers-Samas to become International Computers and Tabulators (ICT) and finally became part of International Computers Limited (ICL) in 1969. At one time the “Tab”, as it was known, occupied over thirty factories in Icknield Way, Works Road and finally in Blackhorse Road. During the Second World War, a number of early computers were built in what became known as the ICL 1.1 plant.

Manufacturing decline in Letchworth

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s many of the Letchworth manufacturing businesses closed down. The Kryn and Lahy Steel Foundry closed in 1979. Spirella and ICL both closed their factories in 1989. Borg-Warner also closed its factory during this period. The town went through a period of relatively high unemployment in the early 1980s; however, this was echoed around much of the country, with over three million becoming unemployed by 1984. Some of the empty factory sites were eventually redeveloped as business parks and serviced offices, and the town’s economy moved away from a small number of large manufacturing businesses to a rather large number of smaller office-based businesses, but again, this did appear to be a national trend. Much of the change from large industry to small business that happened back then in Letchworth, continues to be the norm today. More and more of us have not only moved away from large scale manufacturing, into office based roles, many have even started to work mostly, or exclusively from home as attitudes have changed toward work following the Covid 19 pandemic.

Housing in Letchworth

The early housing development in Letchworth largely followed Unwin and Parker’s master plan. The first houses built after the founding of the garden city were a group of six houses called “Alpha Cottages” at 22–32 Baldock Road, where the first residents moved in during July 1904. The Cheap Cottages Exhibitions of 1905 and 1907 saw many individually-designed and often experimental homes built. The 1905 exhibition was mostly held in the area between the railway and Norton Common, along a road called Exhibition Road, although this was later renamed Nevells Road and the adjoining roads. The 1907 exhibition was mostly to the south of Letchworth in the area around Lytton Avenue and Souberie Avenue.

After the Second World War the focus for new development was on large council estates. To the north of Letchworth work began on the Grange estate in 1947. The estate included its own primary schools, recreation ground, public house and a neighbourhood shopping centre on Southfields. The land for the estate was compulsorily purchased from First Garden City Limited by Letchworth Urban District Council.

Letchworth boasts the United Kingdom’s first roundabout

The 1904 layout plan of Letchworth included a point on the main avenue where six roads converged. Detailed plans drawn up in July 1908 proposed a circular traffic island at this point, influenced by the Place de l’Etoile in Paris. The Letchworth roundabout is known to have been in use by 1910. When first built, traffic could circulate around the central island in both directions; the instruction to keep left was not added until 1921. It was named “Sollershott Circus” and is recognised as the first roundabout on a public road in the United Kingdom. Two signs were erected on the roundabout in 2006 saying “UK’s First Roundabout Built circa 1909”.

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