Emergency Plumber in Letchworth

24/7 Emergency Plumber

When you have a water leak or the heating fails in your home it is often at the most stressful time. More than anything you need to know that help is just a phone call away. 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 resolve your problems as soon as possible.

An emergency plumber for those unexpected events

Should you have a catastrophic leak at home, an emergency plumber may mean all the difference between the loss of your cherished possessions and saving them.

We recently attended an address where the pipe work that supplied the shower pump had literally blown apart. This was the push fit style of connectors and the customer had heard a whirring noise in the early hours of the morning. They thought it was an electric garden tool being operated. Annoyed that someone was strimming their garden before five in the morning and on a Sunday too, they got up to go downstairs to investigate. It was only when they walked into their kitchen that they noticed water literally pouring through the two light fittings in the ceiling. They ran upstairs and instantly realised that the whirring noise was in fact the shower pump vainly attempting to circulate water through to the shower; sadly the majority of the water was going through the ceiling.

The customer thought he was doing the right thing by racing back downstairs to turn off the water. Unfortunately, the water was coming from a large tank in the attic, which should have been isolated by a red gate valve in the airing cupboard. Once the tank that fed the shower had been isolated, then the main stop valve should have been turned off to prevent more water flowing back into the somewhat depleted tank. Unfortunately, the mains stop valve was seized and couldn’t be turned and he knew nothing about the gate valve next to the shower pump upstairs.

An emergency plumber saves the day

After several failed attempts and much panic stricken searching for WD40 and large spanners to try and get the stop valve to turn, his wife called us out. As emergency plumbers with a very fast response time, we arrived and both husband and wife were frantically bailing out their kitchen. The entire downstairs was by now two inches under water. As fast as they were bailing, the water going out of the back door was being replaced by fresh water from the mains. We immediately isolated the street stop valve, which cut off any fresh supply to the house.

Although we had stopped the flow by now, there was still the issue of the seized stop valve in the house to rectify. As it happens, the gate valve upstairs was also corroded and seized and was thus, useless. The cost of calling out an emergency plumber who stopped the flow, replaced two seized stop valves and repaired the broken push fit pipe, was nothing compared to the cost of the damage done to the customers property and possessions.

The moral here is to familiarise yourself with the operation and location of all isolating valves in your home and to ensure they turn freely at all times. Simply turning them off and on again a couple of times a year, with a quarter turn back at the end to prevent freezing in the fully open position, is all that is needed to stop them seizing up over time.

Keep the number of an emergency plumber handy at all times

The customers we dealt with on this occasion admitted that it had taken them quite a long time to search for an emergency plumber in their area. It transpired that both had regular mobile phones with no internet capability and they had to use the computer to find our contact details and that took quite a long time to boot up when they turned it on.

By far, the best thing to do is to program the number of a good emergency plumber into your mobile just in case, leaving a list of important contact numbers in a phone diary or on the fridge for easy reference is also a good idea. Sadly, the damage caused to our customer’s property that night could have been reduced considerably had they been able to isolate the water and call out an emergency plumber more quickly.

Letchworth Garden City: A radical concept

In 1898, a very forward thinking social reformer named Ebenezer Howard wrote a book called To-morrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform. This literary work was republished in 1902 under the new title of Garden Cities of To-morrow. In this fascinating publication he advocated the construction of a completely new kind of town, which he called a “garden city”.

His idea was summed up in a diagram which is referred to as the “Three Magnets”, showing how the mixed advantages and disadvantages of town or country living could be combined into a third option, “Town-Country”, offering the advantages of both cities and the countryside while eliminating their disadvantages.

Unlike many other areas around the United Kingdom, Howard insisted that industry would be kept completely separated from the residential areas, whilst the residents would have good access to parks and the countryside that surrounded the new concept town.

Howard’s garden city was also to be contained in a belt of open countryside, promoting his town and country mix and the clean air that came with a country, or semi country setting. Howard saw this surrounding band of countryside as an integral part of his garden city concept, providing land not just for agriculture, but also for the wider society, including children’s homes, asylums, newly planted and existing forests and brickfield sites.

Although only two actual garden cities were built to this specification, his idea of a protected rural belt were later taken up more generally in town planning throughout the rest of Britain from the mid-twentieth century, and became known as the green belt.

Letchworth Garden City was not well received

Initially Howard’s ideas and proposals were ridiculed by the media, but fortunately, more influential individuals and organisations saw significant merit in his vision for the future of British towns. Those that were impressed by his idea were members of the Arts and Crafts movement and the Quakers. Quakers are people who belong to a historically Protestant Christian set of denominations known formally as the Religious Society of Friends. Members of these movements are generally united by a belief in each human’s ability to experience the light within or see “that of God in every one”. Some profess a priesthood of all believers inspired by the First Epistle of Peter. They include those with evangelical, holiness, liberal, and traditional Quaker understandings of Christianity. There are also Nontheist Quakers, whose spiritual practice does not rely on the existence of God. To differing extents, the Friends avoid creeds and hierarchical structures.

Letchworth is identified as the perfect garden city location

After researching quite a few possible locations for building a new garden city, the movement’s pioneers decided that Letchworth would be ideal to begin the realisation of their dreams. The Letchworth Hall estate recently been put up for sale, and whilst it was too small, secret negotiations took place with fourteen adjoining landowners, which would provide an estate of 3,818 acres to be assembled and purchased for £155,587, a sum that wouldn’t purchase a flat in Letchworth today. A company called First Garden City Limited was established in 1903 to purchase the land and begin building the new Letchworth Garden City. Interestingly, very few refer to Letchworth as Letchworth Garden City, but simply as Letchworth. Maybe this is because the other garden city is next to Welwyn village and the garden city suffix is in place to avoid confusion between the two locations.

In 1904, the architects Raymond Unwin and Barry Parker won a special competition for designing the new Letchworth town’s layout, and were appointed as consulting architects to the company. Most of the pre-existing trees and hedgerows were preserved in the layout. Unwin took the alignment of the town’s main avenue, which was named the Broadway from three old oak trees which stood on the central plateau of the estate and were incorporated into the central square, which became Broadway Gardens.

A temporary railway for Letchworth

A temporary railway halt was built in 1903 on the Great Northern Railway’s Hitchin, Royston and Cambridge branch line, which crosses the middle of the Letchworth Garden City estate. At the beginning, services were rather irregular, with only special trains for excursions and construction workers. A more substantial, although still temporary, a wooden station was opened in 1905 with a more reliable and regular passenger service. The current railway station was built in 1912 to the east of the wooden station, in a more prominent location at the end of Broadway.

New residents for Letchworth

People began to move into the newly built houses in Letchworth in July 1904. The following month First Garden City Limited held a vote amongst shareholders and residents on what name the new garden city should take. There were some strange names proposed too, such as “Homeworth” and “Alseopolis”, they even considered “Garden City”. The chosen name was settled to be “Letchworth Garden City”. The company adopted this as its name for the town, but adoption of the name was not universal. The legal name of the civil parish and urban district remained simply “Letchworth”. First Garden City Limited also gradually dropped the “Garden City” suffix from the name, maybe reflecting common local usage, and maybe taking the view that as the town matured it should not permanently be seen as an experiment. Similarly, the town’s railway station was initially called “Letchworth Garden City”, but was renamed “Letchworth” in 1937.

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