My Life As A Chimney Sweep

Set in the 1850's, Joseph Edwards spills his short but moving story about him being made to work as a child. This story carries on from the last.. 'A Day In The Life Of An Evacuee'.This story/diary is short,so short that it's only about a chapter ;)


1. My Story.

 Here I am at the top of the chimney, covered in thick black soot.I wasn't always a Chimney Sweep; I was once a boy free and enjoying life. It was when my parents died, I became an orphan and had to go and work as a servant in a rich person's houseWhen I first found out that I was going to work as a servant, my mind was filled with all sorts of thoughts, some good and some bad.

When I began working I was 8 but now three years have passed and I'm 11.I didn't want to work but obviously I had no other choice.I tried my best but it was really hard to clean the chimneys as I had difficulty climbing.The chimneys were usually very narrow (in some cases as small as 30cm) and twisted.I'm also not the best at writing as you can see,i had to leave school at 8 years old.I can only write in short sentences most of the time.This time,however,I'm really going to try my very best.Just so i can tell you my story...

The work was very dangerous and painful because if you stopped for some reason the boss would just light the fire underneath!!! How very painful.I never got stuck myself but some of my friends did and they died of suffocation.Everyone including me was treated badly because even if we fell ill we were forced to work.We had to wear these tight and itchy work clothes that were green with orange stripes.

What hideous colours.... Don't you agree? I do! They should really change them,i mean if i were them i would obviously have much better colour sense.Well,I think that's enough about colours let's get back to the chimneys!

Most of the time you came down with bleeding elbows and knees. Don't ask me how many times I have hurt my elbows and knees, it will take me forever to count. I've gotten better at being a chimney sweep since I first started (well at least I think I have).Well I thought that it wasn't fair, me having to work and not getting any breaks or fresh air.How would you like to breathe in dust,smoke and soot in all day?

I have had some friends but I think they were just being nice because they were in the same situation as me. I have always wanted a real best friend, someone who could actually understand my feelings and i could talk to them about whatever i wanted.I am getting really bored of keeping to myself all day.I really hoped that I would find a friend but right now I don't think I will ever have one.

I have always been lonely, so lonely that I even wrote a poem about 'Having A Friend'. This was obviously written in each spare moment of mine.I would just add different parts and that helped me construct this poem. I wonder what my boss would do if he found out? I know it so well by the amounts of time i have recited it to myself.Right,here you go..


A friend is like a flower,
a rose to be exact,
Or maybe like a brand new gate
that never comes unlatched.
A friend is like an owl,
both beautiful and wise.
Or perhaps a friend is like a ghost,
whose spirit never dies.
A friend is like a heart that goes
strong until the end.
Where would we be in this world
if we didn't have a friend?


Do you like it? If you do I would like to thank you, as it took me a long time to write it.                   


Since I started as a chimney sweep, one question always came to my mind, Should I run away?I thought I should run away because I was being bossed around and not being able to live life the way I wanted to. That is a good reason to run away...(Isn't it?)

I had finally decided that if I find a friend to work with me I would stay but if I didn't I would run away.Luckily a new boy had come to work at the same place as me,a few days later; I wondered if there was a chance that we could be friends.He seemed friendly, he was about the same age as me and his name was Thomas Edwards.I realized he had the same surname as me,well that was something in common atleast.

After a few weeks,me and Thomas really got to know each other and soon were the best of friends. I even showed Thomas my poem which i wouldn't have  done normally and he loved it.

That was the end of my friend problem but I still had to clean the chimneys. It wasn't so bad after all as I had Thomas to accompany me now.

P.S. - I hope you enjoyed my story and it wasn't too boring.

By Joseph Edwards (This is my diary!)



































































































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