Rayburn stoves are synonymous with warming frost-chilled fingers after bonfires. With delicious smells as tender meats cook, breads rise, spicy cakes come to life and rich stews bubble. With the super-clean scent of crisp, spotless laundry fast-drying on a traditional ceiling rack in the kitchen. With the scents of summer food alfresco and intimate autumn dinners for two.
A house with a proper stove has an entirely different feel to one with regular heating. A range beats like a mighty heart in the centre of a home, radiating safety, calm, cosiness, homeliness and welcome as well as steady, reliable, controllable warmth.
Pets feel it too. Many an oil fired Rayburn has an attendant cat or two. Any self-respecting moggie will edge as close as it can to the source of all that delicious heat. If your cat has a habit of sitting on warm appliances and you’re installing a range cooker, keep the hob covers down until they’ve learned what’s hot and what’s not. Some cats are nice but dim. Others know their stuff where heat is concerned. Either way it’s better safe than sorry.
Cats are also great ones for finding warm, dark, secluded places where they can get their backs to the wall and have a totally undisturbed sleep. Especially in a home where there’s noisy children. If you’re bringing the latest super-dooper Rayburn 480K or whatever into the equation, don’t leave the doors open for any length of time. Take extra care if you’ve got a kitten with its nose in everything or an old, creaky cat who likes peace and quiet. The last thing you want is to cook your puss!
Dogs, of course, are easier to teach. Put their basket in the warmth and, unlike cats, they’ll settle down happily without climbing all over the oven and getting into trouble inside it!
If your kids manage to lose the hamster, gerbil, mouse or rat, under the range is a very good place to start your search. It’s warm, dry, safe and a constant source of food.
Your final consideration? The wildlife. The moment it gets cooler outside, various small creatures come indoors to share the warmth of our homes. You might find the underside of your range becoming home to a collection of common or garden insects. We’re lucky in Britain; because we have very few poisonous or dangerous insects you can afford to live and let live, cohabiting happily with your harmless, many-legged friends until the weather gets warmer and they gently drift back outdoors.