On Friday we'd let the fire go out in the Squirrel, as a few days of decent weather were forecast. We also got all our woollies washed and hung them out to dry, but that's a different story. Needless to say, it immediately began to rain, accompanied by a cold wind, so we thought we would light the stove again.
But first we decided to give it a good clean out, while it was cool. This revealed the reason why big lumps of red hot coals had been appearing in the ash pan:
The bottom grate was somewhat the worse for wear. Feeling rather chilly we decided to bite the bullet sooner rather than later and dashed off to Midland Chandlers for a replacement.
My guess of £40 wasn't far off the mark - £36.98, to be precise. Ouch.