Our Happy Customers

Sue & Les Hart | Mar 2018

Refurbishing a well worn cowl

From agreement of work to be done to completion of works, everything went to plan including price, timing, quality of workmanship and was carried out by a cheerful, competent and professional team. We have no hesitation in recommend D & A. LH, Hever

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Our Happy Customers

Malcolm Catmur-Neame | Faversham Mar 2018

Refurbishing a well worn cowl

We had been having problems with our Oast Cowl for some time and decided we needed a professional and experienced team to find the solution. Darren and team inspected our cowl and decided the only option was to remove it for repair at their workshops. Once the cowl was removed from the Oast Kiln it became clear it was touch and go, if it was repairable.

The cowl was rebuilt from the ground upwards. The whole process was a seamless smooth operation, crane and crew arrived, remove cowl and installed a temporary weather cover. The new cowl was installed in the same smooth operation. Having had some high winds here since we were amazed that we no longer hear any noise from the cowl at all. We highly recommend Dude & Arnette, Darren and his team were professional and easy going throughout the whole operation.

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Our Happy Customers

Julian Ryder Richardson | Wadhurst, East Sussex Mar 2018

Refurbishing a well worn cowl

Dude and Arnette are efficient, workmanlike, knowledgeable and courteous. They are an essential resource for all owners of Oast Houses with cowls.

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Featured on: Village of the year 2017

The word village conjures up nostalgic images of cobbled streets, thatched cottages, local boozers and of course, Oast Houses. Being the UK’s leading experts in all things Oast, when Channel 4 launched their search for the Village of the Year 2017 they came to us to learn the history of oast cowls and Kent Peg Tiles. With faces most definitely made for television, who were we to deny the public this education?

 

Off to Goudhurst we went and filmed a live and unscripted interview which was both terrifying and a great experience in equal measures. During the interview, our main man, Darren explained the history behind Dude & Arnette and also why we advocate the use of Tudor Roof Tiles in oast cowl refurbishment. These traditional peg tiles are handmade in Kent using methods which combine age-old craftsmanship with advanced firing techniques. The process ensures each tile has its own unique colour and character and most importantly, allows the oast roof to continue to retain its authentic appearance. We install these ourselves, but when we are in need of assistance we often call upon award-winning Kent Peg Tiling company, Karl Terry who are specialists in restoring the roofs of heritage properties.

 

Village of the Year is presented by the legend and actress that is Penelope Keith, who also featured in Channel 4’s popular ‘Britain’s Hidden Villages’ series. Penelope has spent most of 2017 scouring the length and breadth of Britain to discover the most scenic and interesting villages, rating them across a range of categories;

  • Appearance
  • History & Heritage
  • Village Events
  • Activities
  • Visitor Experience

 

The winning village will receive £10,000 towards a worthwhile community project. Make sure to keep an eye out for us when the show airs on the 23rd January let us know what you think!

In the meantime, we’re off to practise our BAFTA speech…

Our favourite Kent & Sussex Craft Beers – perfect for a festive pint.

It’s not a secret that after a hard day’s work at Dude & Arnette HQ, we’re partial to a craft beer tipple, especially around the festive season. Pop a bit of Michael Bublé on the gramophone, and that’s our kind of party.

Traditionally, Oast Houses were designed for kilning (drying) hops as part of the brewing process so you could say we’ve got the amber nectar running through our veins (in more ways than one).

 

With the majority of Oast Houses located in Kent and Sussex, it’s no wonder that these regions are famed for their microbrewed craft beers, and in the spirit of Christmas, we’ve put together our favourites that we’ll be supping throughout the festivities.

The Canterbury Ales (Kent)

Hohoho and a Merry Christmas – could this be the best name in the brewing world? The Canterbury Ales have been making craft beers since 2010, and in 2014 their ‘Merchant’s Ale’, a 4% mild stout, was judged by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) to be not just the best beer in Kent, but the best beer in the South East of England! Their popular ‘Mosaic Gold’ is back for a limited time only for Christmas so get in quick…

Caterbury Beers

Larkins Brewery (Kent)

Specialising in traditional Kentish-style real ales, Larkins is a family run brewery based in the idyllic village of Chiddingston. Using only hops from the on site farm, they produce 3 traditional beers (Traditional, Pale and Best Bitter) alongside two guest brews which change with the seasons. Available on tap in many of the independent pubs in Kent.

Larkins Brewery

Mad Cat Brewery (Kent)

Crazy name, kooky branding and delicious in taste, the Mad Cat Brewery are based in Faversham, where they’ve set up a microbrewery at Brogdale Farm. They’re on a mission to create something that will send your taste buds into ecstasy, and in their own words ‘if you want taste and flavour and a genuinely delicious experience then welcome to Mad Cat Brewery and the craft beer revolution’. With a range of ‘keepers’ and a couple of seasonal ales available, we’ll be enjoying a pint of ‘Santa Paws’ (4.5%) this Christmas.

Mad Cat

Long Man Brewery (Sussex)

Tucked away on Church Farm in the hamlet of Litlington (near Alfriston) the Long Man Brewery derived their name from nearby popular walking attraction, ‘The Long Man of Wilmington’. In August their brew, ‘Old Man’ was declared ‘World’s Best Dark Mild Beer 2017’ at the World Beer Awards. When moving into the farm they discovered that a document written in 1538 stated that Church Farm House had a ‘brew-house chamber’ as a part of the premises, so it’s safe to say there’s been plenty of ale through the ages, and Head Brewer, Jamie and his team are keen to continue the tradition for us thirsty folk to enjoy.

Long Man Brewery

Bison Beer (Sussex)

We couldn’t write a post about craft beer without mentioning the bearded, hipster, ale-drinking city of Brighton & Hove. Mock the cost of a pint (or bottle) on the south coast all you like, but the guys over at Bison Beer are making waves throughout the south with their tasty brews such as ‘Tropic Soda’ 5.8% and ‘Stoutzilla’ 8.3%. As we’ve been very good boys this year, we’re hoping to find a few in our stockings this Christmas.

Bison Beer

Our Happy Customers

Rosanne Sternberg | Bodiam Nov 2017

Refurbishing a well worn cowl

We have owned a triple oast since 1979 and had maintenance on the white Cowls worked on by several different companies.
After having Dude and Arnette renovate the cowls during a complete renovation of the roundels and make new fingers for them from polycarbonate, they have looked good for several years. Darren Hole contacted me recently to remind me that it was time for maintenance and re-painting.
The Dude and Arnette crew came with a small mobile crane took great care not to damage the garden, while removing the cowls and had them re-painted and ready to replace exactly when agreed. Their service, fees, quality of paintwork and timeframe was top class and we are very happy.
I highly recommend Darren Hole and Dude and Arnette for any Oast maintenance, repair and painting.

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Our Happy Customers

Phil Mumford | Cowan Architects – Nov 2017

Working on a historic Grade 2 listed building

I met with Darren of Dude and Annette recently in a Project Management capacity, as my practice are acting as Conservation Architects and Project Managers for the renovation of a number of historic Grade 2* listed building on the Isfield Place Estate, East Sussex.

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Our Happy Customers

Hollie Fern | Kent Nov 2017

Refurbishing a well worn cowl

This is the first time I’ve used Dude and Arnette to renovate the Oast Cowls that have not been looked at for over 10 years. Darren had great customer service skills and regularly came out to site to make sure everything was okay and going well. The cowls were looking tired and really needed some TLC and the difference from the before and after photos are incredible. All the team at Dude and Arnette were friendly and helpful and would recommend them to anyone. We were so pleased with the work carried out we would like an agreement for annual maintenance and every so many years a refresh from Dude and Arnette. Thank you very much!

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Our top 3 National Trust attractions with Oast Houses

All we want for Christmas is… a National Trust membership! Why? To visit our favourite historical oast houses of course…

The National Trust is truly a British institution and are outstanding at maintaining the estates they manage for the enjoyment of visitors. We’ve put together our top three destinations to visit that include an oast house on site, all of which are steeped in history and make for a great day (or overnight) visit!

 

Bateman’s

Jacobean house and home of Rudyard Kipling

Burwash, East Sussex

Batemans oast house

Famous for writing The Jungle Book and Just So Stories, Rudyard Kipling will always be one of Britain’s most revered Children’s authors. Rudyard lived at Bateman’s from 1902 to his death in 1936, and the property and its grounds were bequeathed to the The National Trust in 1939 following his wife, Catherine’s death. The estate features a well restored Jacobean house which has been kept the same as when the Kiplings lived there, a mill house and a brick-built double oast house which is grade II listed. We’d recommend visiting on an autumnal day when the leaves are turning golden, perhaps on ‘Apple Day’ which is held in October. Other events include a folklore and fairy tale trail which is perfect for budding bookworms.

 

Sissinghurst Castle Garden

Cranbrook, Kent

Sissinghurst Oast House

460 acres of stunning Wealden countryside encase the majestic Sissinghurst castle and its famous gardens. Vita Sackville-West, a poet and writer and her husband Harold Nicolson (a Diplomat) fell in love with the estate and made it their home in 1930. In the years that followed they worked tirelessly to create the spectacular gardens that now draw thousands of visitors to the estate each year and are looked after by The National Trust. The castle and its grounds also housed plenty of secrets during Vita and Harold’s marriage, including numerous same sex love affairs, most notably between Vita and Virginia Woolf. A fantastic place to visit, especially to see the large oast house which is part of the sprawling gardens.

 

The Oast House
Bromyard, Herefordshire

The Oast House

The Oast House is an 18th-century brick built house, located on the Brockhampton estate, with its former hop kilns and barns still in place. If you fancy taking a break in Herefordshire, then staying at The Oast House is the perfect place to get your history fix. Take time to explore the neighbouring towns and National Trust properties which include The Weir Garden in Hereford, and Croome, a secret wartime air base in Worcester. The Oast house boasts 6 bedrooms and sleeps up to 10 people, which makes it the perfect family base for a UK ‘staycation’.

Inspired by these beautiful oast houses? Why not view some of our latest work restoring these national treasures.

All images are from The National Trust Website

Our Happy Customers

Richard & Sue Normanton – Oct 2017

How we brought this cowl back to life

Darren Hole’s company, Dude and Arnette, first came to our attention in w2006, when we were looking to replace our existing, very noisy, dilapidated cowl which had been in situ for only six years.

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