Rayburn cookers

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 I have noticed that people are once again buying Rayburn cookers. I learned to cook on a 1960's Rayburn Royale and have been interested in them since. I am about to have my oil heating system taken out and a Rayburn put in instead.
So I have been watching Rayburns on ebay and am a bit concerned. Sellers describing 50 and 60 year old models as "20 years old". Describing the Royale as "Suitable to run the central heating" or "will run up to 6 rads" when it won't do any such thing.
 So here is a bit of useful info to help you date the model which is being listed.I refer to solid fuel Rayburns in all cases.
Rayburn was started in 1946. That's when the first cookers were made. The original had no hotplate lid, had vertical handles and came only in the mottled cream colour. It came in the Rayburn number 1 and Number 2. The number 1 had one oven and was sold until about 1958 when it was remodelled and called the Rayburn Regent. The number 2 had 2 ovens and later was called the number 3 after a few improvements had been made. Still the same mottled cream colour and still no hotplate lid though.Then it was renamed and remodelled in about 1958, had a one piece hob cover, came with a back boiler as optional which would heat a tank full of domestic hot water and renamed the Royal.
It was available with or without a hot-water boiler and with left or right handed ovens, also available were optional extras such as the splash back, plate-rack, drip tray and a plinth to raise by the height by 3.75 inches. The standard boiler was plain cast iron, with the option of having it glass lined (enamelled) or of copper construction.

In 1968 the option of twin insulating covers were offered, before becoming standard.

During the 1970's the door handles were changed to the horizontal pattern and the flue damper was brought up above the hob, with a redesigned flue chamber.

By 1988, the left-hand oven option was discontinued.

The 1990's saw more colour options ,together with chrome plated insulating covers and were re-designated 200S & 212S. Later changes included slam catch oven doors.

From 2005 onwards, the flue damper moved to the front of the chamber and a positive catch was added to the fire door.

The royal will heat domestic hot water and maybe 1 or 2 single panel radiators. The Supreme will do hot water and possibly 6 radiators, the Nouvelle will also do hot water and roughly 6 radiators.
 The names Nouvelle and supreme were changed again in 1994 and renamed the 200,300 and 400 series.And in 1999 were reclassfied into cookmaster (coooker only) or heatranger (hot water, central heating and cooking).
There is also now a 400 series and the new ones which run on wood only however, I only wrote this guide to enable buyers to be able to date the older ones in the listing and avoid getting stung, buying something not up to the job or paying too much money for a 60 year old Rayburn mark one which is only fit for scrap.

 The other thing to be wary off is blown hot water boilers. If the Rayburn has been run without being connected to the hot water system, then the boiler will need replacing (very very expensive). If the Rayburn has been run correctly, but taken out of the kitchen and stood in a garage or barn for a few months, the water left standing in the boiler will start corroding it. Again a replacement one needed.
So buyers, don't end up paying nearly £700 for an ancient 55 years old Royal worth only £100 at most, check out the models, look at the pictures and decide for yourself whether the seller knows the date of the Rayburn he is selling or merely stating what he thinks will be acceptable.
 Incidentally, if a seller regularly sells reconditioned Rayburns, by law he HAS to ensure that he replaces the boiler.He is not allowed to sell one unless the boiler has been replaced. I had this information direct from the MD of a large solid fuel stove retailer near where I live.No good saying that he isn't a retailer of them if he sells more than one.
 The Rayburn solid fuel cooker has to be one of the most environmentally friendly ways to heat your home. I shall be in the market for a Nouvelle or similar at some point before next winter. If you have a source of free or cheap wood, so much the better.I do, and for just a little effort I will be able to cook , heat the house, have as much hot water as I want, plus dry laundry over it by means of a laundry pulley or 'kitchen maid' which you can still buy new. So throw out your tumble dryer and electric cooker cos now you're cooking on Rayburn!!
 For further useful info, stockist lists, techie stuff and info on new Rayburn models, including gas and oil ones, see the Rayburn-web website.

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