what we really needed was a little bit of kitchen worktop just beside the cooker. So off I went to possibly my favourite place in Brighton, The Wood Store (http://www.woodrecycling.org.uk) to find a suitable piece of wood.
Lo and behold, scaffold planks are the perfect size, give or take a millimetre. I chose a piece with the hoop iron (or nail plate) still attached. Used scaffold planks are 70p per foot rough and £5 per foot sanded, so I chose a fairly decent piece of rough wood and sanded it myself by hand. I also found four spindles from an old staircase at the Wood Store which looked about right for a pound each.
I nailed the spindles in place, and replaced a couple of missing nails through the hoop iron. The spindles were exactly the right height for the world's smallest, tallest table to sit perfectly next to the cooker. I then glued it to the wall and sealed the side and back with some waterproof sealant to make it extra strong, and finished the surface with three layers of Danish oil.
The total cost of the project was under six pounds. The wood is such a lovely texture and colour now that I really am tempted to go the whole hog and replace our mismatched kitchen worktops with more scaffold planks!