I'm not sure I could still solder with the old style hot electric poker. my father was taught to use what was basically a large lump of copper with a handle that he put in the kitchen wood stove to make it hot. He had one big soldering iron and one very big soldering iron. never have worked out why a lump of copper is called a soldering 'iron'. I watched him plenty of times, but it was well beyond my skills......
The old way of cleaning a soldering iron tip was to wipe it on a damp sponge, which is that yellow thing in the soldering iron stand. Some years ago I changed to using what is basically a brass scouring pad. It keeps the tip clean as a whistle, scrapes off excess solder and doesn't affect the tip temperature, or the tip coating.
Mine is made in Japan and came from a local supplier. It looks like this, but I would think the equivalent is available in the UK from electronics suppliers.
https://www.jaycar.com.au/goot-solderin ... r/p/TS1510
Don't be tempted to use a cheap stainless steel scourer from the supermarket, it is hard enough to damage the iron coating on the copper soldering tip. The iron coating is there to stop the copper tip dissolving into the solder.
If you will be soldering whitemetal as well as electrical work, get a separate tip for the lowmelt solder. If the two solders mix, you can get brittle soldered joints.