From an early age, steam power always fascinated me. Like most children, it started with looking and listening to others who had a passion for steam locomotives. For myself, this was my father (a tool maker with a local company). His passion was steam locomotives, which led him to build a 5” gauge tank engine called 'Ruby'. He showed me how it all went together with minute engineering and precision workmanship. It felt so good to be able to see it running after hours and hours of work, a true labour of love. This gave me my first insight into the satisfaction that can be gained from precision engineering and was to inspire bigger and better projects over the years to come. But I still had a lot to learn.
During my teenage years I worked as a volunteer at the 'Severn Valley Railway' working on the full size locomotives in the motive power department. I spent many hours watching and learning from the experienced engineers. My passion to learn how steam enabled these massive engines to move developed my skills and I was soon working alongside the engineers, spending hot summer months maintaining and fixing both coaches and engines. Learning the internal and external workings of engines such as Hall’s, Jubilee’s and Standard Tank’s
As with many lives, responsibilities came along and with this came engineering college and then family. I worked for some time in other industries but all the time I would be tinkering alongside my father in the garden shed workshops.
When the opportunity came along to run my own 7 1/4" gauge railway, I grasped it with both hands. This gave me my first taste of running my own business and the joy of working day in and day out with miniature railways. Very soon, other engine owners were asking for my advice on all sorts of problems and aspects of miniature engineering; from building and repairing engines, to what coaches would be suitable for a certain locomotive and the best layout of tracks. My inquisitive and helpful nature often led me to working alongside others to complete their projects and I have built up some great friendships from these early days.
It soon became apparent that my skills and passion lay in the manufacturing of these miniature miracles of steam and it was at this time that I decided to turn this side of my interest into a business. I no longer wanted to just run a small railway I wanted to help others build, model and engineer their entire projects. I had the skills, the contacts and the knowledge. Thus was born Denver Light Railway Ltd.
I am very pleased to say that Denver Light Railway Ltd has completed projects now running in countries as far away as The United States of America. I have laid tracks for zoos and have maintenance contracts for garden centres.
On a more personal note, my second greatest achievement (my first greatest was having my children, both of whom I am extremely proud of) is the completion of my father’s Denver Rio Grande C19. Having started the build in 2005 we worked together for many hours, painstakingly modelling each individual part. Unfortunately my father passed away in 2014 never seeing the finished engine. I completed the engine in his memory and it ran for the first time in February 2015.
Denver Light Railway Ltd has grown from a love of steam power. I hope to continue a managed growth, always remembering and acknowledging the history and power of steam. I am fortunate to be able to work every day with what interests me most, this is my dream come true. Please take a look at some of the work we have done and I hope that you will give us the opportunity to help make the ideas and projects you dream about come to life.
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