David’s number one passion is for miniature steam models and toys. He acquired his first steam engine when his was just 14 and it is still a keen favourite today that can be seen running well at our Kelham club meetings. In recent years his collection has expanded to such an extent that there’s no space to run them all at home. As a self-confessed steam addict Dave love telling young and old all about the models and how they work.
His collections include miniature traction engines and steam rollers, steam cars, stationary engines and novelty sterling engines (one of which runs on a hot cup of tea). Over the years he’s restored and modified all kinds of models and has several big displays including a fairground and a model tooling workshop. The idea of these models is to show people especially the youngsters all about our steam heritage and what we Steam power did for us in the past and still does for us today in many places.
Dave is working hard with his friends at the Kelham Island club to add more animated displays that can entertain and instruct and the hope is as time goes on more of these can be controlled and operated by the public. We have all kinds of ideas for future projects as time and resources permit. These include a Steam Fire Engine putting out a fire : A traditional steam driven pit head winding gear: a classic car garage and a little misters grinding and polishing workshop. As with our current models we often cheat and motorising the displays for indoor continuous use, we still aim to have live steam outdoor displays in action whenever the Sun is out and the weather is kind to us.
When Dave is not meddling with steam engines he can often be found construct other models and is a keen fan of Lego, Meccano, and wooden automata toys. Also as a slide line he enjoys digital electronics and computers so his friend Alan frequently keeps him busy repairing the electronics in his model fairground collectables. The models take some hammer when we are transporting them to displays and running them for hours on end so there’s always something needing a little care and attention. Like Andy often says the older something usually the better it’s made, so hopefully between our group we can keep things running forever.