Ellis Patents’ tool-room manager, Mark Angus likes to think big in his spare time. His hobby? Building steam engines in his backyard.
Over the last eight years Mark’s been working on a full-scale replica of a Foster steam engine, which was originally built by William Foster & Co in Lincoln in the early 20th century. The end result is a 4½ tonne, fully functioning replica that has been registered by the DVLA meaning it can be driven on the road.
Mark said: “I’ve been fascinated by steam engines ever since I was at school, and building them was something I day-dreamed about when everyone else in my class was undoubtedly dreaming of scoring the winning goal in the Cup Final at Wembley.” “Sensibly, I started small, building four miniature engines before stepping up to a 6” scale model of a McLaren traction engine that I finished in 2014.
When that was achieved, I think my family hoped that would be the end of my obsession but I already had the Foster in mind.” With the exception of drawings and the engine’s boiler, Mark did the entire build at home, including machining all the castings and components.
His daughters, Tilly and Jessica helped out with the work and are commemorated on a plaque on the engine that reads “M Angus & Daughters Engineers.” Since finishing the Foster, Mark has been travelling around country shows and steam rallies showing off handiwork to admiring audiences.
“The top speed of the Foster is eight miles per hour so you really do have to plan ahead when agreeing to go anywhere,” added Mark. “We went all the way to Masham a few weeks ago but thankfully hitched a lift on a low loader, otherwise we’d still be on our way home!” And Mark’s next project? “There’ll definitely be something but I’ve not yet decided on what it’ll be.
I’d just make a note to check in with me in around eight years’ time and see what I’ve come up with.” Ellis Patents is the world’s leading cable cleat manufacturer. Its Yorkshire designed and manufactured products are in demand around the globe and are currently exported into 50 different countries where they are used to secured high voltage electrical cables in oil, gas, power and infrastructure projects.