SRS Blog > Who's who at SRS - and a

Published 2nd May 2009

The way the place works at present is Geoff handles much of the detail design for new build engines, he's the expert on CAD and CNC programming and a fine machinist.

Mrs P handles everything from point of sale onwards - if you ring up to place an order, check on how much shipping would cost or ask when your parcel left here, she's the person you need. Usually in the office (01526 328772) unless patrolling the workshop on one of her frequent visits, either measuring and weighing engines ready for despatch or checking that Geoff and I are actually doing something useful.

Jenny handles all of the office/financial stuff - pays the bills, sorts out the payroll, keeps the books in order, files the VAT returns and sorts out the tax man at the end of the year. This is a recent development, something I've always done myself so I'm currently the back seat driver from hell (which is pretty silly because a) I don't have time to be checking what she's doing and b) she's better at it than I am anyway).

Kevin does most of the driving these days, he's the chap you'll most likely see either delivering or collecting an engine - in the last week he's been out to Norwich to deliver a 4 inch Garrett, Peterborough to drop off a 3 inch Simplicity roller (picking up a 4 1/2 inch Burrell on the way back) and down to Northampton to drop off an engine and collect the 5 inch gauge locomotive which has come back in part exchange. All done in a long wheelbase Transit that will swallow up a pair of 4 inch scale traction engines with ease (and, it must be said, with great good humour on his part, which is pretty much vital working here).

A local engineer, knowledgeable about steam engines, past-owner of a 4 inch Fowler Showmans engine and currently building a 6 inch scale Fowler comes in part-time. During the hours he's here engines are cleaned, serviced, steamed, critically assessed in his own inimitable way, repaired if necessary and usually, in the case of traction engines, given a spirited run around the estate. All this plus he can drive the fork truck without dropping anything and makes a good cup of tea. So we miss him when he's not here.

For my sins these days I'm effectively the odd job man - quite a lot of tidying up in the workshop, an unconscionable amount of time answering the phone and emails, programming and running the machining centre when needed, trying to get plans finished for the new workshop which is to be built... it goes on.

All of which probably sounds fairly well sorted, although we still end upwith backlogs of engines to be serviced, repair work to be done, emails and phone calls to be answered (as you may know if you've tried to call me recently). We are still short at least one full time person in the workshop and probably another part timer (or possibly two half-time people).

So, if you know somebody who is passionate about steam engines (we talk about little else here), makes a good cup of tea, can drive a van (and, preferably, a fork truck), doesn't talk about football, can steam an engine and knows how an injector works, knows anything about modern production machining (or thinks they would like to learn), has only the haziest idea of what a bank holiday is (although Geoff and I invariably take Christmas Day off), can tolerate radio 4 in the workshop (I could be flexible about this, although The Archers after lunch is non-negotiable) - then let me know.

Given that it may be a little unrealistic finding somebody with everything listed above, I'd settle for somebody honest who likes steam engines and would be prepared to work hard to learn the rest.