Father-of-two is driven by steam

Father-of-two is driven by steam

STEAMING AHEAD: Mark Angus with his pride and joy.

ALL ABOARD: Mark gives Ellis managing director Richard Shaw a ride on his home-made steam engine.

FAMILY PRIDE: Mark didn't forget the help he had from his daughters.

First published in News Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by

A PASSION for steam has driven father-of-two Mark Angus into an extraordinary hobby – building steam engines from scratch.

The 41-year-old started building miniature engines when still a schoolboy but in 2006 he set his sights a little bit higher.

And now, after eight years, a large chunk of money and a lot of blood, sweat and tears he has finally completed his project, working in the backyard of his home in Scampston, North Yorkshire.

The fully-functioning steam engine is a scale model of the 10hp McLaren traction engine, which was last manufactured in Leeds by J&H McLaren in 1910.

It weighs in at astonishing 3,000kg and on a full day uses up to 60kg of coal and 300-litres of water.

With the exception of the drawings, some castings, and the boiler, he created and built everything else at home – although he did have help from his daughters.

And the efforts of Tilly, eight, and Jessica, six, are commemorated on a plaque on the engine that reads “M Angus & Daughters Engineers – Scampston.”

Mark, who works as the tool-room manager at Ellis Pate4nts in nearby Rillington, said: “I’ve been fascinated by steam and engines ever since I was at school, and building my own one has always been a dream.

“Sensibly I started out small, but after four miniature successes I wanted to go for a one that I could take to the roads on – and now that it’s complete and fully operational I’m absolutely over the moon.”

The father and daughter team now travel around nearby country shows and steam rallies showing of their handiwork to admiring audiences.

But even now Mark is thinking of his next ambitious project.

“I’ve got a full size engine in my sight. I just need to build up a full head of steam before I start work on it,” he said.

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