Shropshire man creates stunning Coronation train tribute to King Charles III
A former railway worker is getting up steam after designing and building his very own royal train to mark the coronation of King Charles III.
Vin Wardman, 90, from Craven Arms, started making the royal train, which is built around a mobility scooter, in November, and has finally completed it in time for the celebrations.
A full-time carer for his wife, Phyllis, Vin has always enjoyed making models and at one time was a member of Craven Arms Model Railway group.
The father-of-two, who has one grandchild and two great-grandchildren, has created the six-feet six-inch long body shell for the train from household items.
He said: "It is made from a pedal bin from the kitchen which acts as a boiler and I have used gold tops from coffee pots on the wheel arches.
"I have also used brass knobs from a neighbour's fire fender.
"There are also some barley-twist brass knobs which I got from a fire guard which was going to the tip."
He added: "I have placed the front of the engine on the front of the scooter and the tender is built around the seat.
"There is a Pullman coach behind and on that is written The Royal Train.
"I started in November and cannot say how long it has taken as I have spent half-an-hour here and half-an-hour there when I could."
Vin explained: "I was also held up by the cold weather but have finally finished and hope to take it for a road trip down into Craven Arms and Tuffins store before Coronation Day.
"I have made another body shell based on the Mallard, the locomotive which set the record for travelling from Land's End to Scotland, and made one for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee and one of the Flying Scotsman.
"Making the trains to fit around the mobility scooter has now become a bit like pulling on a new hat and coat."
Vin has a history associated with the railway, having worked as a linesman and plate-layer on the Central Wales line, from Craven Arms to Broome. He started work in January 1955 when he was 23-years-old and earning £6 and 4 shillings a week.
In 1960 he went as a sub-ganger on the main Hereford to Shrewsbury Line for British Rail at Leebotwood before getting a job in Church Stretton.
He then went as a time-keeper in the Permanent Way Office at Shrewsbury and then returned to work on the track before taking a desk job and retiring in 1974.
Vin then went to work as a checker, loading lorries at the Chuckie Chicken factory and also worked part-time as an antique dealer.
He said: "It was after learning about a man who made lorries from mobility scooters that I decided to have a go at making cabs which led to me making a train."