Agricultural Engineer Steve Methven

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Steve Methven became an apprentice Agricultural Engineer at South Shropshire Farmers in Hereford in 1971.  It was a fantastic apprenticeship with blocks of ten weeks spent in the classroom covering everything from electrics to blacksmithing. In 1976 Steve returned home to start his own business. Tucked away in an old pig shed in a rural farming community, he started by repairing tractors and farm machinery. This soon progressed to designing and making farm machinery for local farmers.  After three years Steve took on his first employee.

For several years in the 1980’s Steve helped out at Votex, manufacturers of Mowers, in Hereford.  He enjoyed travelling to Japan and Holland to repair machinery.  By 1992 he was back working full time for himself.  It was in the early 1990’s that Steve did an Open University Course in Computing and Maths.  It was incredibly useful for his business. As well as using the maths and trigonometry every day in his design work; it helped keep abreast of the changes in the technology of machinery and equipment.

“Every day is different and each job is different.  No two are ever the same, each one has its own unique attributes.”

Steve has a team of up to seven people working for him at any one time.  He is very relaxed about working hours which allows his team to balance other work commitments and family life.  Currently Steve’s nephew Paul Parry, and his sister in law Brigid Smith are working for him.

Steve is Louise’s uncle.  Known locally as ‘the man who can walk on water’ for his engineering, it was only natural that when Louise needed some wheels made for the Woodee Log Trolley that she turned to him.  When she couldn’t get locally made nozzles for the Bellows it was Steve who handmade them for her.  So when she was designing the Woodee Fire Pits it was again Steve who Louise turned to.  Working together from Louise’s plans and designs they made the first prototype.  Paul and Brigid now make each Fire Pit between them.  It’s a great family collaboration.