Hartlepool mechanic’s bright ideas go around world

Neville Heron with a piston book end.
Neville Heron with a piston book end.

A MECHANIC turned thrift-transforming connoisseur is brumming with delight after a twist of fate saw his environmentally-friendly creations from his Hartlepool workshop sent to destinations around the globe.

Talented Neville Herron first appeared in the Hartlepool Mail at the turn of the year with his fledgling idea of turning scrap car parts into unique lamps.

An engine block that serves as a table and wine rack.

An engine block that serves as a table and wine rack.

The old car parts were lying in an ugly pile in the corner of his town workshop – where he made a living as a self-employed mechanic at Reconditioned Turbos, off Brenda Road.

The 46-year-old transformed the rubbish into bespoke lights and ornaments and word soon spread locally about his products, and he branched out and launched the Den of Uniquity for his recycled designs.

But after appearing in the Mail and on our website, his business idea caught the eye of a journalist working for a kitchen company magazine.

She inquired about the lamps and other accessories but decided they were not suitable for the firm she worked for.

A twist of fate though, saw the journalist attend a London party where her bag was stolen.

Another guest at the same bash happened to be the editor of Top Gear magazine who quickly organised a whip round to get the journalist home safely.

Afterwards, she thought one of Neville’s town-constructed lamps would be the perfect thank you gift, and sent one to the magiazine’s editor for his kindness.

He tweeted a picture of the lamp, and printed details of Neville’s Den of Uniquity business, which he found on a business card accompanying the lamp, in the BBC-owned Top Gear magazine, which has a circulation of 150,000 per month worldwide.

Since then Neville has taken orders from customers in Singapore, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and India, as well as dozens of others from around the UK.

Neville, from said: “When the first article appeared in the Hartlepool Mail, the response we had was fantastic response and it was picked up by a journalist who works for a kitchen magazine, although it turned out our stuff wasn’t right for the company.

“She kept our details and she attended a party in London, and unfortunately for her had her bag stolen.

“The editor of Top Gear magazine was there and he organised a whip round to get her home safely in a taxi.

“As a thank you she bought him one of our lamps and sent it to him.

“When he got the lamp he put it on Twitter and it went crazy. They got our details off a business card that was with the lamp and said what a great recycling idea it was, and all the details went into the Top Gear magazine.”

Neville, who has a partner, Lucy Patterson, 35, a recruitment agency owner, added: “We couldn’t believe it! it was very unfortunate for the journalist but very fortunate for us. As a result of that turn of events there has been a lot more activity, with over 30 orders sent around the world.

“I really never thought it would end up like this, it’s just been mental.

“Hopefully in the future i might have to look at taking somebody else on but we’ll see how it goes.”

Clever Neville’s range has now expanded into making tables out of old gear boxes and cyclinder heads, motor bike engines, and even washing machine drums.

He also creates piston book ends, a whole range of lights for desks, bedside tables, and lounges, and bathroom and kitchen accessories.