The genius behind Minehead’s ‘Metalheads Trail’ has opened his workshop doors to support and train prospective metalworkers in Somerset.
Steven Heard, a self-taught welder who began creating metal figures out of his back garden over the COVID lockdown, is now offering a four-day course during which participants can create their own Metalhead.
The ex-carpenter is profoundly deaf and was forced to retire a decade ago after suffering vertigo symptoms from Meniere’s Disease.
After struggling with his mental health at the start of the pandemic, Steven set his sights on “cheering up” his local town.
Steven said: “When the first lockdown happened, I was at home for a month before I thought I want to do something that has never been done before.
“I wanted to put Minehead on the map. So I thought, Metalheads.”
The 54-year-old started his collection with a tractor-driving farmer and has recently added pigs to the feature outside the Old Hospital.
“One day, I went out looking for coffee and I saw the expression on people’s face when they walked past the Metalheads,” added Steven.
“They were taking pictures and the children loved it. If it puts money in the till to keep the local shop going then I have done fantastic.”
Inspired by his walk, Steven embarked on a whirlwind of welding that has resulted in the creation of over 160 figures.
The wild success of the quirky characters has led to the foundation of The Original Metalheads Company, transforming Steven’s hobby into a professional organisation.
The aim is two-fold: to handle a recent influx of requests to learn welding under Steven’s tuition and to ensure profits from the Metalhead sales are reinvested or shared with charities across Minehead.
For prospective welders eager to learn the tricks of the trade in Steven’s workshop, he assured that each experience comes with an individual Metalhead.
Steven said: “They make their own Metalhead, it takes around four days and they are then able to take it home.
“The money from the sessions goes towards the business running costs, there are no wages coming out. Any profit remaining, me and whoever will decide which charity it will go to.”
For further information on The Original Metalheads Company models for sale or sessions available, click here.