My name is Steve Bingham.
I was born on 30th April 1954 and have lived in Stourbridge for around 36 years
I've allways been interested in mechanical things, It must of been from the time my dad bought me a nut and bolt to play with when I was 3 years old. During my school days I could not wait for the Summer Hollidays to come so I could go and spend time with my Dad down the yard (F.C. Brown of Lye) I would love to travel in the Guy Lorry to collect the scrap. In his spare time my Dad built a Go-Kart for me to race around the yard on Sunday mornings, but this did not last long before it broke the chassis. I think I had further two Go-Karts after that. I was 7 years old when I drove my first car (a 1940's Ruby) I also drove the 10 ton rear steering Mobil Crane. I bought my first car when I was 15 a 1959 Morris Minor, which had been writton off in an acciedent, but with help from my Dad we restored the car. I went to work as an aprentice motor mechanic for Layland Brothers in Hayes Lane, Lye. At 17 I started driving on the road as a Learner in my Morris untill I passed my test in 1973. I kept the Morris Minor till I was 21 and replaced the car with something a bit modern, like a MK 1 Ford Escort.
When I was 18 I started helping out as a mechanic on a Stock Car that raced at Grimley Gravel pits at Worcester, the car was a Ford Anglia called "The Ant Hill
Mob" and was owned by a small group of mecanics who worked at Lex Motor Company in Stourbridge. At 21 I changed jobs and worked as a mechanic for Lex Motor Company, In our spare time we worked on the stock car then raced it on Sundays. It was great fun, this is were I REALY Leared to drive !
We Built and raced these many cars till about 1974, When we were looking at something a little better, We started going to Hednesford Hills Raceway in Cannock.
This is where we watched 1/4 mile ovel racing, thinking we would build ourselves a Hot Rod racing car, but alass it did not happen !
Somehow we decieded to go to Santa-Pod Raceway in Northampton one August Bank Holliday Monday in 1975 to watch Drag Racing, and straight away we were all hooked !
By 1976 we had built our first Dragster and was racing it on the 1/4 mile strip.
I was involved in this sport till around 1992.
In the meantime I got Married in 1988 and moved to Furlong Lane, Cradley.
In 1992 We moved to a Lock Keepers Cottage at Parkhead Locks, Dudley. This Cottage had to be restored before we could move in.
I then joined a canal restoration group called Dudley Canal Trust as a member to start with then became a committee member in 1996, now I'm in the position of Vice Chairman.
Dudley Canal Trust run the tripboats in the Limestone Caverns off the Birmingham New Road, Tipton and also operate from the Black Country Living Museum, Tipton. D.C.T. also own two Historic Working Boats.....One is a 40ft Tug built in 1934 called "BITTELL". The other is a 70ft boat built in 1935 called "SAGITTA" I have done work on Both these boats. Plus other privatly owned narrowboats.
Since closing the yard (F.C.Brown) down in 2005 and rented out the yard to our tennants. Having built my own workshop around the back, I have since gone Self Employed working as a cartaker for the yard. In my spare time I do restore mechanical things like Vintage and classic vehicles, plus working on Historic Narrowboats, plus doing Canal and Steam Events around the country.