A DREAM has come true for a creative engineering enthusiast.

Richard Phizacklea, aged 27, from Ellesmere Road, Culcheth, yearned to be his own boss and master the art of welding.

He quit his job in banking and now designs and manufactures ornate weathervanes, house and business signs, window boxes, and hanging basket brackets.

Former Culcheth High School pupil Richard said: “I’ve always loved technology, classic cars and engineering.

“From an early age I’ve wanted to learn to weld and run my own business.”

He met his partner Jenny Reed, aged 27, on an evening welding course and they now run their own company, Black Fox Metalcraft, from a workshop in Failsworth, Manchester.

Richard said: “It’s a lot of hard work but I’m really enjoying it.

“In banking it was target driven and very stressful. It didn’t give any job satisfaction.

“This is such a transtion, it is fantastic to be able to custom design something. You have an idea early on what it will look like. It is all handmade. When you see the finished piece, it’s really rewarding.”

Jenny, a designer, artist and welder, said: “The biggest inspiration for our designs is the environment around us. The shapes and forms found in nature lend themselves perfectly to decorative metalwork.

“Our passion for Gothic and Victorian architecture is also evident in our products.”

They have completed commissions for classic car enthusiasts, animal lovers and flower arrangers, designing bespoke signs and stands.

Richard added: “Starting a business during a recession seemed like a mad idea but it has opened up opportunities and we have been surprised by the support available.

“We have lots of ideas and eventually hope to do one off sculptures and stained glass work.”