AN ENGINEER with an unusual hobby ended up ‘on location’ at a TV production set last year and the results of his hobby will be visible in a later episode of Great Expectations.

Kevin Meade makes cannons in a small workshop in Berwick St. John.

Salisbury Journal: Image: Kevin MeadeImage: Kevin Meade (Image: Kevin Meade)

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As a young child, he found inspiration through a local film company and became interested in muskets and cannons. 

Later, he began to make cannons which he now uses for weddings and funerals.

The cannons have also been fired in the village.  

Kevin said: “It draws the crowds and really makes people smile.”

When young, Kevin had the opportunity to be at Pinewood Studios when Dad’s Army was filmed and admitted that he would enjoy doing more film sets if the opportunity arose.

Salisbury Journal: Image: Kevin MeadeImage: Kevin Meade (Image: Kevin Meade)

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Having uploaded information about his cannons onto a specialist website, Kevin was contacted by the BBC who wanted to hire the cannon for scenes in the new TV series Great Expectations.

Kevin negotiated a price but then realised that no one on the set would have the appropriate licence, so he travelled to High Wycombe and remained with the cannon on set.  

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Kevin said: “I stayed in a hotel overnight and on the second day, I was on the set until about 9pm. It is quite an experience and kept me entertained.”

To make the cannons, he buys steel with a pre-made hole and then, uses a lathe to create the right shape.

The whole process can take three to four weeks of full-time work before it is completed, and Kevin says it is a labour of love. 

Kevin added: “I make mine the old-fashioned way and it can be quite dangerous. I have sideburns and there is a reason they are called that. Mine were set alight once when working on the cannon. They disintegrated.”

Great Expectations is on BBC1 on Sunday night at 9pm