SIMON BOWDITCH
Simon Bowditch

Simon was born in Taunton in 1950 and received his secondary education at Wellington School during the 1960's. He next spent a period of three years at St. Luke's College, Exeter where he received his formal art training and then spent the next 34 years working as a teacher, specialising in the area of the education of children with learning difficulties.

Simon drew his first recognisable railway engine at the age of two and half and his drawing style began to emerge when he attempted to forge a ten-shilling note using a red ballpoint pen. He discovered the potential of technical drawing pens while working in a holiday job with Somerset County Architects Department and now creates most of his drawings using this media. The discerning enthusiast demands every detail to be correct which means every subject must be very thoroughly researched. The realisation of each picture can run into hundreds of hours of painstaking work. Simon has been privileged to have received commissions from members of the Bulleid family, various railway societies and the model engineering press.

The artist's lifetime interest in railways is a result of being born into a railway family and he was privileged to have travelled widely over the pre Beeching West Country railway network. He is a founder member of The West Somerset Railway Association and was one of the support crew with The 6000 Locomotive Association in 1971 on the original Return to Steam Rail Tour with G.W.R. "King" Class 4-6-0 "King George V".

His fascination with the steam locomotive has led him into model engineering being a past chairman of two large model engineering societies. He has been responsible for the design of several miniature steam locomotives and has developed a special interest in locomotive valve gear and valve events. He became a born again biker in 1998 and has restored two old British bikes.

Simon joined the Guild of Railway Artists in 1988 as an associate member and became a full member in 1999. He has exhibited with the guild at Rail Art Exhibitions including such locations as The National Railway Museum at York and Steam at Swindon. He has had several one man exhibitions and has also exhibited with other members of the guild at various locations in the West of England. Since retiring from teaching in 2006 Simon worked for five years as a part time member of the staff of The Longleat Railway. He now works on commissions and contributes articles to the model engineering press when he is not in his workshop.