Former shepherd transforms garden into Wild West frontier

David Bull, tending to his Wild West-inspired garden in Hethersett.

David Bull, tending to his Wild West-inspired garden in Hethersett. - Credit: Peter Steward

A former shepherd and railroad enthusiast has transformed his south Norfolk garden into an American Wild West frontier.

David Bull has turned his outdoor space in Hethersett into a replica of the Davy Crockett-inspired frontier landscape from 200 years ago.

 Mr Bull has made a replica of a western town and its railway from the 19th century in his workshop and he has put a miniature steam train outside.

He said: “I have always been interested in the Wild West and American trains."

A miniature train in David Bull's garden in Hethersett.

A miniature train in David Bull's garden in Hethersett. - Credit: Peter Steward

The current outdoor set-up features his third track, with a number of freight-hauling engines along with an Iron Horse which transported passengers along the White Pass and Yukon Route in Canada, a Milwaukee Caboose and an American Shay Locomotive.

To add a touch of beauty, Mr Bull has also set-up a central floral display which has met with the approval of his wife Jane.

He finds more time to spend on his hobby now that illness has forced him to give up his job as an upholsterer.

David Bull in his Wild West-inspired garden in Hethersett.

David Bull in his Wild West-inspired garden in Hethersett. - Credit: Peter Steward

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After leaving school, he worked as a shepherd for a while at Wilby, before joining the Norwich Firm of Arthur Brett and Sons Ltd, furniture manufacturers.

It was there that he became foreman of the upholstery shop and played a part in a slice of British history when he made two settees and a love seat for one of the state rooms in 10 Downing Street when Margaret Thatcher was prime minister.

Mr Bull decided to branch out on his own and, for decades, took on commissions which included making horsehair mattresses for the multi Oscar-winning film The English Patient.

After that he found himself inundated with work.

“It was all word of mouth. I never had to advertise,” he said.

David and Jane Bull in their Wild West-inspired garden in Hethersett.

David and Jane Bull in their Wild West-inspired garden in Hethersett. - Credit: Peter Steward

The former upholsterer was forced to give up business when he was struck down with shingles – something he is still recovering from.

A large part of his life is now taken up with building and keeping his railways running.

Mr Bull added: “I do enjoy waking up in the morning knowing I haven’t got anything specific to do, but I’m certainly not idle."