Clifton pylon painter set to launch street food van – in a former caravan

A man who paints pylons for a living will be swapping his paintbrush for a spatula to launch a street food van called the Working Man’s Kitchen.

Paddy Sneath will be using a converted caravan – a 1983 Lunar Sunbeam – which would once have been used for holidaying.

It has been converted into a kitchen and, once a wood-fired pizza oven has been installed, Paddy will be ready to hit the road.

“I bought it from a guy in Bradford and he’d converted it on the inside already and decided he didn’t want to do it anymore,” he said.

“He’d used it five times and it’s absolutely immaculate but it looked dated so we have jazzed it up a bit.”

The 34-year-old, who lives in Clifton, is planning a menu including smashed burgers, chicken burgers and pizza.

“I’m going to make the menu vary, seasonal and I’ll just go with it, just street food,” he said.

Life as a pylon painter has taken him to London for six weeks and, before that, Wales. Soon he’ll be off to Scotland and Runcorn, where, as always, he’ll be the one cooking for his workmates.



Pylon painter Paddy Sneath.
Pylon painter Paddy Sneath.

“We stay in Airbnb, hotels, and caravan parks. I try and get somewhere with a kitchen. I’ve cooked fajitas, lasagne, spaghetti bolognese, homemade pizzas, burgers, whatever they fancy while we’re at work and then after work they go ‘right then Paddy, knock some food up’.

“I have always cooked. My mum and dad always cooked. My dad loves cooking and I was like a shadow next to him constantly in the kitchen and it’s something I have always loved doing.

“I cook at home. When I socialise with my parents and my family, nine times out of 10 they’ll come round here and I’ll cook, or I’ll go to them and I’ll jump in their kitchen and cook. It’s just something I’m really passionate about.”

Paddy, who was this week doing a food hygiene course, is hoping to start off with pop-ups in pub car parks and then move on to festivals, markets and events such as weddings or birthday parties.

The father-of-two is hoping to eventually make it his full-time job and one bonus is he won’t be away from home for long periods, allowing him to spend more time with his wife Amy and two children.

“She’s buzzing, She can’t wait. My wife is a carer for our youngest daughter and I work away, so she’s excited to get me home and it’s something we can both do together.”

The new business is named after Paddy’s Instagram page where he has posted some of his recipes.

Paddy said: “I started the page a couple of years ago. I’ve wanted to have a food truck ever since I can remember. I’m going to slowly take my time and hopefully go full time in the near future if I can.

“Before painting pylons I was a bus driver – the NCT bus to Gotham and university bus. For my next job I try and make it as different as possible – that’s want it seems like.

“For painting a pylon it’s strapping four cans of paint on my waist, climbing up harnessed on a rope with paint on my hip and a paintbrush all the way. We did the Dartford Crossing pylons and they were about 650ft so we go really high.

“Cooking is something I love and I’m hoping it doesn’t feel like a job. Because it’s something I feel passionate about I want to go to work every day with a smile on my face and relax.”