A North Cumbria engineering firm is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

When their bosses at Complete Engineering asked them to come up with ideas to celebrate the event, Toby Theobald and David Israel put their heads together to come up with something unique.

Initially tasked to design with branded clothing to commemorate the event, the pair went a step further and delved into the history of the firm, which is based near Carlisle.

They produced a booklet and video which charts the firm’s story since it was founded in 1998 by managing directors Andrew Monkhouse and Alan Walker.

The managing directors were unaware that the book was being produced so Toby, an apprentice in office administration, and David cleaner and handyman at the workshops at Holme End Farm near Crosby-on-Eden, made a surprise presentation.

David, 59, of Carlisle, said: "They were flabbergasted. They were that chuffed that they decided to have it made up into a magazine and video for customers and clients.”

Man behind the two-and-a-half-minute video was 20-year-old Toby from Brampton who is responsible for Complete Engineering’s website and social media.

He said: “I enjoyed doing it and was good to give them a surprise. It is a good firm to work for and invests in apprenticeships like myself.

"The vast majority of our staff came as apprentices and stayed on. We have a loyal workforce.”

Part of the magazine focuses on the floods of 2005 and 20015 when the engineering works were badly hit.

“The company was devastated by the floodwater, but the workers got together to help clean up and get us working again as did customers and suppliers who provided us with support and resources, so we could carry on,” said David.

The magazine also looks at Complete Engineering’s involvement in the Fox 1 car project shortly after the company opened in 1998 when three businessmen approached Andrew and Alan to develop an electric car with a budget of £750.

They received the initial plans on two sheets of plywood with the running gear supplied by Nissan.

David said: “By the end of the development the team had a fully functioning electric car capable of accelerating from zero to 60mph in around 10 seconds. The car is still in storage to this day.”

Andrew and Alan, both 51, were delighted with the work done by David and Toby.

Andrew said: "We expected them to come up with T-shirts, jackets and other memorabilia but they took over the project which was good for us as we are busy running the company.

“Both the magazine and video show our customers the journey we have been on over the past 20 years.”

Complete Engineering began in a byre at Holme End Farm when Andrew and Alan decided to set up on their own.

Both had worked in engineering in Carlisle including a spell together at the Kangol seatbelt factory in Denton Holme.

Initially working 80 to 90 hours a week they developed the company building the workforce up to the 16-strong team they have today.

Their big break came in 2003 when, because of their specialist knowledge of the Kangol production lines, they were asked to dismantle equipment for Allied Signals – who at that time owned part of site – and transport it to Turin in Italy where it was to be rebuilt in a factory over there.

“It was massive two-year contract which actually lasted for three,” said Alan.

“We were the only people they could trust to work that machinery, so we were going out there two to three days a week for around a year.

“The money we made from that work was reinvested back into our company and enabled us to develop and take on more staff.”