As a qualified engineer working for the past 20 years for housing associations, DAMHA’s new Technical Inspector Dave Nelson has a wide range of experience – and that includes dancing with Bananarama.
When Dave was studying for his engineering qualifications he earned some extra cash by working part-time as a club doorman and this led to an opportunity to move into nightclub management.
He decided to take a few years out from the building trade to give it a go and found himself running a number of clubs across the country, including London’s Hammersmith Palais for a time.
“I met a lot of the big names on the club circuit at that time including Sinitta and Robbie Williams and one night found myself dancing with Bananarama,” said Dave.
“I really enjoyed that period but the hours don’t suit family life so when I settled down I used my engineering qualification to get a job.”
For the past two decades Dave has worked for housing associations, ensuring properties and care homes come up to standard and in July he became Technical Inspector for Durham Aged Mineworkers Homes Association.
He now ensures the 1,700 properties providing homes for more than 2,000 people in towns and villages across the former Durham coalfield are safe and comfortable, overseeing an ongoing programme of repairs and upgrades.
“It is rewarding to provide support to elderly and often vulnerable residents and that’s probably why I have remained in this sector,” said Dave. “The residents are lovely people and I enjoy getting about and having a chat with them, ensuring we are providing the best homes we can.”
Two of Dave’s children have now left the nest but he still has an 11-year-old son at home to keep him on his toes.
And having mixed with the stars, Dave believes he knows the ideal way to unwind at the end of the day.
“You can’t beat a glass of prosecco in a hot tub,” he said.