A MUM has set up a business after being inspired by her train-obsessed son.

Chloe Cotton launched Trainmaster 18 months ago after struggling to find train themed activities for her son, Jasper, now aged five.

The mother-of-three said: “It was conceived almost by accident as I couldn’t find train themed activities for my train crazy eldest. I had three boys in three years and I was hoping to run my business whilst being able to spend time with them.”

She added: “We had trains at home but with 17 months between Jasper and his brother, Henry used to rip them all apart. I said as a joke to my husband that we should hire a hall and tracks that are too big for his brother to destroy, and put other stuff out for Henry.”

Chloe, from Andover, decided to make her idea a reality and her business has since gone from strength to strength, now running in numerous counties including Hampshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire, with her enlisting the help of other mums to run events elsewhere.

This month she was delighted to win a My VIP Award, being chosen as the Parent’s Choice, going up against other big-name businesses offering activities for children.

“I didn’t think I was going to win,” she said, adding: “I was against some massive companies like Finkley Down Farm and I just thought it would be a nice night out.”

Chloe runs her events at various locations, including Picket Twenty in Andover and Old Basing Village Hall, in Old Basing, every six weeks, usually holding them at the weekend so the whole family can join in the fun.

She said: “My husband works Monday to Friday and he never gets to go to anything. We get so many dads and granddads into trains and it’s nice to be able to share that with their child. We have grownups crawling around building tracks.”

The events are held in halls which are filled with giant hands-on train tracks, fancy dress, crafts, ride on trains and more

The 32-year-old said the events are also popular with children with special educational needs, and those with autism, explaining: “We had one boy who used to stand by the door and now he walks straight in and plays. We have kids who have ear defenders come to our events and not need them. It works with all the children playing together.”

Chloe loves being able to support other mothers, saying: “I hope to keep growing. I like being able to provide mums with a stable job which is flexible and doesn’t have the childcare issues that so many jobs have.”

“We support other businesses too who come along to events such as Usborne Books or photographers. We have all those adults in the room and sometimes with small businesses the hardest part is getting your name out there so it’s great to be able to support other small businesses with that.”

Chloe also offers private parties and runs events at schools and nursery schools. For more visit trainmaster.co.uk.