A man who turned a £1 buy from Cash Converters into a lockdown hobby has been inspired to start a whole new business venture.

Paul Beaman, 53, from St Helens, was working as an agency chef in a hotel near Shropshire when the first coronavirus lockdown hit in March 2020.

Paul, who has worked as a chef across the UK and in Bermuda, headed to his local Cash Converters in St Helens town centre a few days prior to lockdown to find a number of items being sold for a pound.

The chef said he was expecting a lockdown to happen and that he didn't think his purchase would result in anything more than a hobby.

But Paul said the idea "has kept him going" - especially in the third lockdown - and that he would encourage others to also try something new.

Paul told the ECHO: "I'm an agency chef, I work for a company called Flourish.

"I've worked for them for about 13 years, before that I was head chef in a restaurant in Bermuda. I also worked in Henley-on-Thames for 10 years.

"I was working in a hotel near Shropshire, I’d been working there for about two months and then covid hit. Just before it hit they shut the place.

"I had a feeling it was going to happen so I went into cash converters in St Helens and saw a slow cooker for a pound.

"They were selling a lot of stuff for a pound. I bought a bread maker for a pound, I bought a printer for a pound."

A recipe by Paul Beaman in his £1 slow cooker
Paul was inspired to write an easy to follow slow cooker recipe book

Paul said in the government's most recent lockdown, he decided to use his skills and new slow cooker to write a small cookbook with easy to prepare and easy to follow recipes in the hopes of making some extra money.

He said the work behind the recipes is "minimal" and that people can use frozen vegetables and other items they already have at home to create the meals.

Paul said: "I didn't do it for the first lockdown. I painted my house and did my garden and did everything I could possibly do.

"It was just one of those things. I just bought it for a pound I didn't think about what I was going to do with it."

The Liverpool Echo sends newsletters on a wide range of topics - including our daily news bulletin, now going out three times a day.

There are others on what's on, politics, court news, Knowsley, Wirral, and arts & culture, as well as both Liverpool FC and Everton FC.

Signing up is free and it only takes a minute for you to get the biggest stories, sent straight to your inbox.

How to sign up for an Echo Email Update

1) Go to our dedicated newsletter page at this link.

2) Put your email in the box where indicated

3) Tick as many boxes as you like, for each newsletter you want.

4) Press Save changes and that's it!

Paul took inspiration from his time in Bermuda to create a Bermudian style red bean soup, which features alongside 11 other recipes.

With the help of his brother, Paul said he began selling the recipe book, called 'cheap recipes for a slow cooker,' on Amazon.

In lockdown, Paul said he has also been making chocolates and candles to stay busy and have new hobbies and also has two more recipe books in the pipeline, one which features vegan dishes.

He said it has "kept him going" in this last lockdown and would encourage others at home to do something positive with their time.