A RETIRED engineer and cancer survivor from Worcestershire has invented an innovative way to keep vacuum cleaners from losing suction.

When he became frustrated with his vacuum cleaner becoming less effective the more he used it, Alan Julier from Cradley, near Malvern came up with a way to stop hair, dust and other debris blocking the head.

The 75-year-old grandfather, who worked for the Ministry of Defence and owned Ye Olde Upton Delicatessen in Old Street, Upton for 25 years, said the device involves a small external compartment attached to the head where debris can collect and be disposed of separately and without need to dismantle the machine.

Although Mr Julier filed the paperwork to the Intellectual Property Office in 2010, it was not until last month the patent was granted, during which time he suffered a stroke and was diagnosed and treated for cancer.

“I did file this in 2010 but since then I’ve had some other problems to deal with,” he said.

“They do take a long time because they have to search through all the other patents to make sure it is my idea.

“It’s been so long I’m going to have to cough up to renew it in November.”

He added Numatic International – which creates the popular Henry vacuum cleaner – is looking at the attachment.

“There is a lot of regulation around vacuum heads,” he said.

“I hope they will be interested in using it.”

To view the full details of Mr Julier’s invention visit the Intellectual Property Office website at www.ipo.gov.uk and search for application GB1015552.