A MODEL enthusiast who spent two years painstakingly creating an impression of London Tower Bridge with matches admitted he was ‘relieved’ after finally putting up the final piece.
Roger Lemon, 72, of Hayling Island, said he took up the hobby 10 years ago as ‘something to do’ in retirement.
But after conquering a number of other projects including lorries, steam engines and windmills he decided to push himself with the ultimate challenge of building the iconic London site.
The pensioner told The News he never had any doubts about completing the two-year feat he started in 2016 – but had to deploy coping strategies such as having breaks when he hit a block.
Roger admitted there were many worrying moments building the six foot long, 22 inch high model – made up of 5,000 matches – that he finally completed earlier this month.
‘There were a lot of problems with making the model such as there being quite a few parts missing which meant I had to make my own,’ he said.
‘Some parts were weak, would bend or fall off so I had to make these stronger and put in extra pieces otherwise it would have collapsed. It was a case of trial and error and just using my experience to know what areas needed attention.
‘Making it was very fiddly as it was so intricate.
‘I needed a lot of patience and there were some difficult times, so I would just have a break and then come back to it.
‘I needed a lot of patience and concentration as there were a lot of things that could have gone wrong with it. It never collapsed, though.
‘When you do something like this you know there are always going to be problems but I never thought I wouldn’t finish it, though of course I was relieved when I did. I’m really impressed by what I did.
‘It was something I wanted to do after seeing the model available to buy for just £50.
‘The only problem I now have is that it is so big I have to leave it in the shed as it won’t fit inside.’
Despite only just finishing the gruelling love of labour, Roger said he had already started his next project –The White House in America.
‘This one will be a lot easier as it’s only 18 inches. It should only take me a year to do,’ he added.