THE rocking horse is one of the classic staples that children have enjoyed for generations.
But Bob Gill, a coach driver and part-time craftsman, decided to make something a little different for his two grandchildren when he headed into his workshop four months ago.
A lover of motorcycles for more than 40 years, he decided to spend around 15 hours a week building a wooden Harley Davidson from scratch.
The finished product was unveiled to his two grandchildren, Kyra, seven, and Poppy, four, last week.
The creation – named Roadrunner – was made using a mixture of soft and hard woods, held together by just six screws.
Bob, 55, said: ‘I’ve always been a bike man ever since I was 13 years old and I was trying to think of something to build for the girls when they came over.
I was quite surprised at how well it came out. It is more or less exactly how a bike should look.Bob Gill, grandad biker
‘I’ve been wanting to build one for twenty years and now that I finally had the time, I just got started on it.
‘I was quite surprised at how well it came out. It is more or less exactly how a bike should look. I never had any idea it was going to turn out this well.
‘The girls absolutely love it. I think it makes a nice change from the traditional rocking horse!’
He estimates the weight of the bike to be around 30lbs with the bike reaching a height of 2ft.
Bob, of Newgate Lane, Fareham, found himself spending more time in his garden shed to help him cope after his wife Anne’s father Ted Cocklin, 79, was diagnosed with bladder cancer.
His love of craftsmanship saw him turn to his tools to refine his creation as his family struggled with the diagnosis. Bob says Ted, who died last month, was ‘a great man.’
He added: ‘It was hard for us to deal with and for me, I headed for the shed at times as it was a sad time.
‘He was a great man and building this helped come to terms with it all.’
The father-of-two was diagnosed with spastic paralysis five years ago which has affected his balance.
Despite his condition, he has built many chairs, doors, tables and chicken coops over the years which he has sold.
Bob, who got the idea for the bike from a crafts magazine, decided only to paint the rocker and not the bike in order to allow the natural colour of the wood to be shown.