Photo gallery: Norfolk man creates a 135ft wooden version of the Bayeux Tapestry to help cope with his son’s death

Jason Welch has carved a 230ft version of the Bayeux Tapestry. Picture: Ian Burt

Jason Welch has carved a 230ft version of the Bayeux Tapestry. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

Created in the 11th century, depicting the Norman conquest of England in 1066, it is regarded as one of the most remarkable and well-preserved picture sources from medieval Europe.

And now a Norfolk man has created his own wooden replica of the Bayeux Tapestry, despite having lost three of his fingers in an industrial accident.

Jason Welch, 43, spent two years carving and painting his 135ft wooden scale model of the famous work of art as a way of coping with the death of his 18-year-old son Ricky, who died six years ago.

He spent hundreds of hours working carefully on the intricate details at a workshop in his garden at North Creake, near Fakenham.

Mr Welch, completed the work last month but, due to its size, he is unable to display his work together as one piece and it is gathering dust in the workshop.

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He is looking for a venue to exhibit the work and raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital which has been caring for his six-month-old grandson Kaiden Griffin, who has a triple heart defect.

Mr Welch said: 'By the age of 37 I had lost my grandfather, father and oldest son.

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'I became depressed about everything, so I started this to give me something to focus on.

'I'm really pleased with the way its turned out and it has changed my entire mind-set.

'And when you see these kids happy and smiling at Great Ormond Street, despite everything they are going through, it makes you think you should never feel sorry for yourself.'

When aged 19, and working as a farmer Mr Welch lost four fingers on his left hand in an agricultural machine but had the little finger reattached.

Mr Welch, now a self-employed wood carver, also worked in the building industry.

Pain in his left hand meant he often had to take time off work and he began wood carving as a hobby 15 years ago to fill the time.

He said: 'It still causes me pain now and sometimes, when I'd been working on this for hours, my left hand would swell up and I'd just carry on one-handed.'

He added: 'It's a shame it's all sitting here gathering dust.

'I want to find somewhere where I can put it together for an exhibition and raise money for Great Ormond Street, who do an amazing job, and maybe a local charity as well.'

Mr Welch, who is self-taught, said the idea to create his version of the Bayeux Tapestry was suggested by a friend.

He did it from pictures in a book and has never actually been to Normandy to see it.

Mr Welch said: 'I'm going to have to go there and see it for myself now.'

Anyone who can help Mr Welch with a venue for an exhibition, can call him on 01328 738041.

Do you know anyone who is working on an interesting art project? E mail

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