Sprowston man creates amazing models of world landmarks out of matchsticks
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Strike a light! How about this for thinking outside the box?
A Sprowston man's remarkable patience and the beautiful detail of some of the world's greatest buildings have proved to be a match made in heaven.
For Victor Catchpole, 88, has produced a clutch of extraordinary models - all made entirely from matchsticks.
He has been working on his latest masterpiece, the Taj Mahal, since mid-December. Other creations by Mr Catchpole include Big Ben, The White House, and the Eiffel Tower.
Mr Catchpole keeps the models around his house on Falcon Road East in Sprowston.
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He said: 'I've been doing it since I retired about 28 years ago, but I've always been interested in model work. This is the sort of thing I can do to pass the time.
'My son-in-law said after I lost my wife, 'why don't you do the Taj Mahal', and I thought it's a lot of work, but he said 'go on you can do it' and I started it just before Christmas.'
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He said: 'Tower Bridge must be about 5ft long, and I have Eddie Stobart trucks and old bus models on it.'
The Taj Mahal model is made out of 7,500 special model-making matchsticks called micro beams, stuck together with extra-pasteurised glue so it would set faster.
Mr Catchpole said: 'I cut the matches into shapes with a Stanley knife and then glue them. Every part of it is cut by hand and stuck together.'
Mr Catchpole makes many of his models out of kits produced by a company called Matchitecture, which he buys from Hobbies in Raveningham.
He said: 'I've nearly finished all of the available kits now. There's a country house one I'm going to do next, but I'm having a bit of a rest after the Taj Mahal. I'm going to do some house work.
'The first one I did was Notre Dame. That one took a long time because at the time my wife was an invalid and I had to do the model in between.'
Before his retirement Mr Catchpole worked as a van driver delivering the EDP and Norwich Evening News.
He said: 'I do the models because it keeps you occupied, you don't think of anything else. You just want to get on with it a create these things. I love it. I suppose my models would be an attraction to some people but I haven't got any way of getting them out.'