Match making heaven! Pensioner, 87, uses matchsticks to make landmarks

Match making heaven! Pensioner, 87, uses matchsticks to recreate some of the world’s most iconic landmarks including Notre Dame and Tower Bridge

  • Derrick, 87, from Sheffield, has built impressive replicas of famous venues from France, London and more 
  • During lockdown he finished his most recent project and some of his creations can take up to a year to finish
  • He counts his Tower Bridge and Notre Dame cathedral models as his favourites, ‘They were good fun to make’

A creative pensioner has built matchstick models of famous landmarks from across the globe, including Tower Bridge, Notre Dame and the Statue of Liberty.

Derrick, 87, from Sheffield, has spent countless hours in his kitchen building miniature versions of iconic venues from around the world.

He finished his most recent creation, the Mississippi Boat, during lockdown, but has made impressive replicas of Notre Dame cathedral, the Statue of Liberty, The White House and Tower Bridge over the years. 

The father of one explained: ‘The Tower Bridge model and Notre Dame both took a year to finish, you can’t rush these things, they are very complex models.’

Derrick, 87 from Sheffield, has been building matchstick models of iconic venues for years, a hobby he says he ‘really enjoys’. His most recent creation is the Mississippi Boat (above)

‘It can take me 10 or maybe 12 months to complete one, I might do a couple of hours a day but I really enjoy it.

Derrick has tried his hand at smaller models, but says he likes the challenge of the bigger pieces.

Derrick uses microbeam kits to construct his models. His daughter explained that kits vary in price but can cost up to £80 

He explained the models such as the Taj Mahal (pictured) are ‘very time consuming to make’, but that they offer a welcome reprieve from lockdown isolation

‘They are very time consuming to make, but lockdown is rubbish. I haven’t been out in months and the smaller ones only take a few weeks to complete – I like a bigger challenge.

‘It’s a pastime for me, it relaxes me and when I’m working on a model I’m in my own little world.

 ‘I have a nice garden to tend to in the summer months, but these keep me busy when the weather isn’t great.

‘I have two favourites – Tower Bridge and Notre Dame. They were good fun to make and look very impressive.’

Derrick counts his Tower Bridge and Notre Dame cathedral models as his favourites. This 6ft Tower Bridge replica sits on its own specially-built shelf

Derrick’s very first model was of a tractor engine, but now he spends time building more elaborate and detailed models, such as the Notre Dame cathedral (pictured)

The finished models are displayed at his home and Derrick had to build a special shelf to hold the replica of Tower Bridge, which stretches 6ft in length.

The former power station worker and grandad of one added: ‘The first one I completed was the tractor engine – I displayed that on a stand and that stays in my living room.’

Derrick uses a pre-prepared kit filled with bundles of microbeams, glue and instructions to build all of his creations.

But he warns the construction hobby is not for those without patience.

The larger models can take Derrick up to a year to finish. The ‘trailer truck’ model (shown) is part of a medium size deluxe kit

‘I would recommend them to anyone, they are very good, but you have to have lots of patience.

‘First of all you need to measure all your sticks out and get a board to have your pattern underneath. The most important thing is starting with your outside lines. 

His daughter Michelle, 54, shared how her father’s passion for matchstick models started.

‘It all started years ago when I bought him one for a birthday or Christmas and he loved it,’ she explained.

‘He wanted to do more and his hobby has grown from there. We are all a bit artistic in our family and Dad isn’t a bloke to sit about, he likes to make, do and solve problems.’ 

‘You can buy them direct from the website or from various hobby shops or websites. They usually vary in price from around £40 – £80.

‘It’s a nice tradition to buy one each year but I think he is running out of ones left to do which is a shame as it keeps him busy.’

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