Matchstick man Bill still creating at 90

By Ian Dipple Friday 02 November 2012 Updated: 02/11 08:29

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Buy photos » Bill Price with some of his matchstick creations. Picture by Neville Collins 44.012.023ncr1

THERE are few people who can boast they can enjoy the sights of the world without leaving their living room, but 90-year-old matchstick model maker Bill Price can.

For the last 32 years the Crabbs Cross pensioner has painstakingly recreated from the tiny building material more than 30 models including structures such as Big Ben, the CN Tower in Canada and the Eiffel Tower in Paris, as well as fire engines, a Blackpool bus tram and Thomas the Tank Engine.

Bill's passion began in 1980 when he was struck down at work by a mystery virus which affected his nervous system, robbing him of the full use of his legs.

"My wife Mary was at work and I was disabled and sat at home twiddling my thumbs so she bought me this kit as it would give me something to do and that was how I first started," he said.

His biggest creation is a reproduction of a Mississippi paddle boat, which features over 1,700 matchsticks and took Bill about a year to complete.

"It's a sense of achievement when you finish one. I like making them and I enjoy showing them to people afterwards."

Over the years Bill's hobby has seen him win numerous awards and he has also put them on display at a variety of locations including Redditch Town Hall, Selfridges department store in London and he even produced one at special request which is now on display at a hotel in Blackpool.

Such is the quality of Bill's work, he was asked to test out model kits for The Salco Group to iron out any faults before they went on sale.

"Over the years I have really enjoyed doing it and I will carry on doing it if they bring some new models out but they've only brought out a motorbike this year and I don't want to do that particularly."

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