Grandad-of-two Bill Gardiner, 85, has been making Meccano models for the last 70 years but said his latest creation is […]
Grandad-of-two Bill Gardiner, 85, has been making Meccano models for the last 70 years but said his latest creation is his finest.
The retired postman grafted for more than 1,000 hours to recreate the doomed liner in a spare room at his home in Kidderminster, Worcs, using only the Hollywood film for reference.
Married dad-of-two Bill built the 18-inch high and 4ft long model by hand using only basic tools and claims his hobby has even kept Alzheimer’s and dementia at bay.
Bill said: “The Titanic is definitely the best one I’ve ever done.
“I had all this Meccano at 85, so I thought I’d use it all up.
“I think it’s great. Everyone says how good it is, I’ve been able to include lots of details like the wheelhouse, crowsnest, anchors and even life boats.
“It’s kept my brain working – if I try and read a book or anything I fall asleep but if I go and do some Meccano I can keep awake for hours.
Bill first had the idea to build the Titanic three years ago after watching the film when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2016.
The pensioner has spent eight hours a week over the last three years on the huge metal model, which weighs 20kg [3st 1lbs].
Remarkably, Bill was able to capture the unique detail of the Titanic using only the 1997 film starring Hollywood heartthrobs Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.
Bill’s love of Meccano began as a child after his father gifted him a set back in 1940 – and he also instilled a love of the game in his own children.
Among the hundreds of models Bill has created, recent highlights include a train, dumper truck and ferris wheel.
He said: “It’s amazing what you can do with Meccano.
Proud wife of 62 years Anne added: “I’d never heard of Meccano till we met.
“Bill has built cranes, cars and windmills and he even made toys which children could play with.
“He’s very clever, some of his models have been amazing.”
Bill, who is currently trying to sell the model for £500 to donate the money to Cancer Research, has firm advice for anyone interested in taking up his hobby.
He added: “Start with little things and keep on trying and building your way up to big things, everything has to work freely.”