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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 February 2006, 14:57 GMT
No match for resort tower replica

A pensioner spent five years building a small-scale replica of Blackpool Tower out of matches.

Joe Boardman, 78, of Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, said he makes matchstick models because he is too impatient to read or watch television.

The 5ft (1.5m) sculpture is built from 84,000 matches but Mr Boardman has also made four dolls houses and a big wheel.

Mr Boardman, who has now given up his hobby, said his patience was the result of his 52-year marriage.

"After doing the dolls houses I wanted to something big and what better to do than Blackpool Tower," he said.

'Matchstick widow'

"It was tough going at times and I am glad I have finished it. It looks great."

Mr Boardman stopped making the models as he had no more room to store them in his flat.

His wife Dorothy said: "When he was working he used to come in, have his tea and then spend all night making models.

"When he retired it was all day, too.

"I've definitely been a matchstick widow - although I wish he'd take it up again. He's been a nightmare since he stopped."

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