Charlie shows his model behaviour!

WHEN Charlie Clarke retired as a carpenter at the age of 80 he could have been forgiven for packing away his tools and putting up his feet.

WHEN Charlie Clarke retired as a carpenter at the age of 80 he could have been forgiven for packing away his tools and putting up his feet.

But his love of wood and childhood memories of old fashioned farm machinery and tradesmen's wagons led him to spend the last decade creating a range of beautifully crafted models in his garden shed.

Charlie, of Derwent Road, Ipswich, celebrates his 92nd birthday this week and decided to display his models in his front garden - much to the delight of residents and passers by who were fascinated by his collection.

The models are all made from scrap wood that Charlie has collected over the years.

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“Sometimes I would walk pass a skip full of rubbish and see some wood that I could use and would stop and ask if I could take it,” said Charlie.

His models, which have moving parts and are painted in authentic colours, include a threshing machine and traction engine, a seed drill, a tumbrel, a horse-drawn wagon, a granary, stables, a gypsy caravan, a farmhouse, a rib roll with wooden rollers, a chimney sweep's cart complete with miniature brushes and a milk-float with measuring jugs and milk urns made out of silver painted drinks cans fitted with wooden lids.

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Charlie, who was brought up in Whatfield but has spent most of his life in Ipswich, relied on his memory rather than reference books to create the models, some of which took around 40 hours' work to complete.

Sadly Charlie's eyesight has deteriorated over the last few years and he is no longer able to add to his collection.

Have you taken up a new hobby later in life? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail>

Late starters:

Midge Bussey from Norwich Road, Ipswich, began volunteering at the Age Concern shop in Northgate Street once she retired.

Mick Young from Hadleigh Road, Ipswich, was still teaching a karate group at the age of 70. He achieved his third dan black belt and teaches youngsters at the Triangle Community Centre.

Maurice Jennings, who lives in the Nacton area, took up kayaking after the age of 80. The energetic pensioner also started ballroom dancing.

Harry Beasley, a jockey, rode his final competitive race in 1935 when he was 83.

Cancer sufferer George Hodgson did a parachute jump from 10,000ft and a wing walk at the age of 83.

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