Pensioner’s incredible four-year model of sheltered housing complex… made from whisky cartons and cornflakes boxes
Dedicated Brian Cleaver enjoys living in his sheltered housing accommodation so much that he has built this stunning miniature replica of the entire complex – made out of empty whisky cartons and cornflakes boxes.
The 75-year-old has spent five hours a day over the last four years intricately constructing the scale model of the Belgrave Middleway sheltered housing complex in Birmingham where he has lived for the past 11 years.
Incredibly, the model – which is 5ft long and 3.5ft wide – only cost the patient pensioner a mere £30 to make.
Brian obtained the original blueprints for the building in 2008 and set about constructing the complex in painstaking detail.
The model is accurate right down to the number of flagstones on pavements around the building and even includes a tiny 2cm model of Brian’s beloved pet dog Casey outside his room.
Residents can gaze into miniature versions of their flats, and see tiny workmen fixing gutters – which are made of straws.
Brian, a lifelong modeller who starting making scenery for his railway set as a child, said he decided to make the replica because he enjoyed living there so much.
The retired stationary shop worker, said: “I’ve done bits of scenery for my model railways over the years but never anything to this scale.
“I just love living here so much that I wanted to do something to commemorate the place, which would last a long time.
“Maybe I will keep extending it out until I’ve made an entire replica of Birmingham city centre. I might need a bigger house for that though.
“I enjoyed making it as people use to come to watch me. The usual question was ‘have you made my flat yet?’ or ‘where is my flat going to be when you get round to doing it?’.
“The building was made from Bells whisky cartons and the roof from cereal packets. The rest is stuff I have lying around.
“The only things I have bought ready-made are the people and the vehicles. It’s only cost me about £30 in total.
“This is my legacy to the place which will hopefully be around for a long time even when I’m gone.”
His local councillor Victoria Quinn described Brian’s model as a “work of art, made from old rubbish.”
She added: “The level of detail really is amazing.”
Birmingham’s NEC Group have since donated a glass case to protect Brian’s work which is on display for visitors to the sheltered accommodation.