I put different flooring into each room, I handmade the doors, the stairs and all the furniture

“I was on holiday with my wife and we came across this shop which was selling these large, beautiful doll houses with all sorts of dolls and accessories. My wife told me that she would love to have one, she always dreamt of owning one since she was a little girl. I said to her: ‘Wait no more, I will make one for you!’ I had just retired at the time and I thought it would be a great hobby to have. I already had a saw, a chisel and I had to have a mortise gauge somewhere too… You don’t have to be a carpenter to have all these things at home. I started making it but in the meantime she got ill. She got cancer and she died before I could finish it. I felt so alone after, that I decided to go back working in the jewellery shop part-time. I thought, at least, it would make me busy, but I wasn’t really interested in it anymore. It seems that 35-years was enough of that. One day, I was looking for something in the shed when I came across the half-finished dollhouse. I didn’t have much to do that day so I thought I should dust it off and work on it a little. I ended up working on it for a good few months, on and off, because I decided that I would not pay to make it. Every time I went shopping on my bicycle, I would go around the shops and ask for big, strong wood crates and carton boxes and I would collect all sorts of leftovers at construction sites. I put different flooring into each room, I handmade the doors, the stairs and all the furniture. When it was ready, it was about 22 inches high. A three-story house with three rooms, a kitchen and a bathroom. When it was ready, I gave it to the charity that took care of my wife in her last months. They put it in a raffle and it made over 1,500 pounds. After that, I just kept making them. People said to me: ‘Oh these dollhouses look so great, you should start selling them and get good money for them!’ But I didn’t need no money! I’m old, what would I spend it on? I felt I had a bit of a gift for making them and using it to help others made so much more sense to me. I’ve made 22 dollhouses in the past ten years and each of them was raffled for a different charity for somewhere around a 1,000 pounds each.”