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The Nelson Photo News



People and Their Hobbies

Match-stick Building

Gary Steele

Most youngsters are discouraged from playing with matches, but not so Gary Steele, of 5 Miro Street, Nelson. His parents encourage him to burn packet after packet of matches for they know that from the smoke and the flames of the burning matches Gary will create little marvels of engineering, Gary is a match-stick builder, and already he has built, as an initial effort, a 4ft long, 5in wide and 13in high model bridge entirely from match sticks (below), Gary, a 15-year-old pupil of Nelson College, got the idea of building in matches, from a modelling book.

Gary's first effort, the bridge, consumed some 10,000 matches. Now, he is well advanced on a much more ambitious project - the building of a cathedral. This building of about 30ins long and 24in wide includes a 2ft spire, and is expected to take at least 40,000 matches (about 800 boxes). He hopes to have this finished by Christmas. Although Gary has a picture of the building to guide him, he has to use his own judgment to gauge dimensions and scales, for the book contains no detailed plans. Above, Gary creates smoke and light as he burns up another box of matches. The plan of his latest building is inset above, and the picture above shows the progress Gary has made on his latest project.