Tim makes a splash with bot­tled boats

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE -

A MODEL cit­i­zen is us­ing his hobby to raise funds for char­ity and po­ten­tially save lives.

Kind-hearted Tim Hunt, of Pex­hill Road, Macclesfield, has been mak­ing minia­ture lifeboats in glass bot­tles for the last 12 years.

And as well as ask­ing for dona­tions for the Royal Na­tional Lifeboat In­sti­tu­tion (RNLI) while dis­play­ing the dainty du­pli­cate rafts, he also plans to hand them to the char­ity later this year.

Af­ter they are given to the in­sti­tu­tion they will go on dis­play at its head­quar­ters in Poole, where they will help raise even more money for the RNLI – which pro­vides a 24-hour lifeboat search and res­cue ser­vice around the UK and Ire­land.

Tim, 76, said: “It is not easy mak­ing such small mod­els and get­ting them into the glass bot­tles but all the hard work has cer­tainly been worth it.

“In gen­eral they take about nine months to make: I spend about three hours for three nights a week build­ing them.

“Over the last 12 years I have made six in to­tal, which I am go­ing to be hand­ing over to the char­ity some­time in the sum­mer this year.

“It is great to think that my work will be on dis­play at the head­quar­ters.

“They will be go­ing into the lobby, where the in­sti­tu­tion has lots of other mod­els on dis­play – peo­ple usu­ally make a do­na­tion while vis­it­ing.

“Ev­ery­one has been very sup­port­ive when I have shown them in Macclesfield, and over 12 years, be­tween the mod­els and col­lect­ing boxes for the char­ity that I also co-or­di­nate, I have raised about £2,000.”

Re­tired gar­ment in­dus­try worker Tim, who lives with his wife of 49 years, Christine, says he has had a con­nec­tion with the sea since serv­ing in the Navy dur­ing his na­tional ser­vice in 1956.

But he says he is now set to re­tire from mak­ing lifeboats and in­stead begin to build tanks that were used in the Sec­ond World War to raise funds for Help for He­roes.

Tim added: “The lifeboats them­selves are made from all sorts – wood, card­board, dif­fer­ent types of pa­per and cock­tail sticks – and are in­cred­i­bly fid­dly to put to­gether.

“I also use the same bot­tle for each piece as well, which is a Jack Daniels half litre whiskey bot­tle. I use that as it has flat edges and so you don’t have to make a cra­dle like you would for a round bot­tle.

“There isn’t one part of the process which is eas­ier than any other as each part can throw up its own pit­falls.

“I just never try and do some­thing if I have a spare 20 min­utes as some­thing can end up tak­ing two hours.

“It takes a lot of pa­tience to put one to­gether, I don’t think any­one could do it. But I have loved to make mod­els since I was a lit­tle boy, and to think that I can help raise funds for wor­thy causes at the same time makes it even more worth­while.”

●● Tim Hunt with his lifeboats in bot­tles

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