Matchstick hobby a hit with shoppers

Derek is pictured with some of his fantastic models during his recent fundraising display in the Hildreds Centre.
Derek is pictured with some of his fantastic models during his recent fundraising display in the Hildreds Centre.

A LOCAL man has helped to raise almost £1,000 for an Alzheimer’s charity after he turned his hobby towards a good cause.

Derek Johnson’s matchstick creations helped to raise a phenomenl £890 for the Skegness and Lincolnshire Alzheimer’s Society after he put on a two-day display of his handiwork in the Hildreds shopping centre .

The models he showcased were created entirely out of matchsticks, and included some individual works so large that he used over 5,000 matches in their construction.

He used over 20,000 matches during the construction of the models on display, which included the Eiffel Tower, a gypsy caravan, traction engines and windmills.

But his crowning glory was a six foot long model of London’s Tower Bridge.

Derek’s fantastic works first came about after his wife Joyce ‘Joy’ Johnson passed away.

She had suffered from Alzheimer’s and Derek was her full-time carer.

“When you lose someone you’ve looked after 24 hours a day you are lost,” he said.

“In the evenings I didn’t know what to do with my spare time, so I tried a jigsaw but couldn’t see the point in making one just to break it up again.

“So I tried a matchstick model.”

Two years later and Derek has a whole host of models to show for his efforts, and he decided to put on the display in the Hildreds in memory of his wife and to raise cash for the local Alzheimers group.

He hasn’t given up on his matchstick hobby though.

Although the warmer weather is currently keeping him busy in the garden he has ambitious plans for his biggest matchstick model yet - a 7,000 match Mississippi steam boat.

l Derek is pictured with some of his fantastic models during his recent fundraising display in the Hildreds Centre.