Hartlepool’s matchstick man has branched out into new model-making territory after being given a shedload of alternate building materials – a million lolly and toffee apple sticks!
Talented Monty Woolston has earned a reputation for his match-stick buildings, which he gives away to raise hundreds of pounds for charity.
But, after he last appeared in the Hartlepool Mail, he was given an unexpected delivery which has seen him able to expand his nimble-fingered repertoire.
The 75-year-old, of Studley Road, Hartlepool, says just days later a man called at his door holding up a copy of the paper. The man said: “Do you know where I can find this fella?” to which Monty replied: “You’re looking at him.”
Monty said that his visitor went on to explain that his self-employed window fitter son was working on an old sweet shop in Seaton Carew and had been asked by the owner to get rid of 500,000 lolly sticks and 500,000 toffee apple sticks.
After reading of Monty’s talents, he decided to seek him out and hand over the confectionary-stick haul.
Monty said: “I was very suprised but it was a very nice thing of this man to do. He said he didn’t just want to bin the sticks and he thought of me after reading the story in the Mail. He said his wife had died of cancer, and he thought I could put the sticks to good use to raise more money for cancer. He said he was really impressed with what I was doing.”
So after completing yet another 32ins by 12ins pigeon loft with 30,000 of his trusty matchsticks, complete with 24 pigeons and nesting boxes - Monty is now working on a 4ft thatched cottage using the lolly and toffee apple sticks.
The dad-of-three, grandad-of-four, and great-grandad-of-one, who works on his intricate projects for 12 hours a night, is planning on fitting out the miniature property with bow windows, a fire place, furniture, a back kitchen, a bedroom and a porch.
He will donate the thatched cottage, and the pigeon loft, to a friend whose wife sadly died of cancer, to be raffled or aunctioned off for the Macmillan Nurses and Cancer Research.
Monty a former paint sprayer, who suffers with emphecemia and lung cancer himself, said: “I enjoy doing it, as long as it makes a few shilling for someone.
“I’ve been into it for years. It started when I was 18 and I asked my friend to make me a baccy box out of matchsticks. He said; ‘do it yourself’.
“So I went away and did it. I glued it all and varnished it, and when I showed him he said; ‘now you can make anything if you put your mind to it’. So, I just carried on.”
Monty has made numerous constructions over the years including a gypsy caravan, and another pigeon loft for a little girl with leukaemia, which was purchased for £550 by a man from Holland over the internet.
Monty said: “I don’t have anything else to do so it keeps me occupied. Sometimes I work until four or five in the morning. I don’t bother watching much telly, mainly just the Jeremy Kyle show which is the best thing on TV.”