A MATCHSTICK modeller from Upton has just put the finishing touches to his most ambitious project to date – a detailed replica of the town’s 19th century church.

Retired 81-year-old Bill Davis, of The Beeches, worked long days – and often nights – recreating the church in painstaking detail using more than 27,000 matches.

Although he has previously modelled the likes of Notre Dame Cathedral, he said this was by far his most demanding project to date.

While his previous creations have been made using kits, this time he only had a copy of the church floor plans and his own photographs to work from.

He decided to create the model to enter into the annual show organised by Upton Garden Club.

“I wanted to do something with a local connection and the church is a very striking building so it seemed a perfect fit,” he said.

He only just managed to finish it in time for the show, but saw his efforts rewarded with the top prize.

The model has also won the approval from church staff, who were so impressed that they asked if it could be displayed in the front window of the parish office, Still Waters, in High Street.

Mr Davis’ interest in matchstick modelling started more than a decade ago when he picked it out as he flicked through a hobby annual.

“I just thought it would be something easy to do, although that was certainly not the case with this latest project,” he added.