Niall's matchstick models on display at care home in Leigh
7:20am Monday 4th March 2013 in North West
MATCHSTICK maestro Niall Quigley doesn't like having time on his hands.
Although he will celebrate his 80th birthday later this month the smiling Irishman likes to keep busy.
You could say he's a truly model resident at Hourigan House in Leigh where for the past six months he's been busying himself creating models as part of activity sessions at the CLS care home where he has been a resident for the past six years.
His handiwork is plain for all to see with a model of the Myrtle Avenue care home the first thing visitors come across in the foyer and a glance up reveals A360 Airbus hanging from the ceiling complete in Aer Lingus livery of course!
Formerly of Sheriff's Drive, Tyldesley, Mr Quigley moved to England from Dublin in 1961 to find work. He got a job as a clerk at Massey Ferguson in Trafford Park earning a weekly wage of just under £11.50 but eventually became planning manager, retiring at 65 from MF's Knowsley plant.
But he soon got bored and took on two other jobs before he finally retired at 68.
Mr Quigley, who has two sons, two daughters and six grandchildren, was persuaded to try his hand at model-making last autumn. Now he's a dab hand with glue, scissors, matchsticks, stiff card and lollipop sticks.
"The lolly sticks and card I use to strengthen the structures," said Mr Quigley, whose says the most challenging model he has made is a Massey Ferguson tractor that reminds him of his working life.
"Activities co-ordinator Val can turn her hand to anything. I hadn't had model-making experience since I had a Meccano set as a boy. The first thing I made was a gypsy caravan now I'm on with my eighth model which is a fire engine.
"I got a message from CLS boss Robert Black congratulating me on making the tractor, apparently he used to have one.
"I'm enjoying my retirement – it's like a little hotel here, and I enjoy a drink with the regulars at nearby St Paul' s Social Club."