Titanic model built on beer cans

This Is Local London: Mark Diggins with the finished Titanic.	Picture 22B1110: SIMON DE TREY-WHITE Mark Diggins with the finished Titanic. Picture 22B1110: SIMON DE TREY-WHITE

Sinking ships and superglue have replaced beer and wine as the most popular topics of conversation in one Bushey off-licence.

Mark Diggins, assistant manager at The Local, in Harcourt Road, north-west London, has been gluing and cutting each of the 5,000 painstakingly small pieces of his scale model of the Titanic at the back of the shop.

And after completing the 5ft model of the ship on a stack of beer cans at the back of the shop, Mark is now going to display the finished model on top of a fridge for all his customers to see.

"It started off at home," the 39-year-old said. "But I've got five kids, and the youngest two were only seven at the time, so it just seemed safer to bring it down here and do it here after my shift.

"Most of the customers are locals so they've been keeping check of how the boat is going while I've been doing it."

Mark, of Girtin Road, Bushey, said his fascination with the Titanic and her two sister ships Olympic and Britannic, began when he was at school.

He started collecting all the parts of the model, made from beech, pine, plywood and brass four years ago and spent the past two years putting it together.

"It was very satisfying to see it all come together as each deck gets built", he said.

"A lot of customers have asked will it float' and the truthful answer is at the moment I don't know. I might try it out in the bath, but there is no reason why it shouldn't."

And although Mark admitted building the model had taken over a lot of his life, he and his wife, Lisa, are already on the lookout for another ship for him to build.

He said: "There are hundreds of pieces that you can't even see in it and it has used quite a few tubes of glue. I've certainly been to Poundland a few times.

"It is not perfect, not by any means, but it is the only model I've ever made. And now I've completed this model I am searching for another one."

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