Handmade gypsy caravan unveiled in Felpham

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Gary Goddard had to remove the patio doors of his Felpham home to get his latest model outside.

The DIY work was needed because the wooden gypsy caravan measures just under 3ft wide.

Its length to the end of its shafts is a staggering 7ft and it just about reaches 4ft high.

But the emergency measure was worth it to give the object pride of place at the back of his Poulner Close property after he built in his dining room with the permission of his wife, Raychelle.

Gary said: “I think this model looks stunning. There’s something about it. Because of its size, it’s got more life to it.

“I fitted a 12-volt lighting system to it as well and it seems to come to life when it’s lit up at night.

“The fact that it’s outside, rather than hanging on a wall like my previous models, also makes it seem more lifelike.

“It took me about six weeks to make.

“It was easier than the other models because the fact it is bigger meant there were no fine pins and gluing to deal with.”

Gary began modelling a couple of years ago. He made a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and a 1960s motorbike and sidecar.

A bigger challenge led him to a Romany caravan on the internet.

He followed this with another of the four-wheeled works of art.

But his most recent caravan surpasses anything he has created to date. Its interior is fully fitted with everything needed for a life on the road.

“The funny thing is that I’ve never seen a Romany caravan.

“I’ve only ever seen photographs of them and I’ve let my imagination go from there,” said former security worker Gary.

Even more remarkably, the caravan has been created from wood which would otherwise have been thrown away.

The doorknobs, for instance, have come from a wooden necklace which he bought for 10p at a car boot sale. The timber was also destined to be wasted until some tongue and groove joinery from Gary gave it a use.

He has already lined up his next project: he will turn his hand to making a model windmill after a request from Raychelle.

A trip to Halnaker Windmill will provide him with a real-life example on which to base his inspiration.

An electric motor will get the sails to move to make it as realistic as possible.