Step inside my workshop!
10 September 2018 13:00
Blind veteran Gerry, 63 and ex Royal Irish Rangers, lost his sight in 2013 due to a Stroke. Always a keen model maker, he wasn't going to let his sight loss hold him back.
Gerry explains: "I saw an advertisement in a craft magazine for a kit to build HMS Victory. The kit was actually just planks of wood with instructions so I needed to find a way to be able to do this."
"My eye sight is very poor and I rely on a head set which magnifies to 250 times the actual size. With it on, I can see the ridges on my fingers, without it I cannot see my hand in front of my face."
He continues: "I have a machine which, when I put a piece of wood on it, tells me the dimensions of the piece and then I can speak into the machine telling it the exact length of wood I want to cut and it will mark that with a laser light."
"With my headset magnifier on I can then cut the wood to the correct length. The machine will also measure and read out the angles for me when I am using steam to heat and bend the wood into shape for the hull of the boat. It is an amazing piece of kit."
The model of HMS Victory above, which Gerry recently presented to our centre in Llandudno, is remarkable for its detail; everything exactly to scale and including cannon and sails and model sailors of the correct era. Everything was made and painted by Gerry.
Our charity has been able to provide Gerry with various pieces of kit to enable him to continue with his hobbies including a special portable magnifier and stand which has been very useful for both model making and painting the smallest pieces such as the model sailors.
In order to build his next model project, measuring eight feet by four feet, Gerry had to expand his operations. His wife bought him a new shed and that is now his workshop.
In honour of the RAF’s centenary this year, Gerry is in the process of building a model airfield complete with runway lights, buildings and model planes. This is still a work in progress but he says: "I am determined to complete the model this year."
Always keeping an eye on Gerry is his guide dog, Calvin. Keeping guard on the shed threshold to make sure no harm comes to him.