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Hospital porter Clive Curtis has built his own replica shipyard in spare bedroom of his Southampton home
Updated 3:00pm Saturday 8th March 2014 in News
NOT many people can say they own their own port – despite never having stepped on board a ship.
Clive Curtis has been interested in shipping since his dad took him to Mayflower Park when he first moved to the city 51 years ago.
Now the 58-year-old from Outer Circle in Coxford, has collected 36 diecast model ships and spent a week building docks for them to set sail from, in the upstairs of his home.
Grandfather-of-four Clive, spends hours at a time tinkering with his newly-built pride and joy, loading and unloading tiny containers and taking ships into the dry docks for repairs.
The walls of his house have also become home to his collection of shipping paintings and memorabilia and his favourite picture of the 1959 SS Oriana takes pride of place above his television in the lounge.
The Southampton General Hospital porter began collecting model ships ten years ago when his friend took him to a toy fair in Devon. Now he is regularly found trawling the Internet for sought-after models to add to his prized collection.
His collection ranges from £20 ships bought at toy fairs to £200 he paid for the SS Norway and £180 for the QE2, while his favourite model is the SS Canberra, which he has five scaled down versions of.
But despite his passion, Clive has never been on board a ship.
The father-of-two said: “I have never in my life been on a ship. Debbie, my wife has no interest but she keeps saying she will take me on a mini cruise but the ones I want to go on don’t exist anymore, like the QE2 and the Canberra.
“I have always liked seeing the really big older ships. I have always been interested but it was in the last ten years I have really gone for it.
“I try to spend about an hour a night here but when I do come up here I spend hours upon hours.”
He added: “My wife thinks I’m mad. When we go past the port I have to make her slow the car down so I can look and she records programmes whenever the port is on TV.
“It’s just a passion. I just like hearing about ships and knowing about certain ships.”
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