THE Taj Mahal, Big Ben, Sydney’s Opera House, London Bridge and even The Titanic …. John Parker has had a hand in building them all.
The spritely British Army Veteran loves nothing better than losing himself in historic buildings, monuments and modes of transport via the world of Lego.
It’s a world he discovered after the 2006 death of his wife, Una – a time when keeping his mind and hands active proved exceptionally therapeutic.
The one-time King’s Royal Rifle Corp soldier took two months to construct his very ﬁrst Lego building. Fifteen years later, he must now deliberately take his time to savour the experience, lest he finish too quickly. And with individual Lego kits featuring historic landmarks costing hundreds of dollars, it’s understandable that he feels the need to regularly step away from works in progress.
Some of these Lego kits – such as John’s second project, the incredibly detailed Taj Mahal, cost about $500. John said that while family members regularly gifted him new Lego for birthdays and Christmas, he didn’t mind saving up to invest in special projects because they kept him active and happy.
It’s the instructions that really get John excited. He loves the mental challenge and truly lights up when discussing his passion with others.
And he had a good laugh describing a particular challenge that came with building detailed projects constructed from the extra-tiny Nanoblocks, which help provide incredible detail.
“I still have my wife’s manicure set and the tweezers became very handy. But the bricks can ping from the tweezer, shooting out like a rocket, if you squeeze too hard,’’ he chuckled.
John now hopes to source a Lego Make and Create Eiffel Tower, but fears it may have been priced beyond the range of his humble budget.
The kit is rare and has become highly collectable (never opened, still in the box), meaning the price has been driven up to the thousands.
However, John has not given up – and hopes that somewhere, someone may have a kit they started but perhaps lost interest in they would be willing to sell at a reasonable price.
If you can help, please email his daughter Audrey via firstname.lastname@example.org