A 20-foot replica of Blackpool Tower has been restored to its former glory after making a 340-mile trip back home to the resort.
Douglas Smith, of Carr Lane, Hambleton, has spent the past three months making sure the replica is painted and repaired back to its original condition.
The replica dates back to the Second World War and was built by engineering company Vickers Armstrong.
Doug explained that the Blackpool Tower replica was first found in Cornwall before making a long-winded journey back home.
He said: “It originally belonged to Blackpool Airport, but after time, Blackpool’s Tourist Board used it for their trade shows across the country.
“I believe someone was meant to pick it up from there but never showed and eventually it reached a collectors in Preston.”
Doug only found out about the prized possession after seeing it advertised in The Gazette.
He said: “Someone had put a deposit down to take it but they never came back in to buy it, so I kept pestering the collectors until I managed to secure it.”
There were two main reasons behind Doug’s steely persistence in attaining the replica.
He said: “First of all, there is not many of them about, the other one is still on the promenade and a bit too big for my back garden.
“Secondly, I used to work as an area sales manager and spent a lot of my working life walking up and down the promenade supplying goods from a major importer to shops on the front.
“So it’s nice to have something that unique to the town to remember my time by.”
No stone has been left unturned during the restoration process; Doug has managed to fit a perspex panel for the ‘Walk of Faith’ and replicate the same red pigment.
Friends, family and local businesses have been amazed by Doug’s acquisition.
He said: “It was quite amusing for me, I had some great fun asking businesses if they could paint and sandblast Blackpool Tower that was waiting outside the shop.”
Doug is now waiting patiently for planning permission that will allow him to keep the replica in his back garden and, if successful, he plans to hold a big party with family and friends.
He said: “I’m delighted to have something this unique. It’s the only one of its kind in the world and it would not have lasted much longer if it had not been repaired.
“Once I get the green light to have the tower up in the middle of my back garden then I will be hosting a party for all my family and friends to come see it.”
Mr Smith would like to thank Lee Fenton from ML Planning Limited for helping him with the planning permission process.