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Business model: Pensioner recreates High Street

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: June 18, 2012

  • Bill Broom, of Chard, with his model high street featuring shops from the Somerset town, from both past and present picture: Jennie Banks

  • Inside one of the shops

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A snapshot of a Somerset town's high street over the years has been captured in model form by an artistic resident.

Bill Broom, 80, started creating miniature versions of Chard's shops from the past and present in 1997.

The painstaking detail involved means it takes Mr Broom about a year to create each one.

He said: "I've always liked messing around in a workshop or shed and I used to make dolls' houses and model railways for my grandchildren and the hobby just grew from there.

"There are shops from the past and present. A number of them have shut down and been taken over by something else. I knew the owners of a lot of them and for the ones that aren't around anymore, it's done through a combination of mine and their memories.

Mr Broom is originally from Axminster and used to work as a painter before working in a factory.

He added: "The models are so detailed, right down to what is on the shelves of the shops and people will say things like 'oh, my mother used to get that'.

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