He is still a master of his craft but on a different scale.
Hilton Clough, 72, of Holmfirth, spent all his working life as a stonemason.
Now, in retirement, he’s still delighting customers – with work on a 1:50 scale.
When ill health forced him to retire in his late 50s, father-of-three Hilton was at a loose end.
He couldn’t just sit about doing nothing so he created a workshop in his shed and set about using the skills he’d learned over almost four decades.
Now he’s turned his hobby into a business, selling authentic stone models at Huddersfield’s monthly craft and food fair Upmarket.
“I always loved my job and when I finished work I was bored,” said Hilton.
“I can’t just sit around reading a book, I’d rather be out in my shed working.”
Hilton, married to Patricia, tends to build most of his models to scale and takes inspiration from the buildings around him.
He started small, creating miniature dry stone walls and stables and then moved on to more ambitious projects, taking up to 200 man hours to complete.
His favourite pieces are a church – inspired by Holmbridge Parish Church – which features a real leaded roof and The Swan Inn, a fictional pub which would grace any rural country scene.
Hilton also created a scale model of son Kevin’s home in Waters Road, Marsden.
“It’s a passion I have,” said Hilton. “I love what I do and all my models are built with authentic materials from the stone and slate to the wood and the glass.
“Kevin’s house has uPVC windows so the model also has plastic frames. If they had been wood, I would have used wood.
“I put real glass in the windows, the stone is all local and the blue slate I pick up when we go on holiday to Wales, you find it everywhere there.”
For Hilton there is no expense spared. He even uses special glue costing £10 a tube.
Hilton’s pieces cost as little as £4.50 rising to £250 for the likes of the church and the pub.
Thanks to wife Patricia and her friend Gwen Abbott, Hilton’s work is now on sale at Upmarket but for him it’s not about cashing in.
“We are barely breaking even, never mind making any money,” smiled Hilton. “But it’s not about that, it’s about keeping busy and doing something I love.”