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Saturday, 29 November 2014

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Model boat used to promote Whitehaven Credit Union

A man who built a 6ft model boat on his kitchen table is using it to promote the work of a credit union.

Model boat man photo
Bob Wood with his boat, Credit Union

It took volunteer Bob Wood just over three months to build the boat – which he has named Union Volunteer – in his Whitehaven town centre flat.

After selling the full-size boat which he used to live on, Mr Wood decided he needed a new challenge so decided to get a model kit.

And this week, Copeland mayor Peter Tyson, along with members of Whitehaven Credit Union, attended a launch of the remote control boat to promote the organisation’s awareness week.

“The entire boat has been built on the kitchen table in my flat,” said Bob, of Rudds Court. “I built models a long time ago and before Christmas I sold my full-size boat, so I needed another.”

Mr Wood said that he plans to sail the boat – which is 6ft-high – around Copeland lakes, taking photographs of its journey which he will make into a Credit Union calendar.

Mr Wood lived on his boat when he moved to the town five years ago. He was grieving the death of his 22-year-old son, Brendan, who suffered from cardiomyopathy.

After living on the boat during harsh winters it became very damp and Mr Woods moved into a flat in the town centre. He got into debt and realised he needed to learn to save so joined Whitehaven Credit Union, which he said helped turn his life around.

He became a volunteer, started to “rebuild his confidence” and socialised with others.

Bob had worked on boats since he was 12 with his father, and had been an apprentice sail-maker making sails for Thames barges.

“I’m an obsessive,’’ Bob admitted. “Building this boat absorbed me and I would be up until 3am working on it, adding extra details.’’

The boat was launched at the harbour slipway, to help highlight Credit Union Awareness week which starts on February 11.

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