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Rushemre St Andrew: Uncle’s model will take pride of place at big day as niece ties the knot at St Andrew’s Church

08:00 04 May 2014

Russell Clarke has crafted a model of the Rushmere church in which his niece and her fiancee, Laura Clarke  and Daryn Brinkley will marry.

Russell Clarke has crafted a model of the Rushmere church in which his niece and her fiancee, Laura Clarke and Daryn Brinkley will marry.

Model maker Russell Clarke wanted to make his niece’s wedding extra special.

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So when the 85-year-old found out about the engagement, he set to work on his latest project – building a replica of the church in which the Ipswich couple will wed.

“It was a challenge, but I don’t let anything beat me,” he said.

Using straws and oven clay, he spent four weeks crafting the model of St Andrew’s Church, in Rushmere St Andrew.

He was a model-maker for almost 50 years, dispatching his hand-made creations to the USA and Germany and crafted a version of HMS Victory. He is currently designing a mock-up of the Royal Navy’s newest warship: HMS Queen Elizabeth.

However, he said the Rushmere St Andrew church with its medieval tower and Norman features is his new favourite.

His niece, Laura Clarke, said she was incredibly proud of her uncle. She helped him by taking photographs of the church, which he used to base his design on.

She will tie the knot with Royal Mail worker Daryn Brinkley on June 14.

Mr Clarke added: “Once I get started I get really into it. They are going to display the model church in the church when they get married, which is great.”

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