WHEN a stroke left Peter Graham unable to speak and move his left arm, he began rehabilitation with a puppy and finished it with a 2,000 piece model of the Titanic.

His scale model of the passenger liner, which sank on April 15, 1912, took a year and a half to build and weighs about 16kg.

The former plumber, of Ferryhill, says he has always been interested in models and over the years has built many Georgian doll’s houses.

Mr Graham suffered a stroke six years ago and says the model has helped with his rehabilitation.

“I woke up one day and it felt like my head was in a vice. It was a serious stroke that just came out of the blue, I lost all of my speech and couldn’t use my left arm,” he said.

“My wife bought me a puppy, to help with my dexterity, and then building this model has helped with rehabilitation too.”

The model was gifted to Mr Graham by a friend who, due to arthritis, was unable to build it.

“He had started on the keels but when he could not continue with it he moved it to his shed and some of the parts had warped so they had to be rebuilt.

“He’s seen pictures of the finished model and he is delighted with it.”

Mr Graham started building the model from the keels at the bottom and worked upwards using mainly tweezers and committing an hour or two every day.

The Northern Echo:

It is made predominantly from wood but also incorporates other materials to replicate metal railings and port holes.

Tiny passengers can be seen on the deck, including fictional characters Jack and Rose, who are placed together on the ship’s bow.

And the entire model has been hand-painted by Mr Graham using specialist brushes.

He added: “I have had an interest in models since I was a child. And history is something I have an interest in as well, I have been doing a lot of research whilst building the ship.

“From start to finish it’s about thinking ahead, you learn from your mistakes and know for the next time.

“County councillor Peter Atkinson suggested the model be on display at the library and it is great to see members of the public enjoying it.

“I would like to thank Peter for sorting the exhibition and the staff at the library.”

The model of RMS Titanic is on display at Ferryhill Library until Thursday, April 18 and is free to view.

There is also a small quiz for visitors to enjoy alongside copies of the original menu served the night before the vessel sank.

For library opening times or more information call 03000-269530