THE work of a dedicated North-East model-maker has been put on display in Blackpool Tower's ballroom.

Alan Bartle, from Broom Park, in Durham, has created a replica of the famous Wurlitzer organ in the tower and recently presented it to staff at the ballroom where the original is still used.

Pensioner Mr Bartle, who is a keen organist, was encouraged to start the project by his wife, Betty.

Sadly, she was taken ill and died before his painstaking craftwork was completed.

Once Mr Bartle, 70, had decided to make the mini organ, it took him just eight weeks to complete.

The 12in model is made of mainly hardwoods and has individually hand-crafted stop-keys, pedals and a tiny bench, covered in the same material as that used at the full-size organ. The tiny keys and pedals can all be pressed just like the real organ.

Mr Bartle said: "It was Betty's brainchild to have one of my models displayed at the tower. She thought the management at the tower might like to see the completed effort.

"I sent them a few photos and they were very encouraging. I decided to present the finished model to the tower in memory of Betty. I only wish she could have seen her idea come to fruition."

Visitors to the tower ballroom can now see Mr Bartle's creation, which is in a special glass presentation case.

It was handed over to John Bowdler, one of the resident ballroom organists, who also gave Mr Bartle the chance to play a few tunes on the full-size Wurlitzer which inspired his model-making.

Mr Bartle has since made another two mini Wurlitzers - one for a friend and one for his own home.