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All systems LEGO for model replica
THE first of 160,000 LEGO bricks has been laid as part of an ambitious project to recreate one of the borough’s most famous landmarks.
LEGO expert Duncan Titchmarsh will spend the next six weeks building a scaled-down version of Basing House – a former Tudor palace in the village of Old Basing – at Milestones museum, in Basingstoke Leisure Park.
It is all part of the museum’s LEGO Mania event, a new exhibition celebrating the famous building-block toy which runs from February 21 to Saturday, March 31.
On Tuesday, the first bricks were put down by Duncan, who works for Bright Bricks Ltd and is the UK’s only certified LEGO builder.
Once completed, the creation will span around 12 metres squared and comprise four separate buildings including the Great Barn, which still stands today.
Duncan told The Gazette: “Standing here looking at 160,000 bricks is a bit daunting, but it will be a lot of fun and I am looking forward to the challenge.”
Duncan, who will work on the project six days a week, has taken on a host of major projects across the world, including recreating a full size LEGO house, complete with working toilet, for the James May’s Toy Stories programme. He also built a 12 metre-high LEGO Christmas tree in St Pancras Station, in London, last Christmas.
The project is being funded thanks to a £13,000 grant from the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council Renaissance programme, which seeks to increase interest in museums. It also has the support of Hampshire County Council, which runs both Milestones and Basing House.
Councillor Keith Chapman, executive lead member for culture and recreation, said: “In the end, there will be the complete rebuild, which will be a credit to Basingstoke and the wider area.”
Once completed, the models, built to a 1/40 scale, will be transported to Basing House as a semi-permanent exhibition.
The LEGO Mania project also has a number of activities for youngsters to get involved with, using LEGO bricks donated by members of the public. There is also a special LEGO Star Wars exhibition complete with a Death Star and Millennium Falcon spacecraft.