Four years on the tiles for town mill’s Lego modellers

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TWO Lego enthusiasts are 18 months into a four-year project to build a model of Halifax’s massive Dean Clough mill complex.

About 200,000 Lego pieces worth around £10,000 have already gone into creating the first buildings on the 22-acre site.

When complete in 2014 or 2015, about one million bricks will have been used.

The work is being done at the historic site by two Lego lovers who are “purists” in that they only use standard retail Lego and use almost no glue in construction. The bricks representing the sandstone are standard Lego beige and the stanchions are gearsticks from Lego cars.

Lego enthusiasts Tony Priestman, a Halifax-based IT specialist, and Michael LeCount, a Sheffield primary school teacher, are using the mill complex as a blueprint for a model which will measure 35ft by 8ft when finished, with a 12ft chimney.

When completed it will be one of the largest Lego constructions in the world, echoing the history of Dean Clough which was home to Crossley Carpets from 1822 until 1982, and the largest carpet factory in the world.

The site was bought by Sir Ernest Hall in 1983 and regenerated into an arts centre and commercial units. His son Jeremy Hall, the mills’ managing director, said: “Dean Clough’s prime virtue is the most difficult thing to demonstrate – and that’s its scale. We considered producing an architectural model but that lacked the imaginative edge that has always characterised the site. When the Dean Clough arts co-ordinator Dee Grijak suggested using Lego it felt immediately right!”

When the last brick is in place the model will go on permanent show at one of Dean Clough’s six galleries. The work in progress can be seen at the ComEd gallery, but visitors are asked to ring in advance as viewing may be restricted.