Model maker begins new chapter in life at Great Barford

Jim Francis with sales executive Helen Smith
Jim Francis with sales executive Helen Smith

From building homes, running a greetings card company and even making model dinosaur fossils for the BBC – retired Jim Francis has had much in his life to keep him busy.

Now the keen and talented sculptor is poised to embark on a new chapter, along with wife Grace.

The couple have made their new home at Linden Homes Midlands’ Goodwin Place development in Great Barford, having spent the past 27 years living in nearby Willington.

As well as a background in building homes, Jim also has a passion for model making, and has donated one of his beloved bronze sculptures of a hare to Linden Homes, which has pride of place in the sales and marketing suite.

Jim, who leads the Artist Network Bedfordshire, is planning to use his brand new shed as a base for his model making – much of which he does in bronze and pewter.

While wildlife, like frogs, hedgehogs and hares form most of his repertoire, a number of years ago Jim was commissioned by the BBC to model some dinosaur fossils for a feature on the Horizon programme.

Jim said: “Model making is a passion of mine, and I am delighted that Linden Homes is displaying one of my bronze hare sculptures in the sales suite – very fitting as I will be moving to Hare Meadow.

“Grace and I are looking forward to settling into our new home, and I’m very much looking forward to spending time in my brand new shed-cum-workshop and making more models,” added Jim, who has been invited by the Bedfordshire Arts Association to give demonstrations to members.