Legoland fan spends eight years building replica of his home city
Move over Legoland! Fan of the children’s plastic bricks spends eight years building replica of his home city that is now attracting as many visitors as the real thing
- Richard Trotter spent hundreds of hours building Chester landmarks out of lego
A retail worker has spent thousands of pounds recreating his home city of Chester entirely out of Lego and has turned it into a major free tourist attraction.
Richard Trotter, 41, has spent the past eight years and hundreds of painstaking hours building Chester’s most famous landmarks out of Lego bricks, including the iconic Eastgate Clock, the Roman Amphitheatre and its famous City Walls.
The magnificent display, made from tens of thousands of bricks and featuring dozens of notable Chester councillors, retail workers and even Roman soldiers, is housed in Chester’s new market hall which opened to the public last November and has welcomed almost 500,000 visitors.
Taking pride of place in the centre of the market, Richard’s bespoke creation attracts dozens of people every day, and is currently rated on TripAdvisor as one of Chester’s most popular tourist attractions.
Richard Trotter, 41, has spent the past eight years and hundreds of painstaking hours building Chester’s most famous landmarks out of Lego bricks
The magnificent display is made from tens of thousands of bricks and featuring dozens of notable Chester councillors, retail workers and even Roman soldiers
Richard’s bespoke creation attracts dozens of people every day, and is currently rated on TripAdvisor as one of Chester’s most popular tourist attractions
A view of one of the city’s streets, featuring a figurine of Chester-born Daniel Craig as James Bond
And thanks to a donation box located next to the display, Richard has also managed to raise around £3,000 for local charities in a bid to give something back to the community.
Now, something that began in 2014 as a way for Richard to relax after work has turned into something totally unique to the city, and it’s growing more and more with each passing week.
‘Initially, the idea was to make just a few sections of the Rows for fun using a few bricks, and a local art shop put it on display,’ says Richard.
‘Then someone I knew who worked at the old Chester Market asked if I would like to make a bigger display in there and I was given a good space for it in there.
‘At the time, Chester Market wasn’t in a great place and needed lifting out of the doldrums, so I tried to make the display into a focal point.
‘It became quite popular and over the years I’ve added more and more to it and it’s grown into a Chester icon since then.’
A huge Lego fan since childhood, Richard became ‘addicted’ to building the city’s shops, buildings and landmarks, spending his own money on every brick and sometimes taking months at a time to complete a new addition.
‘The trickiest part was making the Steam Mill building which took hundreds of bricks and took me months to finish,’ he said.
The historic Chester Amphitheatre, made out of lego and filled with lego gladiators and spectators
The new Chester Theatre, Storyhouse features in the incredible display, which is complete with lego figurines
TV star, Russ Abbot and famous Chester resident, TV chef Ainsley Harriott, feature in the display – or a lego form of them at least
Richard Trotter’s creations are housed in Chester’s new market hall
Richard with his model of the Eastgate Clock infront of the real thing
‘But I find it a relaxing experience and love taking what is effectively a pile of bricks and turning it into something familiar.
‘When I see the finished piece it is such a great feeling and although I used all my own money, I see it as a great investment for the future and I love that it’s now giving such a good focus on the new market too.
‘What’s unique about the Chester in Lego display is that I don’t think there is anywhere else in the UK you can see something like this for free.
‘Of course there’s Legoland but you have to pay for that. My display is great for tourists who love seeing the instantly recognisable landmarks.
Richard’sdisplay is completely free for people to visit, while legoland costs tourists
Chester’s new market hall opened to the public last November and has welcomed almost 500,000 visitors
A lego James Bond, who most recently was played by Daniel Craig who was born in Chester
Chester FC stadium, the Deva Stadium, made entirely out of lego
Something that began in 2014 as a way for Richard to relax after work has turned into something totally unique to the city
Even chain stores like McDonalds feature in the cityscape
‘I think people really love spending time looking at it and I enjoy reading what they say about it on TripAdvisor.
‘I feel especially proud I am managing to use it to help local charities too,’ he added.
Next on Richard’s agenda is tackling more of the Roman aspects, parts of Chester Zoo and some of Chester’s newest businesses to include in the display.
It is down to him to keep track of the city’s latest openings and closures to keep his display up to date, and he also has to do a deep clean of it every couple of months, which can be challenging due to how busy the market gets.
‘I suppose the cleaning of it is the biggest challenge, but I don’t mind too much. It brings people joy and I love doing it so I can’t complain really.
‘The Chester community and Cheshire West and Chester Council have been incredibly supportive of my project.
‘It was just built on an ad hoc basis but has grown into something really special.’
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