'Buckingham Palace' to be burnt for charity

Eddie Heath and the model of Buckingham Palace Eddie Heath has spent five months building the replica of Buckingham Palace from wooden pallets donated by local companies

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A man from Staffordshire has got royal approval to burn down a 20ft (6m) high model of Buckingham Palace to raise money for charity.

Eddie Heath, 63, from Dilhorne, has spent four months building the replica from wooden pallets for the bonfire event at his local pub, the Royal Oak.

After writing to the Queen for her permission, he received a letter from the palace with her best wishes.

Mr Heath has previously burned models of the White House and Wembley Stadium.

"I was inspired by the Queen's Jubilee year and wanted to bring a part of that to Dilhorne," he said.

"I wrote to Her Majesty and got a reply that wished me all the best for the future and best wishes for raising funds for charity."

'Out of hand'

Mr Heath is a retired scrap metal dealer and has been building bonfire effigies based on famous landmarks for 20 years.

"This is one of the most elaborate I've ever built, it's made from pallets donated by local companies, kitchen cabinet doors, and the gates are made of garden canes," he said.

His bonfires have already raised more than £80,000 for Midlands Air Ambulance and all the proceeds from Sunday's event will go to the charity.

He said that building the replica had become "a full-time job."

"This is my last one, my swan song, because I think my wife will leave me," he said.

"She's been very supportive over the years but it's grown and grown and now got a bit out of hand."

The bonfire will take place on Sunday 11 November.

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