Highlands & Islands

Wick stone mason makes miniatures using day job leftovers

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionDrystone dyker Billy Fletcher winds down after a hard day at work by making miniature buildings in leftover Caithness stone

Some might think that for a drystone dyker Billy Fletcher has an odd way of winding down after a hard day's graft.

The 48-year-old's preferred way of relaxing is to build miniature buildings in his favourite medium of Caithness stone.

After a day out building walls in the wilds of Caithness, Mr Fletcher retires to his stone-built garden shed in Wick to continue his labour of love in miniature.

He said: "I just mess around with the debris that is left over from my day job, small pieces of Caithness stone.

"To me they look like bricks on a normal house, so I just try to put them together."

With an interest in historic buildings, his small-scale creations include castles and period cottages.

Five castles

He has also been building a reputation for himself with his miniatures and has had commissions from across the county.

Mr Fletcher said: "There are not many men who can say they have built castles and cottages. I think I've built five."

The stone mason has also found that his pastime has had an influence on his day job.

He said: "There is precision in the work.

"Doing this makes my drystone work far better.

"You are not working with or lifting a big stone, but in miniature you are working in the same principle - overlapping, gable ends, foundation stones, face stones. It all works exactly the same."