THIS handcrafted model was inspired by the paddle steamers that used to operate from Bournemouth Pier during the 1950s and 60s.

Retired engineer Terry O'Neil, who created the 15-inch model, also says regular paddle steamer excursions from the pier would be warmly welcomed if they were reintroduced for today's residents.

Terry explained: "I have made a paddle steamer similar to those that used to operate off Bournemouth Pier when I was a lad.

"It is highly detailed, and is made out of wood and metal.

"It has internal lighting, window, port and starboard green lights, and even has smoke coming out of the chimney."

The 70- year-old, from Haymoor Road, Oakdale, Poole, is no stranger to the Daily Echo.

Several years ago we featured his handmade models of historic fairground and circus vehicles.

His latest project was taken on after reminiscing about the paddle steamers that used to operate off Bournemouth decades ago.

"When I was a young boy back then these always seemed to me to be large vessels, they held a fascination for me," explained Terry.

It took him around six months to complete his project.

"I remember well the trips my parents treated me to aboard The Embassy and others like that," he said.

"We journeyed to Swanage, Weymouth and the Isle of Wight.

"You could even get one from Bournemouth, after you'd come out of the cinema, to take you back to Poole."

Terry also thinks it is high time that paddle steamers made a comeback.

"If Bournemouth council were approached about running a service again it would be great," he added.

"I think the paddle steamer's time has come again, for the novelty factor.

"Seeing a great big side paddle was wonderful. I used to position myself just after the paddle box and watch the torrents of white water."

The PS Embassy, an excursion steamer, made her last public sailing in September 1966.

Back then a trip back from Bournemouth Pier to Poole Harbour would have set you back four shillings.