WHO said size matters? When it comes to Billericay Miniatures Club, it’s a case of the smaller the better!

Although at times it can be painstaking, the art of crafting tiny items on a 1/12th or 1/24th scale has had creative people hooked in Billericay for more than a decade.

The club, which was set up by Janet Lee, has had a 30-strong membership since it was established by her in 1999.

At one stage the waiting list was so long, another group, Billericay Dolls House Club, was formed to cope with the demand.

Club secretary Mrs Lee, 73, of Shanklin Avenue, Billericay, first saw how popular the hobby was when a demo was held at Billericay Library that attracted “such a crowd” she thought it would be a good idea to start a club.

“Most of us have what you might call dolls houses or shops,” she said.

“We furnish them and make things for them, sometimes you buy bits too because you can’t make it all.”

The club, which is limited to 30 members, meets once a month where they concentrate on making one particular item together. A project is also chosen for each year. This year it was gypsy caravans, last year it was manor houses.

Mrs Lee said: “Sometimes people come thinking they can’t make anything and they surprise themselves by being able to do it and find out where their expertise are.

“Some are good at the woodwork, embroidery or knitting, they often find their niche.”

Mrs Lee said she enjoys making many items, but there’s only so many dining rooms and kitchens you can kit out on a miniature scale so she likes the different projects chosen each year so there is always something new to turn her skills to.

She added: “If you get into other things and various other themes it's more varied and challenging.

“It depends on someone's level of expertise, but you can go into as much detail as you want. Some members are really expert at the intricate detail, others are not so but they enjoy it and are pleased with what they do.

“It can be frustrating if things don't go right, but it's only a piece of wood or cardboard that you can throw away or you just start again. It is very rewarding when something comes together, the making brings most of the enjoyment of it.”

Some of the work is so intricate, magnifying glasses are needed to complete the most detailed of pieces.

“It’s amazing when people come to our exhibitions,” Mrs Lee said.

“If they haven't been before they’re amazed that it’s all miniature and they can really relate to it.”

Members of the club will be at Billericay Library this Saturday, November 3 from 9.30am to 4pm with a display of items they have made.

This is a preview of their bi-annual exhibition, which will be held in the W.I Hall in Billericay the following weekend on Saturday, November 10.

Their miniature gypsy caravans will be on display, along with many other tiny treats made by five other local clubs between 10.30am and 4pm.

Entry is free, but donations to The J’s Hospice, in Chelmsford, are welcome.

There will also be a raffle for the charity and refreshments will be available.