WITH his long hair, beard and the twinkle in his eye – coupled with his passion for toy-making – Matthew Farn could well be mistaken for Santa’s lad.
Now the art teacher from Sheffield is turning his passion for wooden playthings into a Christmas business, after being inundated with orders from his children’s friends.
Matthew started making wooden toys for his son Andrew when he was a tiny baby.
Andrew is now seven, and has been joined by two brothers, James, five, and Patrick, two.
And just like their big brother they love playing with the good old fashioned chunky toys dad makes in the Littlest Toy Shop – a workshop at his Meadowhead home.
So do their friends – who have been pestering their parents to ask Matthew to make them toys for Christmas.
Matthew, aged 38, from Meadowhead Avenue, said: “The first toy I made was for Andrew.
“It turned out to be far too big for him! But he loved playing with it.
“I then made him a train that he could ride on.”
Matthew started selling his toys at Christmas fairs and on the internet, and can now be found in his workshop most evenings making toys to order.
“It’s a hobby really,” he said. “When I sell them I’m happy enough to cover the cost of the materials.”
Matthew’s toys range in price from £2 for a small tank to £200 for big orders like an Australian land train which he recently made for one customer.
n Log on to www.littlesttoyshop.co.uk for more details.
n Santa’s Blog: Page 16.