A Christmas-mad office worker has transformed his desk into Britain’s most festive workspace: a snow-covered castle complete with a ‘smoking’ chimney.
For the third year running, engineer Jack Makepeace has created a merry masterpiece of his workspace so he can celebrate Christmas while on the job.
What started as a competition amongst his colleagues at Ibsecad, a building services firm in Leeds, West Yorkshire, has now become a tradition that his colleagues eagerly anticipate every holiday season.
This year, the newly-married Yuletide fan drew inspiration for his makeshift winter palace after he spent his recent honeymoon at the Ice Hotel in Sweden.
The engineer has always loved Christmas, but especially so because his new wife Charlotte is partially blind, and she loves to see the vague sparkles of holiday decorations.
Makepeace said: “Charlotte has a genetic disorder called retinitis pigmentosa which meant she lost her sight at 14 years old. She only has a little light perception left so she can see all the sparkles, on the tinsel and from the lights, so it is a very special time for us.”
The 24-year-old then built a cardboard castle covered in white felt that resembled snow . He even equipped the creation with a working drawbridge and a chimney for escaping ‘smoke’ – or more accurately, if somebody vapes through it.
It also comes complete with fairy lights, tinsel, penguins, and sugar canes – and whenever Makepeace isn’t sitting inside of his castle to do his work, he sets his computer’s screensaver mode to a video of a burning log fire.
“It took me about three hours to make,” says Makepeace. “I have a degree in engineering, so luckily, the drawbridge didn’t pose too many problems to construct.
“I then went into the office on Sunday to staple the whole thing together – [and] I promise it was all done in my own time.”
He goes on to say that he had only been working at the firm for a few months when they first launched the desktop competition in 2016.
“Others had put Christmas trees on their desk and I decided I wanted to go ‘out there’,” says Makepeace. “I wasn’t quite sure whether it was the right thing to do, with me only working here a short while, but I thought ‘sod it, it can only make people smile.”
“It went down such a storm that my colleagues said I had to make a bigger house next year – which I did – so this year I thought I better build a castle.”
His ambitious creativity is especially brave considering how Makepeace’s desk is located next to the boss.
But on the contrary, the firm’s officer manager, David Coy, said that Makepeace “knocked it out of the park.”
“I set up the competition in 2016 to create a bit of festive cheer in the office,” says Coy. “The rest of us used a bit of tinsel and a tree, then Jack created a masterpiece that was absolutely incredible” adding that “he deserved the prize of a bottle of Jack Daniels” and they are already “excited to see what he’ll do in 2019.”
“We were slightly worried about what he could be getting up to in his boxed-in castle, but he does sit next to the regional director and he has put a window in there so we can have a peek in.”
(WATCH the festive footage below)
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