The charitable pensioner who spends hours doing jigsaws!

Rosie Vare
Puzzlemaster Mike Barry who volunteers at Hogs charity shop, Chelsea Road, Bath where one of his jobs is checking jigsaws for missing pieces. See SWNS story SWJIGSAW; A pensioner could be in the running for the world's most tedious job, completing jigsaws puzzles - just to find the missing pieces. Michael Barry, 76, started doing the job two years ago when a new charity shop, Help Us Give Support, opened in his home city. Having done puzzles for the last 40 years of his life, he saw it as a way to help out, being the only thing he is good at, and spends hours every day piecing them together. The retired builder will often sit down on an evening, put on classic FM, puzzling away till the early hours with his rescue cat, Norman.
Puzzlemaster Mike Barry who volunteers at Hogs charity shop, Chelsea Road, Bath where one of his jobs is checking jigsaws for missing pieces. See SWNS story SWJIGSAW; A pensioner could be in the running for the world's most tedious job, completing jigsaws puzzles - just to find the missing pieces. Michael Barry, 76, started doing the job two years ago when a new charity shop, Help Us Give Support, opened in his home city. Having done puzzles for the last 40 years of his life, he saw it as a way to help out, being the only thing he is good at, and spends hours every day piecing them together. The retired builder will often sit down on an evening, put on classic FM, puzzling away till the early hours with his rescue cat, Norman.



If you think you might have the world's most boring job... think again.

Michael Barry is a charity shop volunteer who, among other things, has to sort through the stacks of jigsaw puzzles that are brought into the shop on a daily basis to check for missing pieces.

The 76-year-old retired builder from Bath started working at the city's HUGS charity shop on Chelsea Road two years ago.

Michael says he will often sit down in the evening and puzzle away into the early hours with his rescue cat Norman by his side and Classic FM on in the background.

The pensioner spends hours each day putting the puzzle pieces in place and trying to work out if they have any pieces missing.

The charitable 'puzzlemaster' has been doing jigsaws for the last 40 years and has said that, as it's the only thing he's good at, he was keen to help out.

Michael told SWNS: "I like to do my bit for charity and it's the only thing I can do. It's my passion.

"I don't watch much television, I just sit and do puzzles. It's very peaceful. I do it all for fun."

The charity shop donates its profits to the Forever Friends Appeal, which supports the Royal United Hospital in Bath.

Michael says: "What can you say about puzzles? It's challenging. It keeps the mind ticking over. You can get really difficult ones.

"I have about 16 to do at the moment and that will take about a year."

Since he started working for the charity shop two years ago Michael has completed 300 puzzles, 147 of which had to be rejected as they were incomplete.

However, Michael says he doesn't find it irritating when he finishes a puzzle only to find there is one piece missing.

He thinks it wouldn't be fair for people to buy a jigsaw and then be unable to complete it.

Michael's wife Rosemary died 10 years ago, and it seems she wasn't such a fan of her husband's puzzling.

He said:"She couldn't stand them. She would go off somewhere else. She wouldn't help at all."

Bath locals have been keen to praise the hard work of this pensioner though.

Glenna Gillingham, Michael's neighbour, says: "Mike is an amazing character. He is very well known in the area, and is an absolutely great guy.

"He spends hours in his flat doing the puzzles and he never complains. Every day he comes to the shop to pick up more puzzles. It is amazing work by one of life's and Bath's true gems."

It may not be the most inspiring job in the world, but it's for a very good cause!


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