Highlands & Islands

Former soldier builds igloo as cool play house for children

finished igloo Image copyright Melissa Finn
Image caption The completed igloo took eight hours and is very sturdy

A Highlands father has become very popular with his children after building them the ultimate chill-out zone.

Former Royal Engineer Stephen Finn utilised his skills - and the wintry weather - to construct an igloo in the back garden of his house in Roybridge, near Fort William.

It took him eight hours to complete the snowy structure.

And he believes it is so strong, it might last well into the new year.

Stephen's wife Melissa said it all came about when the snow stopped her husband getting to work. She said: "He can't sit still and he is always building stuff for the kids.

"They asked him for a snowman and he said he was going to make an igloo!"

Image copyright Melissa Finn
Image caption The igloo is a big hit with the Finn children
Image copyright Melissa Finn
Image caption Michael, 2, just loves his new play house

Mr Finn, 27, had bricklaying skills from his army days and started packing snow bricks into a plastic box, making about 80 of them.

By the time the igloo was completed, his children, Eva-Mae, 10, Vito, 4, and Michael, 2, were delighted.

"Vito gets up at about six in the morning and he asks to get his shoes on right away to go and play in it", said Mrs Finn.

Image copyright Melissa Finn
Image caption Mr Finn hard at work on his igloo
Image copyright Melissa Finn
Image caption The former soldier learned bricklaying in the army

"All the kids' friends have been round too - we've become a local attraction."

People keep asking Mr Finn what he is going to build next.

And even his wife fears there could be more snow buildings on the way. "It's snowing again today, so I can see him heading outside and giving the igloo an extension."

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