Snowed-in former Royal Engineer spent day creating 6ft igloo for kids

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AN Afghanistan veteran and former Royal Engineer has delighted his children by constructing a giant igloo in their back garden.

While most dads would be content to build a snowman, Stephen Finn spent eight hours in the cold building an igloo 6ft high and 6ft wide.

The 27-year-old – proudly wearing his old Royal Engineers T-shirt – made around 80 foot-long snow bricks for his masterpiece in Roybridge, near Fort William in the Highlands.

And Stephen, who survived two tours of Afghanistan during his seven years in the Army, reckons the igloo is so sturdy it could survive well into next spring.

The Roybridge area experienced four days of heavy snowfall last week and on Monday Stephen, who now works as a diver, couldn’t get to work.

Rather than sit about all day he decided to take on a massive construction project.

He even enlisted the help of his brave wife, Melissa, to stand in the center of the igloo while he built the domed ceiling above her.

Melissa said today (WED) how their children Eva-Mae, 10, Vito, four, and Michael, two, are over the moon with their new playhouse.

Finn’s son, Vito, in front of his dad’s creation

Melissa, 32, said: “The kids were just ecstatic. Vito has autism and at the moment he is just Christmas daft. Anything to do with Christmas and he is just so happy.

“The kids haven’t been out of it. Vito was actually up about 6.30 this morning putting his hat and scarf on to get back out in it.

“We’ve had the deepest snow that I’ve ever seen and I’ve lived in the Highlands for years. We had it for four days in a row so people have been out helping others push their cars out from the snow.”

Melissa added: “He can’t just sit about or enjoy a cup of tea or anything, he has to be out there doing something so him and the kids were going to build a snowman but then he decided ‘why not build an igloo?’

“Each block was about a foot and we had to pack plastic containers to make each one then pack it down.

“He was in the engineers so everything had to be perfectly lined up. I stood in the middle while he packed the blocks on the top.

“He was so chuffed with it when he finished, he always says ‘Bear Gryll’s has nothing on me!

“The neighbours were coming round to check how it was coming along and all the kids from the street have been round.

It took about eight hours to building total and it’s about a foot and a half wide made out of bricks of snow.

Eva-Mae, 10, and Vito, 4, inside the igloo

“At the moment there’s a little lantern in it but we are going to put a little table and chair set in there for the kids too.”

Melissa shared a photograph on Facebook showing Stephen proudly sitting next to his creation attracting dozens of comments.

Alison Smith wrote: “Aww Stephen this is just amazing. Looks like you’re having a well earned cuppa.”

Susan Scott said: “He’s hoping to have a piece of peace and quiet when they play in there!”

And Kimberley-jane Finn wrote: “Brilliant.”

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