Barry Poll (73) was diagnosed with macular degeneration in 2009, which made it increasingly difficult for him to keep up with his hobby.
However, a CCTV reader provided by charity Scottish War Blinded has allowed him to get back on track. The reader enlarges anything held underneath its magnifier onto a large screen.
Barry, who served as an Aircraft Technician with the RAF from 1962 to 1994, joined Scottish War Blinded in 2016.
He said: “One of the first things my Scottish War Blinded outreach worker got me set up with was my CCTV reader. I told them about my model railway and explained that I had a problem with it. I knew what the problem was and I had the instructions and plans to tell me how to put it back together again, but I couldn’t read them.
“I used the CCTV reader to help me see to fix the parts and I realised what I could do with it. I’ve adapted to using it. Now I’ll be working with my hands and looking at the screen instead of what I’m working on, like a brain surgeon.
“I’m not giving up. I’ll get frustrated at times but if I do I’ll just leave it and come back to it. It does get tiring, my eyes get more blurred as the day goes on.”
The father-of-two has lived alone since his wife passed away eight years ago, and is determined to stay as independent and active as possible.
Barry, who has overcome a stroke and cancer, said: “Once the condition was explained to me I knew what to expect. I started meeting people with the same problem at a more advanced stage than me. I saw how they were coping, and I thought, ‘If they can do it, I can do it.’
“You have to be positive about it. I have to be, or else I’d just sit in a chair all day. I try to maintain my independence.
“I’m using my CCTV reader every day, for other things as well like letters and post. It’s made such a difference.
“Without the support from the charity, life would be very difficult. I wouldn’t be able to read or work on the model railway. I’d be a lot more reliant on my sons.”