Elvis Presley would have turned 77 this week and though he died more than 30 years ago, one fan is keeping the King’s memory very much alive in his Matlock home.
Melvyn Haymes – or Melvis to his friends – began his obsession with the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll when he was 12-years-old.
The former taxi driver has spent his whole life collecting memorabilia and by his own admission has turned his Rutland Avenue home in to a museum to his hero.
Melvyn, proudly wearing his Elvis shirt which cost over £100 and an extra £70 for special buttons, showed off his lifetime collection.
The vast array of meticulously kept Elvis mementos that fill his home includes a specially-made suit, original records, photographs, posters, clocks, cigarette cases, lighters, clothes, ornaments, a guitar and a jukebox.
Melvyn said: “I’m a well known character in Matlock and everybody has always called me Melvis.
“If I get someone from the council coming in to do some work they can’t believe it. They say it’s like a museum.”
He added: “It’s like I’m stuck in a time warp. I don’t like modern stuff. I only like things if they’re old.
“I’ve always been in to rock n’ roll. There was a group of us around Matlock that used to be Teddy Boys. They’ve all grown up and got married but I’ve stayed the same.
“I see people walking around and they all look the same. I don’t want to be the same as everyone else, I like to be an individual.”
The memorabilia has cost the 55-year-old thousands of pounds – and is valued at much more with one record alone expected to reach over £750 at auction. But the dad-of-two who lives alone with his cat Mick, insists he would not part with his beloved collection and plans to be buried in his jewelled white suit, with a life-size Elvis cardboard cutout stuck to his coffin and The Wonder of You playing in the background.
He said: “I’ll never be able to live like a king but by god I’m going to go out like one. It’s probably worth a lot of money but I’d never sell it. It’s taken me so long to get it altogether, it’s a part of who I am.”
The collection has taken over every room in Melvyn’s house – from the Elvis bedspread in his bedroom to the themed chopping boards and mugs in the kitchen – but among the mementos his favourite pieces are two signed photographs of Elvis.
Other favourites include his suit – specially made at a shop on Dale Road in Matlock – and his coffee table covered in original newspaper clippings from August 16, 1977, reporting Elvis’s death.
On January 8, Elvis’s birthday, Melvyn spent the day listening to his records. Although his home has been turned over to the King, Melvyn said he has no intention of stopping his collecting.
He added: “My daughter plays hell at me and says, ‘what am I going to do with all this?’ but I can’t stop now, I’m always on the look out for new stuff.”
To see a video of Melvyn’s collection log on to www.matlockmercury.co.uk.