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Published: March 26th 2019
Thought it was easier to copy from Wikipedia. Bekonscot
, is the oldest original model village
in the world.
It portrays aspects of England
mostly dating from the 1930s. Bekonscot was first created in the 1920s by a Beaconsfield
resident, Roland Callingham (1881–1961).
Callingham, an accountant, developed the master plan for his miniature empire as an addition to his large back garden, drawing in help from his staff: the gardener, cook, maid and chauffeur. Together they developed the model landscape portraying rural England at the time. The swimming pool
became the first "sea" and the undulating rockeries were built up as hills. Bassett-Lowke
, the large-scale model railway manufacturers, were commissioned to build an extensive Gauge 1
railway network for the project.<sup id="cite_ref-rail_4-0" class="reference"
This is the ticket office. It is an old railway carriage.
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Callingham named the village 'Bekonscot' after Beaconsfield and Ascot
, where he had lived previously.
Bekonscot was not conceived as a commercial visitor attraction
but as a plaything to entertain Callingham and his guests. It was only after 1930 that its existence became widely known, catching the imagination of the press and public alike. Frequent newsreels, such as Pathé
, and international and national newspaper
coverage, ensured a steady stream of visitors, all of whom were invited to make a donation to the Railway Benevolent Institution.
Bekonscot has been run by the Church Army
since 1978 and donates large amounts of money to charity
. It has raised the equivalent of almost £5,000,000 and has been visited by more than 14,000,000 people.
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