Being based in the Midlands, travelling across Britain was not an easy task in the days of the 1940s and 1950s, but we did occasionally make it down to the Cotswolds and the beautiful village of Bourton on the Water. One of my favourite places to visit was the model village, built to one-ninth scale and depicting the heart of the village as it was when the model opened in 1937. It took fifty years before I looked at another model village, and was surprised somewhat to find that Bekonscot in Beaconsfield is actually older, by a few short years.
Bekonscot, to be fair, actually started during the 1920s, but simply as a personal pleasure for the architect Roland Callingham. With the help of his staff and friends, he constructed a model town to represent life in England as it was just after WW1. To Roland the village was a plaything. To his guests it was a wonder to be shared and so, in the early 1930s, Bekonscot was thrown open to the public.
Since those days the village has attracted more than 14 million visitors. Since 1978 it has been run by the Church Army, which has resulted in more than £5 of the entrance fees being channelled into charitable causes.
Bekonscot Model Village