Daily Archives: June 8, 2010

Pendon Museum – The Museum of Miniature Landscape and Transport.

This is an article by one of our members who visited the Museum described, and was first published in the ‘Mercian’ Vol.1 No.2 of 1968.

Pendon Museum

The Museum of Miniature Landscape and Transport

Colin N. Southall

For some time I have wanted to see Pendon ‘The Museum of Miniature Landscape and Transport’, and while in the area recently I was able to visit it.  To say that I was impressed by what I saw is something of an under-statement.

Two landscapes are planned, of which the principal one will have its setting beside the Vale of the White Horse on the borders of Berkshire and North Wiltshire.  It will bring to life an old thatched cottage on the h ills, with long expresses of the Great Western Main Line threading through the quiet meadows of the Vale.  Cottages and other buildings for this scene are shown in various stages of construction; in fact this is as far as the landscape has gone.  The second landscape is much more complete at the moment, and is well known to many modellers.  The most prominent feature is a timber viaduct, formerly on a branch near Tavistock, with the slopes of Dartmoor in the background.  About seven different Great Western trains are being run on this at the moment. 

Pendon Museum Trust

One of the most impressive of these is a 71 wagon goods train hauled by a 47XX 2-8-0.  Another particularly memorable train is a 13 coach express hauled by a Hall.  This is particularly interesting for the interior is as punctiliously modelled as the exterior.  For instance, in one compartment are two cyclists studying a map of Dartmoor on their knees; in the luggage van are their two cycles.  In another compartment is an Indian Potentate with his private detective in the next compartment.  Probably the most interesting locomotive modelled is the ‘Great Bear’, one of the engines on the railway with fully working inside valve gear.  All the locomotives are completely scratch built to the most superb standards.  Some cottages for the Vale of the White Horse landscape have already been built.  Like the trains these are incredibly detailed.  For instance some 80 hours or so was spent on the Clematis above the doorway of a cottage.  It is this meticulous attention to detail that is one of the most memorable features of Pendon.Pendon Museum Trust

Also on display is the famous Madder Vale layout of John Ahorn which is a wonderful model of a light railway.

Many other relics are displayed, including loco chimneys – one is of a King Arthur; nameplates – mainly GWR; posters and early timetables, and other miscellaneous relics, including a 30 ft signal.

I hope my article has served its purpose – that is to whet your appetite so that you must go and see it.  It can only be appreciated by seeing it, not by hearsay.  But Pendon is not just of interest to those whose interest is in railways; almost anyone will find it of absorbing interest.

Details of opening times and routes to get there were also given in the article but I reckon that they may have changed in the last 42 years!

I suggest that you take a look at their website – there is a link, ‘Pendon Museum’, in the blogroll.