Model Railways – Bekonscot Model Village

Model Railways

 Bekonscot Model Village

Model Village

Bekonscot Model Village, Warwick Road, Beaconsfield

In 1928, Mrs Callingham suggested to her husband Roland that his model railway went or she did so it moved outside. The village opened to the public in 1929 attracting the attention of the Royal family who first visited in 1934 and returned several times in later years. For the fifteen years after 1961 Tom Berry and his staff kept Mr Callingham’s dream alive adding more modern buildings, cars and trains. In 1976 one of the major beneficiaries the Church Army was approached to assist with the running of Bekonscot. In 1992 the decision was taken to return Bekonscot to the heydays of the 1930s. Deteriorating models were rebuild or replaced sympathetically, while others were backdated to their original 1930s styling. The model railway was completely reconstructed, incorporating the old signalling system into a complex computer-controlled network, all of which was housed in a brand-new replica signal box.  © Copyright Jo Turner and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 Bekonscot is famous for its miniature houses, gardens, vast garden railway, and the time warp that keeps Bekonscot a magical place for everyone. This is our aim since we opened in 1929, and we are proud to have kept this charm alive.

Every year we make new additions, and work hard to keep the village looking its very best. See more about the history of Bekonscot and discover just what does go in to making the village so special.

We have over 10 scale miles of model railway track, surrounded by thousands of plants and hundreds of buildings, Bekonscot really is unique.

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Models & Villages

Bekonscot Model Village actually comprises six little towns stuck in a 1930s timewarp. Bekonscot Town is the biggest, with the others scattered about the other 1.5 acres of gardens. Each has its own character, villagers and features – from coal mines to great castles, aerodromes to farms, docks to cable cars, racecourses to escaped convicts!

There are more than 200 buildings, 3,000 inhabitants, 1,000 animals, hundreds of vehicles and many models move right before your eyes. Stride down the High Streets and peek inside buildings – we’ve hidden hundreds of tiny details so take a second look!

Greenhaily

Greenhaily is home to Chessnade Zoo, with penguins, elephants, tigers, lions and even a chimps’ tea party! The originals of these models are over 75 years old, having been crafted from limewood by children in the New Forest. Newer ones are made from resin casts to preserve the originals.

There’s a collection of houses formerly from Ramsgate Model Village here, brought back and restored in 2003.

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Look out too for:

• Cricket on the green

• Windmill

• Greenhaily Station, based on Beaconsfield’s real station (listen for the announcements!)

• Bekonbury Castle

Bekonscot Town

This market town is the oldest part of the entire model village. Stride down the High Street and peek over the roofs! There’s a cinema, two railway stations, fire station, four pubs, town square, pier, marina, lifeboat station, and of course, possibly the world’s smallest Marks & Spencer.

Look out too for:

• Terrible, terrible puns for shop names

• Minster Church with choir inside

• Clark College, based on Eton College

• Escapee from the police station

• Working Watermill

Southpool

This is the famous fishing village, sheltered at the bottom of the cliffs. It’s always busy in the port, and you can see trawlers unloading their catch on the quayside.

Look out too for:

• Oil Refinery

• Rockclimbers

• More awful puns for shop names

• Dry docks and repair yard

• And look inside the glass-roofed pottery

Hanton

It’s a pretty little hamlet; with lots going on today. George and Anna are getting married at the church on the hill, and the photographer is struggling to keep everyone in order. Perhaps the guests have been distracted by the house on fire behind him… Just down the road is the working fairground, and across the way, a steamroller is finishing off some roadworks. These must be Britain’s longest-running roadworks – the road has been shut since about 1983.

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Look out too for:

• Hanton Court maze (based on Hampton Court)

• Country Club

• Enid Blyton’s House, Green Hedges

• Farmyard

Splashyng

Ascot Racecourse is the newest feature of Evenlode, and it’s Race Day! See the ladies and gentlemen as they mill about the enclosures. Along the Top Road you’ll see Davenies School, the Manor House Hotel with its lawns, waterside chalet and waterfalls, and the garden centre too.

Look out too for:

• The village green

• The animated lady cleaning her windows

• The hospital (based on Amersham Hospital) with its patients inside

• The canal basin, warehouse and locks

• Cablecars running up the Gorge every 3 minutes

• Foxhunt across the fields (but don’t worry, our little fox has always outsmarted the riders!)

Evenlode

Ascot Racecourse is the newest feature of Evenlode, and it’s Race Day! See the ladies and gentlemen as they mill about the enclosures. Along the Top Road you’ll see Davenies School, the Manor House Hotel with its lawns, waterside chalet and waterfalls, and the garden centre too.

Look out too for:

• The village green

• The animated lady cleaning her windows

• The hospital (based on Amersham Hospital) with its patients inside

• The canal basin, warehouse and locks

• Cablecars running up the Gorge every 3 minutes

• Foxhunt across the fields (but don’t worry, our little fox has always outsmarted the riders!)

Epwood

Epwood and Evenlode New Town run together these days. Evenlode New Town comprises dozens of little mining cottages, scattered on the hills around Evenlode Coal Mine. It’s a dark, damp corner of the Bekonscot District, and freight trains trundle along the cliff bases with loads of coal.

Light Railway

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Come and take a trip on the Bekonscot Light Railway! Our narrow gauge ride-on (7.25” gauge) miniature railway weaves its way behind the model village, criss-crossing some gardens, encircles a pond and returns to the terminus.

Timetable

The light railway runs every day during our open season, from 10:30am until 4:30pm, departing “on demand” every few minutes.

Prices: £1.00 per person. Under 2s go FREE

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