Blog | ‘Why We Love Model Villages’ a presentation by Tim Dunn

Wakefield Civic Society

an organisation dedicated to making Wakefield a better place in which to live, work or relax.

Hepworth Gallery, Wakefield
Mar 15

‘Why We Love Model Villages’ a presentation by Tim Dunn

Tim Dunn

This is the story of Britain’s model villages: miniature worlds that have captivated garden guests and paying public since the early twentieth century.

This glorious romp through postcards and photos of tiny utopias covers their early growth as playthings of the wealthy, their blossoming into fairylands on seafronts during the post-war holiday boom, and of many model villages’ gradual decline from toy-towns to ghost towns.

But it is also the story of how diligent model-makers, artists and crafters have carried on in the sheds, gardens and workshops of Britain to build small - yet think big. Today we still delight in their miniature marvels, and this talk explains why - in Wakefield - perhaps one of the places in Britain furthest away from any model villages!

Tim Dunn is a broadcaster, writer and marketing man. He worked at Bekonscot Model Village in Bucks from the age of 12: he designed a town, built models and ran the railway. In investigating the slightly bonkers history of miniature Britain he has rescued several model villages; consequently he has a 27ft Eiffel Tower in his uncle’s back garden, a 60ft long Intercity 125 train that is too fast to give rides to the public and a repertoire of tiny town facts that ensure he is never invited back to a second dinner party. In his spare time he tracks down and documents long-lost Lilliputs and enthusiastically presents eccentrically British TV programmes like BBC Four's Trainspotting Live, and talks about model villages on BBC Radios 2,4,5 and 6, on Sky News, in the papers and anywhere they'll let him talk about a thing so delightfully silly as this.

Tickets are just £6 (£5 concessions and members) and can be booked via Eventbrite - no booking fee!

We hope to have copies of Tim's book available to purchase on the night.