Bekonscot has raised almost £6 million for charity in 85 years

Roland Callingham with Queen Mary

Bekonscot in 1935

First published in News Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

ONCE a train enthusiast’s hobby, Bekonscot Model Village has grown into more than its founder could ever have dreamed of.

In the last 85 years, Bekonscot has had more than 14 million people walk through its famous gates, helping to raise almost £6 million for charity.

The miniature buildings, people and vehicles have managed to create more of a stir than could have ever been imagined in the late 1920s.

Roland Callingham (pictured with Queen Mary in the early days of the village) was forced to move his model railway out into the grounds after his wife told him either it went or she would.

The ultimatum proved to be the catalyst for what is now the world’s oldest model village.

After enlisting the help of staff, friends and children from nearby schools, the birth of the village was well underway.

In 1929, Callingham decided to open the doors to the public.

The idea was to share the pleasure more widely, with a collection box to hand in case anyone wished to donate to charity.

The concept of raising money for charity has never wavered and will continue to be at the forefront of Bekonscot for years to come.

AS part of Bekonscot’s anniversary celebrations the BFP is presenting a month-long special looking back over the past 85 years of the model village.

Bekonscot will officially celebrate being open to the public on the weekend of August 9.

To share your memories of Bekonscot please email andrew.colley@london.newsquest.co.uk

Competition:

The model village is offering Bucks Free Press readers the chance to win some great prizes.

Find all ten Bekonscot bears around the miniature village to be in with a chance of winning the competition.

The lucky winner will receive a special prize and have their picture printed in the BFP.

The Bekonscot competition ends tomorrow.

Terms and conditions apply.

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