A Lost Miniature World

Miniature villages don’t often get demolished. Britain has some of the best model villages and cities in the world, many of them qualifying as fine pieces of folk art, most notably Bekonscot in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire (Google satellite view – a missed opportunity to break out some really high resolution imagery) and the Model Village in Godshill, Isle of Wight (satellite, again, sadly blurry) and Babbacombe in Devon (satellite). There’s a list at Wikipedia of the rest.

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Few had such a short life as Tucktonia. Built in 1974, it was closed in 1986 and the site is now occupied by flats. All the buildings, save for one (according to Wikipedia) were destroyed. There’s a scattering of Tucktonia ephemera online, such as this flickr set of a Super 8 film of a 1978 visit, some snippets from 1976. There’s also a fair bit of information and materials at Remember Tucktonia, part of X Church, Christchurch History Online (with lovely old photos). This page includes two brochures (one and two, the latter with a great tour of the park’s copy of London), extolling the virtues of ‘Seeing Britain in a Day’.

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We’d like to add a set of scans of this undated Tucktonia Souvenir Brochure to the pile. It was clearly a labour of love (and a big investment – ’18,000 tons of hard-core, 2,500 tons of concrete… 164,000 gallons of water, 16,000 metres of electric cable… and nearly a mile of miniature railway). It didn’t last. The site is now retirement flats, sitting atop the freshly re-crushed rubble of a small civilisation. See the site then and now, courtesy of Google Earth.

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Finally, we love this badge from Chris in Plymouth’s UK Holiday Badges set. Other sets of note on that thrillingly obsessive page: numbers; doorlocks; Letterboxes; Emergency Onlys; remote controls; Letter A (and all the way through to Z); Plymouth cafes and abandoned chairs.

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3 Responses to A Lost Miniature World

  1. Ned says:

    Love Tucktonia. One of the few (only? unless you count Legoland) model villages to include ‘modern’ buildings.

  2. This one in Western Australia burnt out by a bushfire looks like a miniature scene of the recent balkans conflict. Sinister.
    http://theworstofperth.com/2007/10/19/mandurah-burning/

  3. Just wanted to let you know the sidebar looks off in my browser with 1600×1200 resolution.

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