A landscape in miniature
Under blue skies, a steam train puffs its way through the peaceful countryside. Rumbling over a bridge, its London-bound passengers catch a glimpse of a bus stopped on the road below, its driver disembarked and deep in conversation with a farmer filling his horse-drawn bowser from the river. Pushing on, the train passes grazing sheep and horses, fields of ripe crops and harvest-time activities, before drawing into a village station. This is Pendon Parva, in the Vale of White Horse, but despite all the signs of activity, no passengers will alight. For Pendon Parva is an imaginary village sitting in a model landscape, painstakingly built, largely from card, to capture a slice of rural life in the vale in the 1920s and 1930s. Known as the Vale Scene, this incredibly realistic layout is the centrepiece at Pendon Museum in Long Wittenham, Oxfordshire. Measuring more than 69ft by 30ft (21m x 9m) and covering more than 1,991sq ft (185sq m), it is the ongoing realisation of the dream of one man, Roye England. It speaks of a deep connection to the world it replicates, made all the more remarkable by the fact Roye was not born here, but half a world away, in Perth, Australia. Arriving in Plymouth in 1925 as a young man of 18, he boarded the Star Class locomotive Westminster Abbey to travel
A painstakingly-created model landscape encapsulates the essence of a rural Oxfordshire vale in bygone times
Great Western locomotive Princess Alice, a Star class number 4050, crosses a bridge above a bucolic scene. This is part of an ongoing project by modellers recreating authentic detail of the Vale of White Horse in the 1920s and 30s.