This film is part of Free

The Diamond family visit Bekonscot and Windsor

Join Gillian and Roger as they wander like giants about Bekonscot Model Village - before shrinking back to size for a visit Windsor Castle and the swans on the River Thames

Amateur film 1960 3 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Screen Archive South East


Ted Diamond's happy film captures his family's outing to Bekonscot Model Village in Beaconsfield. His children Gillian and Roger, who proudly carries his own camera, make their way about the scaled down buildings, bridges and airport – complete with aircraft. They then arrive at Windsor Castle and wander about the grounds and gardens where two grenadier guards are seen chatting. The family then moves to the banks of the River Thames where Gillian and Roger feed the swans.

Bekonscot was first conceived in the late 1920s by a Beaconsfield accountant, Roland Callingham, who had a very large garden. With the help of his household staff a layout modelled on a typically English rural town was developed. After Mrs Callingham threatened to leave if Ronald’s indoor train set wasn’t relocated outside, the manufacturer Bassett-Lowke was commissioned to make a Gauge 1 layout for Bekonscot. Although only intended to be an eccentric plaything for Callingham, word about Bekonscot got around and after 1930, thanks to various newsreels and publicity articles, the ‘village’ began to receive visitors, among them Princess Elizabeth and her sister Margaret.