Blackpool Model Village and Gardens
This charming outdoor exhibit can be found to the south of Stanley Park, and is a welcome change from the brightly lit, adrenaline pumping attractions on the Blackpool Promenade. Upon entry you are handed a quiz, which straight away lures me in, as I am an extremely competitive person, and I immediately set myself up as the winner, in my mind anyway.
The name of this attraction gives it away, a model village is exactly what it says on the tin. Yet nothing prepares you for the respect you feel for the modeller, and the detail evident in every aspect of each building and dwelling you see displayed. There are little miniature people living in different places, at work, in the outdoors, at leisure, and you feel like you are a giant helicopter, hovering over this small town and observing it.
Historical architecture features the Tudor period, and close attention has been paid to the layout of Tudor style villages and the size, shape and purpose of the dwellings. Canal life is represented by boathouses and mini-waterways in homage to England’s most reliable mode of transport in 19th century. Before the trains took over. It is fitting that the latest exhibit for 2011 is a model railway dedicated to early 20th century steam engines.
In other sections you can go back in time to medieval Scottish Castles and life within, and what is surprising as you continue doing the historical quiz, is how absorbed you become with this miniature world. The full size shrubs that loom in the background are forgotten as you study, giraffe-like, the goings on, and speculate how life might have been then.
More village scenes are present in the form of a cricket match on the green, visits to Sunday church, and workers in the mills. Life wouldn’t be complete without a tavern, a grocery and some outbuildings, including a miniature farm. Travellers are included with a group of decorative caravans parked on the common land stopped to cook up a pot of broth.
With the 40th anniversary of the Blackpool Model Village and Gardens due to fall in 2012, I recommend you visit this little world and exercise those history brain muscles.