Mrs. W, my former contact in the Wimborne Minster area, sent me this copy of “Wimborne Life” over a year after our visit to the Model Town, so that just goes to show how memorable our visit was! Wimborne Model Town did not feature on our itinerary, but the sign for it caught my eye and the idea of the Model Town captured my imagination. It has a “Secret Garden” appeal, in that you cannot see the model from King Street and it comes as a great surprise when you see it for the first time. I’d go as far as saying that, if you are a big fan of surprises, you should not ready any further than first paragraph; I would hate to spoil the experience for you! Once inside the gardens you are transported to place that looks very much like the town you have just left, The Minster Church in the centre of the model being the most familiar landmark, even to a first time visitor to Wimborne, as I was then, but you are also transported back in time. The model was cast in concrete in the 1950’s and it has not changed a lot since; apart from a move to it’s present location in the 1980’s to save it from a developers bulldozers. It is a time capsule. There is no Waitrose supermarket in the model Wimborne for example. “The King’s Head Hotel” (one of my favourite places in the full sized Wimborne) model looks very much as it did in real life, although the square in front of it has recently (within the last year or two) been altered considerably, so even in the short time I have been aware of the Models existence it has documented a considerable change in the appearance, I dare say, the history, of the town.
But there is much more to Wimborne Model Town than just the model! There is a model railway AND a putting green, but we did not take much of these because we were absorbed my the giant chess. I have seen these giant chess boards before, but this was the only occasion I have ever played with one. A. W, a fellow graduate of The University of Hull, who is now doing very well for himself, won the chess game, but I enjoyed it all the same (not to play down A’s chess playing abilities, but I cannot recall ever winning a game of chess, but I find a lot of fun in the playing, what ever the outcome). Our game must have been a very amusing sight; two six footers playing giant chess set next to Model Town in which we dwarfed everything but The Minster’s towers!
For more information on Wimborne Model Town having a look at their website. You can even take a virtual tour: http://www.wimborne-modeltown.com/