The Pendon Museum celebrated its sixty-fourth birthday yesterday (27th June) with the formal opening of the scale model Bristol Line by BBC Antiques Roadshow transport expert and author Paul Atterbury.
Mr Atterbury cut the tape across the track to allow the model Britolian – the non-step express linking London with Bristol in 1935 – to pass through the track at the Pendon.
Mr Atterbury paid tribute to the museum and its team of supporters. He said the museum played an important role in bringing to life the social history of the Vale of White Horse district. The model railways and villages set out a vision of England in the 1920s and 30s.
Wearing his trademark striped jacket Mr Atterbury said: “The Pendon Museum is a living history of the Vale and Wiltshire. It shows the continuing development of the landscape and the influence of the railways.”
“The model railway system is outstanding and I pay tribute to the model makers whose skills have created perfect example of cottages and buildings and landscapes. Pendon creates a fascinating view in miniature into our past and captures the beauty of a bygone age. It is educational, informative and entertaining.”
More than fifty guests attended the event including the chairman of South Oxfordshire District Council Lorraine Hillier, the chairman of the Vale of White Horse District Council Monica Lovatt, her husband Sandy who chairs the Vale’s planning committee, the mayor of Didcot Bill Service, the deputy mayor of Wallingford Dee Cripps and the chairman of Long Wittenham Parish Council Gordon Rogers.
In the evening there was a reception for trustees and members. Catering was provided by Long Wittenham resident Sarah Wells of Cordon Bleu Catering.