On the way back from a recent visit to the Peak District Mr PP and I stopped off in the Cotswolds mainly because I wanted to see the William Morris House at Kelmscott. We stayed in the large village of Bourton-on-the-Water, mainly because I had been there once before on a school trip way back in 1977 and we stopped there for a refreshment break on the way to Stratford-upon-Avon to see Shakespeare’s birthplace, Anne Hathway’s House and to see A Comedy of Errors at the RSC. All these years I have remembered Bourton as being charming and it still is!
The charming Dial House set back from the High Street, Bourton-on-the-Water
Mini Venetian-style footbridges across the River Windrush
The church of St Lawrence
We stayed at the Dial House Hotel, charming and old world outside but stylish and contemporary inside, the food was excellent! For such a small place, Bourton has loads of things to do and places to visit. We visited the Cotswold Motor Museum which is also the home of “Brum” the children’s TV character from the 90’s. This museum is a real treat, full of motoring and other related ephemera from the early days of motoring up to the 80’s. There is so much to see for both adults and children alike all displayed in a very accessible format, there are no frills and fancy cases here!
Topiary Mini at the entrance to the Motoring Museum
TV icon “Brum” This is the original car from the TV series
Inside a 1920’s caravan
Radiator grille from 1930’s BMW – note the badge hasn’t changed
Chopper! (Who didn’t want one of these….)
Dunlop cycle types advertising board 1950’s
Guinness bus crate
Automatic left hand signal device… ingenious!
Michelin pneumatic tyre inflator
Fiat Topolino – the first Fiat 500!
Short film about Motorcycle Football
Various toys, including a toy Zeppelin!
Space Hopper and an HP Sauce ride-on toy (????)
Photograph of men sitting in a river for no apparent reason
1950’s American swimming machine, this didn’t catch on – I wonder why?
Old window postcard
Suzuki GT185, popular in the 1970’s when this could be ridden on L plates and which could attain speeds of up to 80mph
Vintage ice cream van outside the Motor Museum (the ice cream wasn’t vintage)
The other place we visited was the town Model Village. I am a bit of a sucker for model villages and have seen several both large and small. My favourite is the one in Wimborne, Dorset which my parents used to take me to see as a child; I took my own children there some years ago. Beaconsfield Model Village is another great example, but seriously there are many, in varying states of repair. The model village at Bourton was built by the landlord of the Old New Inn, it took 5 years to complete and was opened on coronation day of King George VI in 1937. Built to one ninth scale it has all the buildings from the old water-mill (now the motor museum) down as far as the Old New Inn and includes a model of the model village. Inevitably over time buildings like this crumble and on the day we visited a young man was busy restoring one of the houses. We stopped for an interesting discussion with him about the repairs and it transpired that he has been commissioned to repair most of the buildings, one building takes about 6 weeks to complete.
Model Dial House Hotel
Model building and miniature garden
Model of the model village
Even the topiary mini is in model format
Restoration and repair work underway
The model village shows the village as it was in the late 1930’s but also reflects how the buildings are used today which is interesting and unusual.