A trench model, painstakingly constructed by the Bedford U3A Miniatures Group, is looking for a museum or similar establishment to offer it a loving new home.
In November last year, I was lucky enough to be asked to go and speak about the Remembrance Image Project to some 200 or so members of the Bedford U3A (University of the Third Age) group. I knew I was speaking to a knowledgeable audience, as I had already heard about the amazing trench model that had been built by some of the members. I was fortunate enough to meet a few of them and chat with them after my talk.
The model has been widely exhibited in a number of different locations in the Bedfordshire area, and is now looking for a permanent home where it can remain on public view.
The model measures 6ft x 2ft, and is built to approx. 1/12 scale. Everything, from the landscape itself to the war materiel and the individual figures was made by hand, with a meticulous attention to detail. The landscape was based on the Flanders plains around Ypres, where some of the Bedfordshire Regiment served between 1914 and 1918.
The group looked to documentary and photographic evidence from the time in order to ensure that their model was as accurate as possible. They took the deliberate decision not to base their trench scene in any particular year, to enable them to show elements from early in the conflict, as well as later developments. In addition to numerous individual soldiers, the scene shows a field kitchen, a mine tunnel entrance, artillery…and even a latrine! The photos above, kindly supplied by the modellers themselves, give some idea of the details.
In all, the model took some nine months to construct. The group are now looking for a permanent home for it. Although they are not looking for any money for the model, they would like to be assured that it will be in a good home where it can be on public view for many years to come.
If you know of a museum or other institution which would be interested in acquiring the model, then please contact me and I can put you in touch with the model-makers.