Tuesday, 31 Mar, 2009 Offbeat

Romantic Couple Spends 20 Years Creating a Model of the Town They First Met


It took 20 years for a romantic couple to create a model of the town where they had their first date. For the first time Stanley and Christine Buck met during a chance meeting that took place at a crowded 1950's coffee shop. Two years later they got married and decided to celebrate their meeting by making a mini replica of the coffee shop. Back then she was 17 and he was 24.

However, it turned out that the idea was very attractive and the couple decided to expand it. Today, after 2 decades and 30,000 hours, the two managed to create the whole 1950's town, which represents an accurate copy of the neighborhood in Greenford, London.

Their model measures 20ft by 2ft. It is made of wood and includes different shops, houses and even a cinema that features miniature billboards advertising the movie that Stanley and Christine watched during their dates.

"Originally I was into modeling trains. But after I retired Christine convinced me to start building dolls' houses and we came up with the idea for the town," said the 75-year-old Stanley. He is the one to make the buildings and his 68-year-old wife paints them along with all the clay figures. It would be interesting to note that in 2010 the couple will celebrate their golden wedding anniversary.

"I was sitting in the cafe and saw a very pretty young lady come in but there were five other lads all vying for her affections so I didn't think I stood a chance," recalls Stanley, who admitted that he was quite nervous, but still decided to walked over to where Christine was sitting.

"[I] told her where to meet me. I then walked away before she could say no. So you can imagine my surprise when she turned up, and I suppose the rest is history," he said.

The couple began constructing their model in 1990, when Stanley retired and the two decided to move to Whittlesey in Cambridgeshire. Each day they dedicated 5 hours to the project. Currently the whole scenery is held in a shed at the bottom of the garden. A lot of visitors from the different regions of the country come to see the model, which is made from MDF.

There are 12 shops, among which there are: a fish and chip shop, toy shop and craft shop and boarding houses. There's electricity in every building. In addition, buildings have removable front and roof, so visitors can see what's happening inside. The couple even built a dress shop, which was named Christine, reports Daily Mail. Stanley said that the Christine dress shop is located in the biggest and fanciest building in their model, which is why he decided to dedicate it to his wife.

The couple's 1:24-inch scale model is built in a very detailed way. You can even see tiny toys that are sold in the toy shop, miniature cups on the tables in the cafe and billboards on the cinema that advertise the film Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, which is one of Christine's favorite movies. However, the town is still not finished and the couple continues working on minor details.

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