Model of Victorian Winchester goes on display next week

Roger Brown with his model of 1870 Winchester

Roger Brown with his model of 1870 Winchester

First published in Winchester

A MODEL of Victorian Winchester goes on display in the Great Hall next week.

The recreation of the city in 1870 by retired planner Roger Brown is on show from January 21 to February 16.

The 15ft model has been on display in the city several times, including at the Great Hall and Intech science centre in Morn Hill.

Mr Brown, of Harestock Road, who started making the model in 1987 and finished after nine years, said he was concerned about its future.

He said: “Ever since I made it everyone has said “You must find a permanent home for it,” but unfortunately no one has risen to that challenge. I don’t want it; I am getting too old to look after it and am partially blind so cannot even see it properly.

“The county council did arrange for it to go to Intech but that could never be permanent. After it left Intech I suggested ceremonially burning it at the Buttercross and have a ‘Great Fire of Winchester’ but there was a great outcry against it and the museum service took it on.

“But now they are complaining it is too expensive to store so the same question is going to arise after this display. It needs the county or city to say “This is something that visitors would like to see,” and find a place to show it because I cannot invent one for them.”

But county council leader Ken Thornber said the county would preserve the model.

He said: “The model of Winchester from 1870, is a unique piece that the County Council has held on behalf of the model maker, Roger Brown, for a number of years Once the exhibition ends, the council has agreed with Mr Brown that it will store and look after the model to ensure it is protected for the future.”

Mr Brown added he was inspired to build the model after seeing a similar model in Rye, Sussex.

He added: “It would be nice if a new generation of people saw it. I think it’s worth seeing and it’s free so there’s no reason not to.”

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