Glimpse history through old images of Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire, England.
Beaconsfield is just 23 miles out of Central London. However, its historic buildings and location in the southern part of the predominantly rural county of Buckinghamshire means the town has a distinct feel of Middle England.
Why is Beaconsfield called Beaconsfield?
Actually, from the 13th century until about 1720 the town was called Beckenesfeld. The area had a large number of beech trees, which in old English were called ‘bece’. The original name probably described a clearing in the beech woods. What is Beaconsfield famous for?
Today, visitors flock to the first model village ever created. The historic architecture of the Old Town inspires admiration, and the town is a good base from which to explore the local Chiltern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Beaconsfield is also home to the National Film and Television School. Established in 1971 and based at Beaconsfield Studios, according to the 2018 Hollywood Reporter it is today one of the world’s top 15 film schools.
Beaconsfield’s Miniature Village 1932
In 1932, Mr Callingham’s model village and railway was recorded for a newsreel. We also see visitors walking round the miniature attraction.
The Super Model – Garden Railway (1932) – British Pathé on YouTube
German Leader Visits POW Camp (1946)
In 1946, the year after the end of World War II, the British Labour Party invited the Leader of Germany’s Social Democrat Party, Dr. Kurt Schumacher, to visit Britain.
One of the locations he visited was the German Prisoner of War camp near Beaconsfield.
Beaconsfield (1946) – British Pathé on YouTube
Enid Blyton (1946)
In this newsreel footage from 1946, we see Enid Blyton at home with her family in Beaconsfield.
Enid Blyton is shown with a typewriter on her lap, showing her daughters Gillian and Imogen some of her day’s writing. After reading letters send to her, the famous children’s author is joined by her husband, Darrell Waters.
The family of four then play a game of snap, with the family cat also having made an appearance.
She then reads everyone one of her stories before bed.
Of course, if you’ve seen one of the documentaries about Enid Blyton’s life, you know her real family life was very different to these scenes of quiet, domestic bliss!
Personality Meet – Enid Blyton (1946) – British Pathé
Bekonscot Model Railway (2008)
The Bekonscot Model Railway in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, has miles of model railway track weaving its way through a landscape populated with miniature buildings.
Bekonscot Model Railway – A Drivers Eye View – 60103Henry on YouTube
Beaconsfield in 2009
Scenes of Beaconsfield locations in 2009.
Beaconsfield Views, Buckinghamshire, England – townspace on YouTube
Beaconsfield in 2011
Streets and locations in Beaconsfield, filmed in the summer of 2011.
Beaconsfield, England summer 2011 – Nathan Barker on YouTube
Beaconsfield Fun Run (2011)
The 2011 Beaconsfield Fun Run was held to raise money for Comic Relief. Despite the rain, thousands of local students and teachers took part.
Beaconsfield Fun Run – surreyandberksmedia on YouTube
Beaconsfield Festival of Lights (2013)
On Wednesday, 11th December 2013, the IHS Reading Scottish Pipe Band processed in the Beaconsfield Festival of Lights.
Beaconsfield Festival of Lights – Cynocephali on YouTube
Beckonscot Model Village & Railway (2014)
Another trip to the area’s popular model village and railway, this time in 2014.
Beckonscot model village and railway Marlow Buckinghamshire – Keith Manning on YouTube
Impressions of Beaconsfield
Back in 1988, a video was made to look back at the Beaconsfield of the old days. Of course, today even 1988 is an age to look back at with nostalgia!
Impressions of Beaconsfield – Bogglesham on YouTube
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