Model railways

Model villages aren’t just for kids

When you leave Bekonscot, the world looks different. The semis and grass verges of suburban Beaconsfield seem slightly wrong: too large, too assertive. It takes a minute or two to adjust your perspective — to size yourself up, or bring the surrounding houses down. In that moment, you experience the sensation described by Will Self in Scale, his morphine-addled hymn to Britain’s most celebrated model village: ‘Some people lose their sense of proportion; I’ve lost my sense of scale.’ Well, supply your own lockdown metaphor. As we emerge, muzzy-headed, from extended voyages around our own living rooms, the government’s recent announcement that we are now free to visit ‘amusement arcades,