In Search of a Dream: The Life and Work of Roye England - Second Edition
This new edition of 'In Search of a Dream' updates and extends the remarkable story of the life of Roye England and his ambition to create, in miniature, a permanent record of a vanished rural landscape, in what became Pendon Museum. The author, Stephen Williams, brings the story up to date, with Roye England's vision for an ambitious and painstaking recreation of the Vale of the White Horse and its railways now, to all intents and purposes, completed.
At 264 pages the book is larger than the 218 pages of the original and has two completely new chapters, covering developments since Roye's death and the publication of the first edition. Stephen has made only minimal changes and corrections to the original text, but the photographic coverage is much expanded and contains many images that are not in the first edition, together with a magnificent colour pictorial plan of the completed Vale Scene.
The emphasis is slightly different too, Stephen has chosen fewer images of "pure landscape" than did Paul Karau in the original, which gives the whole book a quite different feel. This is not to detract from the original, which makes a fine accompaniment to this new edition. There is also more emphasis on the people involved at the outset of the project, including some really lovely details and photographs of the great Guy Williams.
The biggest difference in the new edition is in the use of colour, including a good number of delightful colour pictures that Roye himself took in the 1950's. The near finished model of Pendon itself is magnificently recorded through the colour photography and skilful image editing work of Paul Ellis, whose images are absolutely stunning and show just how remarkably good are the models and scenes that Roye and the numerous modellers of Pendon created. The work at Pendon goes on of course and the images in this new edition reveal the latest additions to Pendon's landscape to be every bit as good as Roye's own work, which continues to amaze and inspire all these years later.
All in all, Pendon is a stunning achievement on very many levels and, whilst this book is fundamentally about its founder Roye England, it is also a great visual and written record of everything that has been achieved at Pendon. This book forms a very good introduction to Pendon if you haven't already experienced it, and a magnificent record of what has been achieved if you have. It is also a moving and well written story on many levels, an account of fellowship and frailty, the ups and downs that we all experience, and also the many things that we are all privileged to enjoy in this hobby of ours.
Richly illustrated and with many previously unpublished images, the book is a handsome tribute to one of the most influential model makers of the 20th century.
Softback, 264 pages, black & white and colour photographs
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Updated: 29 December 2023