Astaria Model Village at the Museum of Power

In addition to the shows shown below Alan and David open the village on the FIRST SUNDAY of the month when entry to the site and tearoom is FREE but with a charge to enter the Museum. On the occassions listed below the village is open but Show entrance fees will made.


Model village will be illuminated by approximately 400 candle lanterns on 3 FRIDAY evenings during October. The Tea Room will be open for refreshments together with the Museum.

We do go down to the model village on a lot of Sundays in order to do our maintenance work and you will be more than welcome to come in and have a look round if you are there at the same time as us.

How it all began

Alan’s story telling talents came to the fore in the mid 1970s when he became the father of a young son. Having spent many years at sea in the Royal Navy, Alan had become a keen reader and had taken a special interest in J.R. R. Tolkein – C.S. Lewis – Douglas Adams and even Beatrix Potter, all escapist books leading the reader into mythical worlds where their imagination was the only limit.

Alan would tell his young son tales of monsters and fairies, creatures from the depths of the oceans he had sailed on and even how he battled giant crabs and suchlike on faraway beaches on islands that had been swallowed up by the angry sea.

All tales that would have the young boy’s imagination spinning over and over as he lay down to sleep.

As the Museum of Power began to grow in its infancy with more and more engines and the such-like arriving on site, it became obvious to Alan that there was absolutely nothing at all that would entertain any children that came along with their fathers.

Remembering his times as a young father and how he had kept his own son full on interest and wonderment Alan decided that he would try and give these visiting children something of their own to look at, and to hopefully remember as they went away.

After spending two years getting the miniature railway underway at the Museum of Power, Alan turned his efforts to the project he had been planning in his head, namely the building of a model village. He had no idea how to go about this and everything was done on a trial-and-error basis. Buildings falling to pieces or just not looking right, too big, too small, all work became one huge learning curve for Alan to get sorted out as he began to build each house in his little work-shop at home in Basildon.

Slowly and surely though, house by little house, the village idea began to flourish and take shape: Little characters were purchased by Alan because the village had to have “people” living in it after all.

Later on Alan was to get some help with laying out the village when his long time work colleague Dave Mead offered to come down to the Museum to help out from time to time. (Alan and Dave pictured above)

They persevered on their own, over-coming all sorts of obstacles they encountered along the way until the village of Astaria was finally brought to life and is as you see it today. Astaria is loved by all the children who visit, especially when schools visit the Museum as they get to visit Astaria as part of their day. The village is continuing to grow and improve. The Museum is very grateful to Alan and Dave for their hard work and proud to be the home of Astaria.