Hastings Model Village

From Historical Hastings

Hastings Model Village in White Rock Gardens took three years to construct, was designed by Stanley Deboo and constructed with the assistance of a master builder Mr. Benjamin White[1], following the success of a similar village Mr. White had constructed in Ramsgate. Mr. White went on to design and build a similar model village at the Redoubt in Eastbourne. The village was opened to the public on the 19th of February 1955. The village was named 'Ganymeade' and featured reproductions of many Sussex ​building​s. Whilst it was an extremely popular tourist attraction, featuring prominently in postcard collections such as Gifford Boyd who produced a set of six cards showing the village.

Vandalism and removal

Whilst the village was open to visitors, many new ​building​s were added such as a newspaper office the 'Ganymeade Gazette' which featured in an article in the local paper.[2] In addition, the team of modelers were known to work tirelessly to repair and replace any ​building​s suffering damage.

In one of the reported acts of vandalism; the parents of two boys who had caused around £5,000 worth of damage to the site in 1976 were ordered by magistrates to pay £250 towards repairs, their children being placed under a supervision order - one of the children reportedly saying he had carried out the vandalism to get his name in the paper[3].

The village was finally removed in 1988, being replaced by a miniature golf course, then a laser maze site.

It is believed that some of the foundations of the houses are still visible[4].


References & Notes

  1. The Redoubt Eastbourne Revisited | Maximal Space, accessdate: 19 April 2020
  2. Hastings and St Leonards Observer - Saturday 24 May 1958
  3. British Newspaper Archive Hastings & St. Leonards Observer 27 March 1976 Pg. 0007
  4. 1066 Online