Amersham Museum -

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49 High Street Old Amersham HP7 0DP

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Object of the Month - October 2014

1914 Model

October’s object of the month is a model of Market Square, Amersham as it would have appeared in 1914, at the time of the first of two local recruitment drives to enlist local men to serve in the army.

The 1914 meeting was for the Kings Royal Rifle Corps. It was organised by Ronald Grist, a local bank manager, who later served and was killed in Burma. There was a parade, starting at the station, including the Amersham Band and men from local services such as the police, fire brigade and boy scouts, with patriotic songs and speeches, a ommon theme repeated in recruiting men across the country. It is reported that 55 men joined up.
The model was built by former Amersham resident Richard Proctor, whose work has featured on these pages before, and was made after studying photographs in the museum’s collection, and by measuring the buildings by hand. Most of the construction was done with the use of heavy card. The brickwork, tiles were made by scanning photographs and then printing sheets of the resulting photographs on to paper which was glued to the card. The cobbles were simulated in the same way and the road made from sandpaper painted with drab colours and then scattered with tiny pieces of sawdust! Richard estimates that it took approximately 200 hours to make the model.
It is currently on display as part of the museum’s “Amersham at War 1914-1918” travelling exhibition, which also tells the stories of the men and women of Amersham at the time of war. See for details of venues and opening times.