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Silvers Model Circus

A unique, miniature circus featuring hand-crafted, moving figures has been rescued from a field in South Devon.

Silvers Model Circus took its creator David Hardie and his family nearly 50 years to make. Hardie was apprenticed to his family’s tent-making business in Sydney, Australia, and started building the first part of the circus in 1931 when he was just 17. Later he moved to the UK and members of his family helped expand the circus.

It was first exhibited in 1982 after which it toured the UK and in 1984 it formed the centrepiece of the Christmas display in Cheltenham and was officially opened by Earl Spencer, the father of Princess Diana.

The entire model is powered by one motor and is operated by a complicated system of belts and pulleys connected to a single drive-shaft. Every item in the model has been made by hand and is exactly 1:24 scale.


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