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Hoveton model museum on course for May opening

PUBLISHED: 15:29 21 August 2012 | UPDATED: 09:47 22 August 2012

The model railway museum at Hoveton begins to take shape. Right, Sean Green and his team pictured in the workshop.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

The model railway museum at Hoveton begins to take shape. Right, Sean Green and his team pictured in the workshop. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2012

Coach firm boss Sean Green has begun a recruitment campaign for drivers and he is setting his sights high on model employees.

For his ideal candidates will be able to cheerfully negotiate the rigours of the school run before changing gear - and lending a hand in the construction of his new model museum.

Mr Green, 44, whose family employs 80 staff at Semmence Coaches in Wymondham and Ambassador Travel in Great Yarmouth, is in a race against time to open his new attraction in Horning Road West, Hoveton, in time for the start of the next holiday season in May.

Having begun the conversion of two furniture warehouse units in February, the ambitious layouts - over a 10,000sq ft area - are already taking impressive shape.

The Bullet train is already running round the streets of Tokyo and his 20-strong team of volunteers and paid employees has scaled the heights of scenery construction by building an Alpine display complete with the Eiger ready for painting.

Mr Green, of The Moorings, Norwich, said: “The museum model will be the largest attraction of its kind in the UK and we are hoping to attract 60,000 visitors a year.

“We see it as a major addition to the tourism offering in Hoveton. There is currently little to do on rainy days other than going round Roys of Wroxham.”

The museum, which will employ about 20 staff, will boast six major running model train layouts in various sizes and scales.

As well as the N guage Japanese display and a European layout taking in cities and mountains, there will be a 1950s USA desert panorama.

Mr Green, whose passion for modelling was born during a visit to Great Yarmouth’s Merrivale Model Village as an eight-year-old, said: “There will also be exhibitions of model cars, planes and dolls houses as well as slot car racing.”

There would be a host of interactive features, including the chance to operate some of the trains.

A cafe and model shop will be attached to the museum which has taken over part of the site of Eric Bates and Sons’ furniture business.

Mr Green, who is investing “hundreds of thousands of pounds” into the attraction said the entry fee would be pitched at a reasonable family rate.

His present volunteers - one of whom comes on two-week stints from his home in Scotland - range in age from 17 to 72.

But he said: “We have now reached the stage where we need more help and it would be good to find some more volunteers with artistic skills.”

Anyone wanting to become a volunteer should log on to www.themodelworldproject.co.uk

To apply for a driver’s position, requiring a PCV licence, ring Ian Forkes on 01953-602135.

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