Started in 1963 by Mr Tom Dobbins from Southport, Lancashire, where his model village had already proved a great success. He approached Torquay Council to ask if any land might be available. The only piece of land that was at all suitable being at the far side of the old Hampton Estate, on a slope, but it did have its own spring/stream.
After some considerable effort Mr Dobbins and his team finally opened for business in April (6 years after Southport). Buildings are all 1/12 scale representing everything about modern living, large and small, houses (many local houses can be recognised), parks, airports, boats, water wheels, many pastimes and sports. You can see how useful the spring is. In 1988 the 25th anniversary was marked with the launch of a U.F.O. and twinning with the Dutch Model Village of Madurodam.
Babbacombe Model Village has an international reputation, great for families and every year something new is added just to keep the interest for all. A large ‘pineapple’ on a roundabout is one of the latest, ‘a tonge in cheek’ copy of something new in the area and also the Shard of London. A 50th anniversary whimsy. Have a look at all the other characters and additions since then.
Another point of interest is;
the Model Village is in St Marychurch……… just!