Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Oompa Loompas and all that...

Great Missenden is a village in Buckinghamshire. It has a train station served by Chiltern Railways that is one stop after Amersham. Amersham is the end of the Metropolitan Line and is also the highest point above sea level on the tube network (147m / 490ft).

Fortunately the A413 now bypasses Great Missenden, because the High Street is very narrow. It is a bit strange - it is sort of picturesque, but somehow not really. Difficult to describe.

Walking along the street I came across two petrol pumps from a bye gone era. Apparently the 'Red Pump Garage' was the inspiration for parts of "Danny, the Champion of the World" a 1975 book by Roald Dahl.

Dahl spent a large part of his life living in Great Missenden. He is also buried there.

Just down the street from Red Pump Garage is The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre. This museum concentrates on the life of Mr Dahl and how he developed stories. It also provides a super environment for children to develop their story telling skills with some super interactive displays.

My favourite display was one where you could make a 15 frame time-lapse film using toy animals. It's great (a) because it really works and (b) because it is so simple to do.

A lot of the items on display in the Museum are changed every three months, so regular visitors will often have different things to see.

Roald Dahl wrote many iconic books, both for children and for adults. What I cannot say where he got the inspiration for the Oopma Loompas, but certainly I didn't see any while walking up the high street.

After my visit to the museum, it was a five minute walk back to the train station for my journey home.


James UK said...

Thanks for the link to the museum. He was such a great author... "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" is still one of my favourites.

Central User said...

"James and the Giant Peach" is my favourite.