Trimley: Couple pledge to continue shows despite blaze blow

Chris Bunyan with part of the County Gate Model Show display.

Chris Bunyan with part of the County Gate Model Show display. - Credit: Archant

A COUPLE who run one of the largest touring model farm displays in the country are today hoping to be back on the road soon after a fierce fire destroyed their camper van.

It is a believed an electrical fault was to blame for the blaze that wrecked the motorhome while it was parked in Thorpe Lane, Trimley St Martin.

Chris Bunyan and Janice Green have been inundated with messages of support since the incident. They said the County Gate Model Show was safe and not involved in the fire, and hoped to attend all the shows they have lined up for this summer.

They used the van for towing a 17ft trailer – not involved in the fire – containing the 1:32 display.

Mr Bunyan, 58, a farm worker with Gosling’s Farm at Trimley St Martin, said he had been at work when he spotted smoke.

He said: “I thought I had better go and check and when I got there it was our camper van on fire. The fire service had already been called. It was terrible and was totally destroyed and is a huge blow for us.

“We bought the van about ten months ago with the idea that we could sleep in it at events and not always need to pack up and come home.

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“We are hopeful that we will be able to borrow a vehicle and still do all the shows but we are very sad at what has happened.

“We would just like to thank all the people who have spoken to us to say how sorry they are about the fire.”

The County Gate Model Show features thousands of pieces and is like a Suffolk Show in miniature – from farm machinery working, to animals, tents, stands, special exhibits, horse boxes, steam engines and people.

Mr Bunyan began collecting farm toys and models about 26 years ago and when he met partner Janice about 10 years ago, she began collecting farm animals, starting with some of the famous Britain’s models.

Viewing the display is always free and any money donated goes to the Suffolk Horse Society.