The Dioramas of Northall by Job Weessies

Job Weessies is a Dutch model maker and, after some time working on railway models, he has moved into working with card and on creating street scenes. While he has never visited London, or indeed the UK, he uses a variety of publically available resources to conduct his research into how the streets here would have looked in the 1950s, and bases his dioramas on these.

After his first piece he began work on Nice Street, in the ficticious Greater London district of Northall, c.1959. The diorama exists entirely within an APA Bos from IKEA and was for some time on display as a decorative piece at a hotel in Germany, but this has since closed and the location of the work is now unknown.

To accompany the pieces, Weessies creates invented histories to accompany his work, some of which are shared here.

The corner shop that has the Bile Beans ghost sign on the wall was home to Parsons photo supplies. Harry Parsons started his shop on Nice Street in the early 1950s. Before that a chemist was housed in the bulding. He has since shut up shop on Nice Street, because he’d outgrown the premises.

A John Lovell bought here his first second-hand Houghton Ensign E29 Roll Film Box Camera from Parsons’ shop, a camera that had originally been owned and used by Parsons’ grandfather.

Across the road is an EWS (Emergency Water Supply) created with reference to actual photographic references. Whereas the Bile Beans sign was created using printing techniques, this one is made with pencil pastels. The wall is printed on good quality artistic drawing paper and the sign itself is then built up with the pastels.

For the shop signs, Weessies again works in with reference pictures. For example the J. Baker shop above is inspired by a real sign from London. The Launderette sign is based on a picture from Scalescenes and the Adderley glass works sign is again based on a real shopfront.

Finally, Weessies offers a sneak preview of his forthcoming work, Station Road, featuring some tobacco-related enamel signs aka Street Jewellery.

Thank you Job for sharing your work. If you’re interested in these then please also have a look at more model-making projects from Emmanuel Nouaillier.