It shunts back and forth but never gets anywhere: a model train store seems to have found the perfect metaphor for the Brexit debate with its new window display.
In the window of Great Eastern Models hobbyists’ shop, a little train endlessly travels back and forth between an “IN” and and “OUT” side of the window bedecked with EU and British flags.
Staff at the family business have long prided themselves on their seasonal window displays.
“One window is always reserved for an end to end working layout,” said proprietor Anne Martin.
When the springtime hot spell caused the rails in their last window display to expand and warp, the train couldn’t move properly and kept hitting the buffers, and this is how it became the Brexit train.
Inspired, Anne’s brother Rob got to work crafting the white cliffs of Dover and a little Eurotunnel for their next display.
Anne doesn’t want to reveal her opinion on Brexit, because of how divisive it could be with clientele, and she has already been informed by one customer that it’s “not a laughing matter”.
“What we are clear on is we don’t want to say our political views,” she said. “But what nobody knows is, are we in or are we out?
“Of course it has caused some controversy but that was not our intention,” she added. “We are just trying to be topical and trying to raise a smile amongst our customers and friends.”
For the most part, the reaction has been positive, with both Remain- and Leave-slanted appreciative comments appearing on the shop’s Facebook page.
“Brexit’s on the news every single night,” said Anne. “It’s depressing, and we just wanted to have a bit of fun.”