A clothing store in Norsewood advertises ‘Rust-proof Corsets’. The old building was demolished long ago but is now preserved in Helenstown, a collection of historic buildings from all corners of the country, re-constructed in miniature by Helen Pratt. Over 300 exhibits, scale 1:24, are on display at the Murrayfield Clydesdale complex near Helen’s home town of Shannon in the Manawatu.
Many models in Helenstown reflect Helen’s mischievous sense of humour and many have stories associated with them. The drover on horseback outside the Levin hotel was renowned for riding his horse into the pub because he thought it needed a beer after a hard day’s work. An old lady emerges from a public convenience with her skirt hooked up.
An accident to her hand brought to an end Helen’s modeling but she’s putting her energies into a new business in her beloved Shannon. She’s making women’s underwear and the shop is called ‘Nana’s Knickers’. Spectrum’s Jack Perkins explores Helenstown.