The Bedford Falls Sentinel

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Take a Drive through Bedford Falls ... choose your transportaion. The cars and carriage of the Enesco village

   No village set or collection should or can contain only buildings. The Enesco sets already contain far too many buildings that look almost identical in their squared shapes although that does help in the street layout depending on how you want to arrange your pieces. The village needs those little things to bring it alive. Bedford Falls is no different as like the film, the village contains a decent variety of cars and small sets to give some atmosphere to it. Many straight out from the film, others chosen to compliment some of the buildings. In my own village I've purchased some additions that help add to the Enesco collection but for now let's just take a look at what comes by default to the Enesco It's a Wonderful Life village car selection. 

Carriage and Horses of Henry F Potter
As if folks wouldn't realize who rides within
     On screen we first come across a prominent vehicle when the younger generation of boys are stopped in the tracks after seeing the impressive carriage of Henry F. Potter drive by. Pulled by two black (or brownish) horses the carriage is a style made famous in the 19th century, the Barouche type. They are distinguished as the type usually reserved for the rich and royalty, and have a signature curved shape. Along the side, we see Potter 's initials in a type of monogram or family crest type lettering. 

Parking at the bank. Click below on 'Read More' to view the rest of the  vehicles. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A quiet little place in Bedford Falls ... the Enesco It's a Wonderful Life Gazebo and Park Bench.

Their own little world
Enclosure of flowers
 Never seen on screen directly, the location that best fits any kind of gazebo setting is when Mary and George walk home singing and first talk of lassoing the moon. While seemingly only staying on the side walk and sticking in front of the grumpy old man's front porch there do seem to be enough flowery walls around them to be construed within some kind of patio or outside structure of some sort. 

   Putting imagination aside, the scene really just has some tall flowers around the happy couple, but for sake of the village and it's connection to the film, try to envision the romantic atmosphere that a flower filled gazebo would bring here. Not that Capra leaves any need or romance lacking here. 

     Like the Gazebo, there is no direct connection to be found for the exact item Enesco has included into the village with the Park Bench piece. Instead though we do have a near fit, and one that fits prominently within a special scene of this great film. When George is running down the street in our grand finale, he runs by a town bench that we can place on main street and that we can identify as the likely inspiration for our village item. The Park Bench is actually somewhat rare in the set, and for it's size commands a larger price than some other elements of the collection. Don't we all place ourselves into that seat when we watch George run by. Just to reiterate, no ending is as spectacular as what Capra delivers in the ending experience. Strangely the village bench with trees have a sign with arrows pointing to two landmarks nearby. One arrow points to ASPETUCK KITCHAWAN and the other points to  KATONAH CHAPPAQUA. Aspetuck seems to be a small town in Connecticut as well as a river in the same state. While Kitchawan seems to be a lake in New York near Lewisboro. Again staying in New York is a town named Katonah, (near Bedford NY) and Chappaqua also a nearby hamlet within the state. I'm not sure what relevance these have on the film, the fifictional town, or the village pieces. Perhaps they are leading us to believe that the water sources are what leads into the falls that create our namesake for the town of Bedford Falls. Open to suggestions.

Two trees and a Bench 


    Make your own additional comparisons from these shots with the actual item from the village below. Here are the Enesco Bedford Falls village Gazebo and Park Bench. The Gazebo is probably the most rare item in the entire collection and of course was released with the rare sixth and final series. The Park bench was released in the third series. Both are unlit so rely on the lights from the other buildings to keep them visible. First the Gazebo. 

Series 6 sadly only used plain brown boxes

Enesco Bedford Falls Gazebo: Front. Hit the 'Read More' to see all photos