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A Quiet Afternoon in the Cloud Cuckoo Valley

Explore the whimsical world of marvellous machinery with our new temporary display, A Quiet Afternoon in the Cloud Cuckoo Valley.

A Quiet Afternoon in the Cloud Cuckoo Valley is a beautiful moving sculpture that tells the story of a train journey through Cloud Cuckoo Valley on the fictional Far Tottering and Oyster Creek Railway. 

This incredible and intricate sculpture is part of the largest artwork ever created by artist, cartoonist and engineer Rowland Emett. 

Emett created many impressive and imaginative machines in his lifetime, including a breakfast-maker in the 1968 film, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Rowland Emett wanted to create machines that were fun to look at and make people smile, just like his cartoons. 


See this stunning machine in action and watch the fantastical scene come to life at one of our daily demonstrations (11.30 and 14.00). 

Join our Explainer team as we take a closer look at the characters on the machine to understand how it works and why it was invented.  

Enjoy a three-dimensional cartoon as cogs whirr and characters toast teacakes or catch butterflies, and discover what this playful sculpture has in common with our industrial textiles machinery. 

Cloud Cuckoo Valley on display


Created by artist, cartoonist and engineer Rowland Emett. 

This sculpture has been acquired with the support of the Art Fund, Science Museum Foundation and Friends of the National Railway Museum.

Part of the Science Museum Group