"I had read articles that tried to give an idea of the size of the universe, in particular the size of the Solar System but all descriptions were inadequate. I had also read books about previous civilisations where astronomical events were marked by monuments, for example Stonehenge and the pyramids.
When Otford Parish Council asked for ideas to celebrate the millenium, I felt we could mark it by an actual physical model of the Solar System with the planets in their correct position on millenium night and, at the same time, have a sense of its size.
Our sense of time comes from the motion of the planets, particularly the earth round the sun. In addition we could, in line with previous traditions, mark a particular point in time but use current astronomical knowledge."