Jump to content

North Leigh Creamery



It's been a cold, wet, dull, Spring and I have been finding it difficult to gain much inspiration for modelling. I got somewhat bogged down in the intricacies of what Amy Wilcote calls those 'old broad gauge things'. I have, however, been enjoying viewing the splendid work shown by other modellers, in various threads on this site. So, in an attempt to get my own ideas flowing, I have been wandering around some of the less familiar parts of North Leigh.


The creamery is not a very attractive building and that end of the layout rarely features in my photos, so I thought I would poke my camera into a few areas and see if the results would suggest some ideas for improvement. The creamery lies at the end of a short siding, which also serves the cattle dock, between North Leigh station and the terminus of the narrow gauge line from the quarries:




At the other side of the creamery, to the right, is the reception area, where milk from local farms is brought in for processing. To the left of the creamery, can be seen the engine shed for the narrow gauge line, with its office in a grounded coach body. Behind are the lime kilns, also served by the narrow-gauge railway:




Of course, I rarely visit North Leigh without finding that Amy is about, with her easel. She told me that the village is unusually quiet, at present, since their father, Sir John Wilcote, has sent her sister Blanche away to finishing school in Switzerland. (how will they cope?) I mentioned the creamery building and she said that she feels it is a real blot on the local landscape and quite out of keeping with the style of the village.


I was, therefore, somewhat surprised when she brought out a painting, apparently made from a window of the Railway Hotel. I was also surprised to see her accompanied by a foreign-looking gentleman, who was standing very close to her easel. She said that one aspect of the building that she did like was its profusion of towers and odd chimneys, which showed well above the old forge. At this, her gentleman friend murmured something about taking her to see the towers of his home town of San Gimignano, where the warm sun would give an added zest to her painting.




I thought it would be discreet to leave them at this point but it has been very pleasant to spend a little time thinking about what I enjoy in railway modelling. I agree with Mikkel's suggestion that working on a few small scenes can be a great help in keeping up one's spirits, while larger things hover in the background.


Lets hope that the sun will break through soon and give some rather more pleasant evenings, like the one shown below, also taken from the Railway Hotel window:





  • Like 9
  • Craftsmanship/clever 1


Recommended Comments

Very atmospheric, the excellent buildings blend in nicely with the backscene.


I do like the painting, the horse does have a life to it. I just want to step into there with the caledonian pup and treat it to an apple. 

Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold

Hi Mike, good to see an update from North Leigh. I have to agree with Ian, I think the creamery is an attractive and interesting building. As you Amy says the "towers" add real character. Probably an ignorant question, but what purpose do the slatted structures serve? The smaller one looks like ventilation, but the other one?


Amy's painting is superb, the best she's done yet in my opinion. As Dave says the horse has really come to life. I'm trying to work out what range it is from...

Link to comment

Many thanks for commenting, Ian, Dave, Mikkel. 


I think my little layout has benefited from having grown piecemeal over a period of many years.  As I recollect, the creamery was an old 'Pola' kit that I found in a 'remainders' box somewhere.  It occupies a site that once had an Airfix church on a raised knoll, back in days when the layout was much more 'kiddy-like'.  There also used to be a revolving Faller wind-mill near where the lime-kiln now stands.


I have difficulty in explaining the functions of all the parts of the creamery but I think the large ventilator tower houses an evaporative cooler (someone's patent, no doubt), to provide chilled water for circulation through the milk vats.


The horse and cart in Amy's painting go back much further - they are metal models from my wife's childhood and I have no idea of their provenance.  The other vehicles in the photos are from Langley Models.


Amy certainly has a knack for finding interesting viewpoints and her style skilfully masks many shortcomings in my modelling :)


Also for record, I used my Lumix FZ200 camera for all these shots, taking advantage of the large depth-of-field which this small-sensor camera provides.

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.