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: