The Picnic At The Grange


Some years ago I met a chap named Harry Lamplough – a dentist like myself. He was engaged in his spare time in making a model railway layout in the British style – a specific station that was near his home in the north of England. I cannot remember if it was the LMSR or LNWR but he definitely knew and wanted that exact station. I believe he could walk the platform in miniature and go straight back to his youth. He probably did.

Well, that’s the idea with the picture I posted earlier today. My depiction of the car parked next to the picnic table is not accurate in all respects – we had a Chevrolet rather than a Pontiac – but the essence of the scene is enough to draw me back to a day in 1959 when my family was travelling through Idaho. Outside of Sandpoint ( home of the famous Sandpoint Hamburger…*) we stopped near the Grange building, set up a picnic on the benches, and ate meatloaf and cheese sandwiches and drank cans of soda pop. My folks indulged me in two cans – an unheard of thing – and the day was perfect. When I set up the props and car for the shot, I went back to 1959 near Sandpoint, and I remembered my late parents with great affection.

And that’s it, kids. I’ve come to realise that I can’t pretend anymore that I am a Viking or a Foreign Legionnaire or any other persona. I can’t make a picture of the sinking of the Bismarck because I didn’t sink it. I can’t make Harry Lamplough’s LMSR because I’m not Harry Lamplough. I can’t even make a Victorian doll house because I’m not Victorian. But I can make what I know and where I was and what I was. I have the whole of history back to April 1, 1948 at my command…or at least the part of it I own. Thank goodness that the makers of toy cars do such a good job of it.

Let’s hope one of them makes a Buick Roadmaster in dark green – about 1950. I now know how to make artificial snow and I know just the photo to do.

* The gauge-point for over 50 years for false hopes. ” Best Hamburger in America” pfui…


2 thoughts on “The Picnic At The Grange

  1. Love what you are saying. So true. But the blow moulded Esky (whatever they call them in Canada – wait, they HAVE them in Canada??) – shouldn’t it be a paisley printed two layers of tin?


    1. I expect you are right. The problem with miniatures in 1:12 scale is so much of the material is Victorian or Edwardian that we have to grab any modern bits willy-nilly. I wish I had the time to make more of my own accessories – or that the modern era doll house was a more popular item in Western Australia.


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