As a Child


There was so much creating when I was a child. Sometimes with my brother and sister, sometimes alone; but it was something I took more seriously and continued to do for far longer than either of them.

Unfortunately I have no pictorial records of any of them.

I drew, of course, and loved to make models, some of the earliest I remember were making card ones of local church organs (they still fascinate me). We had Lego and Meccano and my brother and I shared an O gauge model railway. Of the activities I remember doing with my siblings two stand out: we would build a row of three connected, similar Lego houses and then each amend or improve our own (we would fight to avoid getting the middle one); and we would stick three pages of A4 together, so that each sheet bordered both of the other two, agree on the precise border and any features that crossed these borders – such as rivers, roads – and then design our own country. I don’t remember that we ever added names.

As I approached the end of my first decade these methods of creating fell by the wayside. I turned to Meccano, building steam engines and boats, and developed the model railway layout. In theory I still shared it with my brother, but he left me to design and build and the scenery and buildings; I became more interested in these than the running of the trains. I used kits mostly, but slowly began to build from scratch, using balsa wood and card, including building a large stand for my Subbuteo pitch that took up the whole of the back seat of the car when we moved.

All of this was creative, of course, and most of it was expanding into my own imaginative worlds. A long apprenticeship for my later world-building.