Peter and Sally Lee have lived in Leamington for over 45 years, and in retirement from their lives in business, developed a hobby that has led to TV and radio interviews, a DVD of their work, and the visit of a film company all the way from Los Angeles.
Peter, born and brought up in Coventry, was interested in scale models from the age of about two. When he left school he worked in an architect’s office for a couple of years before service in the RAF in WW2, but it wasn’t until he retired that, assisted by Sally, he really began to specialise in architectural scale models. Painstaking research and attention to detail, photographing and measuring every aspect of a building, its setting and its contents, followed by meticulous construction of every aspect of the fittings, doors and windows, lighting, furniture and furnishings are what have brought media people from far and wide to Lillington. In their time, the Lees have captured many long-vanished gems, such as Peter’s first model, the Beach Road Bus Station,Weston super Mare, with its manager’s house tucked in on the left, its café, coaches and buses and nearby shops. This was followed by the Painswick Post Office, intended originally only as a copy of the frontage, but which became a detailed miniature of the whole house and its contents, displayed at Painswick Victorian Fayre a year after its completion.The collection also includes the Regal Cinema, Leamington Spa, and its update, The Apollo, the Coventry Forum cinema, the Coventry Hippodrome, the Suncourt Spa, Scarborough, the Beehive Inn, Wales, the Regal Cinema, Minehead, the Orangery, Charlecote Park set out as a miniature museum of all the models, the Rotunda, Oxford, once famously the home of Vivienne Green’s museum of dolls houses and baby houses, ‘Glendower’, Sally’s childhood home in Bristol, Post Office memorabilia and letterboxes, a Beach Hut with sand and a seagull, and 31/2” gauge models of the LNER Great Northern and GWR 3440 City of Truro steam trains. It is a vast and wonderful collection, lovingly constructed and cared for, – but it should be seen by a wider audience.
Could anyone out there give it a permanent home? From an interview with Margaret Rushton
Reproduced from Newsletter Spring 2010