Monday, 7 July 2014

Inspiration Behind the Story - My Bournemouth Belle


I'm fascinated with the idea of trainspotting. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to stand on a platform for hours with notebook in hand but I love the idea that someone gets as much satisfaction out of writing down the names of trains as I do in writing down the names of my stories.

I also recently visited Amberley museum and Heritage Centre with my nine year old grandson. It's somewhere I used to take my children when they were small and the highlight of the day would be a ride on the steam train. How lovely to be able to experience it all again... and get to see James Bolam who was visiting with his wife.

"There's Grandpa in My Pocket," my grandson whispered in the cafeteria. He looked more like a Likely Lad to me.

What luck then, when a chance remark by a good friend gave me the opportunity to put these two things together into a short story.

"I've a model steam engine in a box,?" she said. It was a collectible that her father had bought for her one year old grandson for when he was older. "It's lovely but I'm not sure what he'll do with it."

In my story, My Bournemouth Belle, published last week in The People's Friend, Darren wonders why his late father, Lenny, who he's always believed favoured his successful brother, Robin, has left him a Hornby Train Set. We go back to the sixties to find out how train spotter Lenny's love of steam trains brought him and his wife together helping Darren to realise that he and his father are not so different after all.


If you would like to read more about my writing for The People's Friend, I am over at Susan Jones' blog today. Do pop over there for a visit - you'll be very welcome.

20 comments:

  1. Wendy, I'm no expert on trainspotting (honestly!) but I've got a feeling they write down the NUMBERS of the trains, rather than the names - or perhaps as well as? Do all trains have names these days? Oh, I don't know. But as I'm definitely not a 'numbers' person, I could never understand the thrill of that! But I suppose it's just like 'collecting' anything - you always want to get one nearer to a full set! Congratulations on your story in PF. A former student of mine emailed me yesterday to tell me she'd had her first ever story accepted - by PF, no less. I feel very proud!

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    1. That's great news for your student, Helen. Say well done to her from me. As for the train spotters - you're right, I don't think they have names now but the steam trains in my story did, hence The Bournemouth Belle (which was a real train).

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  2. And now I'm popping over to 'see' you on Susan's blog...!

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  3. I love reading about where you got your story ideas from! I'll pop across to Susan's blog aswell :)

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  4. Thanks for the link Wendy, and I love these inspirations behind the stories. I'm still reading the Summer Special, it's great.

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    1. Lots of good stories in there, Susan.

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  5. I like how you put a couple of ideas together to get a story. That often happened to me when I wrote short stories, which I haven't done for a long time now. I'm all storied out :-(

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    1. Ooh I hope that doesn't happen to me, Lynne.

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  6. I love reading how you find your inspiration, Wendy - and I am stupidly excited that you saw James Bolam and Susan Jameson :-) x

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    1. I recognised his voice but not him. It was when my grandson said it was Grandpa in My Pocket and I secretly googled him on my phone, that it confirmed it.

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  7. Lovely inspiration story, Wendy - my husband and I absolutely love steam trains!

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    1. I didn't know you were a secret train spotter, Rosemary!

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  8. It's always good to hear the inspiration behind your stories, Wendy. Loved the interview on Susan's blog too! :-)

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  9. Thanks for sharing that, Wendy.

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  10. I love reading these posts, Wendy. Many thanks for sharing your inspiration. And I used to love The Likely Lads as well. That was a brilliant bonus for your outing, seeing James Bolam. xx

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    1. It was really odd ad it was just us and them in the cafe.

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