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Sunday, 29 May 2011

Promotional Jigsaw Puzzles

The aesthetic appeal of steam trains and popularity of jigsaw puzzles have been used by many companies in the past including Bulmers, Cadburys, Dunlop, Cunard and of course, the Board of the Great Western Railway to promote their products. Even the Co-operative Society got in on the act with a puzzle produced in house in 1935. It features a train displaying the slogan "A Trainload of Good Things from C.W.S. Factories for Co-operators." In today's post 29th May 2011, I am using two pictures, each showing a jigsaw from two of the above companies, Bulmers and Cadburys.

The first pic shows the 1970, 620-piece puzzle from Bulmers, reproducing a painting by Terence Cuneo. The GWR icon, 4-6-0 No.6000 King George V, is the focal point of the jigsaw. The famous cider producers negotiated a sub-lease of the locomotive from Swindon Corporation in 1968. The latter had the locomotive in trusteeship with a view to exhibiting her in the GWR Museum in the town. She was moved to the Bulmers Railway Centre in Hereford in October 1968 and officially handed over a month later. Bulmers had 1.5miles of track at Hereford. The lease expired in 1987 and the locomotive was exhibited at Swindon  in the following year. She was a major exhibit at 'Steam, The GWR Mueum' in Swindon until 2008 when she was moved to the NRM Museum in York;  No.92220 Evening Star moved in the opposite direction.

The Cadbury's promotional jigsaw I have chosen, made by Gibsons, was marketed with two bars of chocolate (they still are) and is derived from a painting by Kevin Walsh. It was part of a double offering of 500-piece puzzles from the chocolate manufacturers titled From Beginning to End. This particular puzzle depicts a canal boat, a road vehicle and a steam train, informing us of how raw materials (cocoa, milk etc) were transported (The Beginning). The locomotive is a fine, red liveried example of a quayside workhorse, the 0-4-0 saddle tank, appropriately named Cadbury. In the second puzzle - not part of my collection as no steam locomotive is involved -  a family is being served the finished products in an old fashioned, British sweet shop (The End).