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Friday, 28 October 2011

A Pair of Falcons

Following on from the previous Waddingtons post, today 28th October 2011, I have chosen two pictures featuring jigsaw puzzles from another of the UK's well known manufacturers, Falcon. Established from his home in 1976 by Harry Jondorf, Falcon proceeded to be a major force in British jigsaw puzzles manufacture; company factory and headquarters were established at Hatfield in 1977.  When Jondorf retired in 1996 the company was aquired by a Dutch manufacturer from Amsterdam but jigsaw production has continued under the Falcon and Falcon/Jumbo names.

My first photo shows a 2005 jigsaw puzzle featuring the artwork of Robert Nixon. This 500-piece puzzle from Falcon is titled Truro to Windsor and shows the famous old lady of the Great Western Railway (GWR), No.3440 City of Truro, passing through Windsor Station in an early 20th century scene. She is heading a rake of GWR chocolate and cream passenger coaches and several passengers and station staff are included in the picture. The 'City' class of ten, 4-4-0 locomotives was designed by George Jackson Churchward in 1903. A year later while heading the 'Ocean Mails' train from Plymouth to Paddington, City of Truro attained a speed of 102 mph, the first time that a speed of 100mph had been recorded. Only one timekeeper was present, however, and two were required for authentification. As a result the record was never officially ratified; try telling that to a true 'dyed in the wool' GWR enthusiast though, and see what reaction you get.

The second pic is from the 1990's, Falcon Venture series and is titled At the Station. An early London Midland Scottish Railway (LMS) 'Royal Scot' class 4-6-0 locomotive, No. 6138 Fury, designed by Henry Fowler is pictured at a main line station with a small boy looking on. The station may be the one at Bushey as a strong resemblance can be seen in a painting in the book Railway Colour Album of 1932. The name Fury has been carried by three locomotives - an 1831 example built for the Liverpool & Manchester Railway, the locomotive in the jigsaw picture and the third, an LMS experimental high pressure locomotive No.6399. No.6138 was built in 1927, named Fury in 1928 but renamed a year later as London Irish Rifleman. Two station staff, a railway maintenance man and old enamel advertisements are also included by artist Gerald Broom. The puzzle comprises 500 pieces.