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Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Rural Steam

In this post, 21st August 2013, I am using photographs of two jigsaw puzzles both illustrating single track branch lines in steam's halcyon days.
Picture number one features a small, 'H' class 0-4-4 tank locomotive designed by Harry Wainwright of the South East & Chatham Railway, in 1904. The SE&CR was one of the component railways that made up the Southern Railway (SR) following 'grouping' on 1st January 1923. Many of the class were fitted for push-pull working most suited to rural branch lines. The jigsaw puzzle is a 500-piece example from Falcon titled Homeward Journey. The artwork is by transport artist, Mike Jeffries. In the jigsaw picture the locomotive is heading two SR suburban coaches along a single track; the latter runs parallel to a muddy footpath. On the footpath two schoolboys are walking  and chatting. Homeward journey appears to relate to the train, and to the boys.
Country Connection is the title of the jigsaw in the second picture. It is a wooden example of 240 pieces but its origin is not clear. It was cut to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Great Western Railway (GWR) but by whom, I don't know. It is part of a series of which I have six in my collection, all replicating artwork by Don Breckon. The latter is famous for his paintings of GWR suburban scenes; the inclusion of human interest appears to be important in many of Don's paintings. The station in the painting is not a 'real'  station but similar in style to many suburban, GWR examples. The interpretation of Don's artwork is completely personal. The locomotive is a typical small prairie 2-6-2 tank type, common on suburban GWR lines. It is standing in the station heading two chocolate and cream suburban coaches, with the customary human interest, mischievous boys and an older lady in this puzzle, also included. The red Bedford WLB bus and a car (taxi?) wait in the station yard for transferring passengers.