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Thursday, 31 October 2013

Two 'Panoramas' from Gibsons

Today's post, 31st October 2013, comprises two pictures showing jigsaws from the Gibsons' 636-piece 'Panorama' series.

Picture one (left) is titled Sunny Day at Alresford replicating the original artwork of Chris Woods. The picture features the 1920 built, ex London & South Western Railway 'S15' class 4-6-0, No.506  designed by Robert Urie. The locomotive, in Southern Railway livery in the picture, is shown entering Alresford Station, heading a rake of BR carmine and cream liveried passenger coaches.The summer weather has attracted many passengers suitably dressed waiting for the train. The station is now part of the Mid Hants Railway (Watercress Line) and the locomotive is under restoration with a view to it entering service in 2014.

The second picture shows GWR locomotives double heading a passenger service in the summer of 1947. The locos are a 'County' class 4-6-0 No.1022 County of Northampton designed by Frederick Hawksworth and an unknown 'Castle' class 4-6-0 locomotive, the brainchild of Charles Collett. The railway runs parallel with the Oxford Canal at Lower Heyford in Oxfordshire and Barry Freeman has painted an idyllic scene integrating canal and railway traffic with the village and farm. The result is  Summer of '47 - a harmonious scene radiating all that is best in rural Britain.
The original paintings from Chris and Barry were 'masked' into a letterbox shape for these  'Panorama' jigsaw puzzles. Summer of '47 was also in the Waddingtons' portfolio as a 1000-piece puzzle.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

More JR Puzzles

Probably the most common and least expensive steam train jigsaws on the secondary market are the JR Puzzles' examples which started me off on my thematic jigsaw journey c1995. They were marketed as two series, each of four, 400-piece puzzles, titled Nostalgia - Steam Trains and Age of Steam - Steam Trains. I have already used two of them (see the post of 20th February 2011) but here is another duo replicating the excellent artwork of Edgar Hodges. The JR range of puzzles was made by Handleys Printers of Stockport from the 1970's but has recently been acquired by (James Hamilton) Grovely Puzzles of Salisbury. 

Each puzzle depicts a famous train of the steam era and the corresponding headboard; the two are 'The Flying Scotsman' and the 'Yorkshire Pullman'. Note that the former includes the definite article used only sparingly in BR days from the 1950's because the 'Flying Scotsman' headboard, used from 1928, continued in common use.

Picture number one shows 'The Flying Scotsman' headed by one of (Sir) Nigel Gresley's famous 'A4' class 4-6-2 ('Pacific') locomotives, affectionately known as 'Streaks'. The locomotive is No.60024 Kingfisher but the station is not named - possibly York. The train ran from Kings Cross to Edinburgh and was known in its early days as the 'Flying Scotchman' or 'The Special Scotch Express'; it originated from an 1862 service of the Great Northern Railway (GNR). This puzzle is from The Age of Steam - Steam Trains series.

My second picture features the 'Yorkshire Pullman' express from the Nostalgia - Steam Trains series. Again the express is hauled by an 'A4' class locomotive; this one is No.60026 Miles Beevor. Another  Gresley 'Pacific' is included in the picture, 'A3' class, No.60091 Captain Cuttle. Hodges painting is very similar to a photograph of Leeds Station shown on the York Press website of 9th October 2013. The website article describes the 'Great Gathering' at York's NRM where all six, preserved 'A4's in the world, were to be on show. Hodges' jigsaw painting is in a similar style to the website photograph showing a 1953 picture of 60026 Miles Beevor leaving Leeds Station. The 'Yorkshire Pullman' served several Yorkshire towns and cities from Kings Cross, including Bradford, Leeds, Harrogate and Hull.