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Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Two more from Gibsons and Barry Freeman

British jigsaw manufacturer Gibsons have many steam railway titles in their portfolio including the following two, both from artwork by Gibsons' favourite, Barry Freeman. The 500-piece puzzles are pictured in today's post, 26th November 2013. 

The jigsaw in our first picture is titled Living Legend. George Jackson Churchward designed the 'City' class of 4-4-0 locomotives from 1902, specifically for express passenger duties. The most famous of the class, No.3440 City of Truro, known as 'The Grand Old Lady' of the GWR (Great Western Railway), was outshopped in 1903. In the following year she became the first locomotive to, unofficially,  break the 100mph speed barrier. The timing, equivalent to 102.3mph, was carried out by Charles Rous-Martin on the 'Ocean Mails service, working from Plymouth Docks to Bristol, Swindon and Paddington. The record was attained during the Plymouth to Bristol run, on the descent between Whiteball Tunnel and Wellington. Unfortunately, a duplicate recording was required  for authentication but a second timekeeper was not present, therefore, the record could not be ratified. The locomotive is preserved as part of the National Collection and has run on Heritage Railways in the 21st century. The second locomotive in the picture is an 0-6-0 tank locomotive, No.47383, designed by Henry Fowler in 1926 for the London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS). This locomotive, one of 422 built between 1924 and 1931, is preserved and based at the Severn Valley Railway. The class was known affectionately as 'Jinties' (singular 'Jinty')

The second picture is titled Elegance and Industry. The elegance part of the picture is provided by another locomotive of George Jackson Churchward, this one from his 'Star' class of 4-6-0s. The locomotive is No.4010 Western Star built in 1907and the location is Newton Abbott, a mecca for GWR enthusiasts. The coaches are a mix of pre and post 1928 chocolate and cream examples. The industry part of the picture is in the form of a GWR workhorse, class '5700' 0-6-0 pannier tank No.5760, built by Charles Collett in 1929 from an original Churchward design. Behind the locomotive is a typical GWR siphon van, used for carrying milk.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

A Splash of Colour in a Monochrome Jigsaw

In today's post, 17th November 2013, I am featuring a picture of a current jigsaw made by German manufacturer, Schmidt. The quality is immediately apparent when one holds the pieces, as they are finely cut from very thick card. The printing is better on the box reference however, than on the jigsaw, which is darker.

The Adventures of Molly and Macy are based on the twin daughters of David Ellis of West Yorkshire, England. The girls form the focal point of his monochrome photographs; they are pictured in different scenarios and at various ages between 18 months and six years. David rather cleverly introduces a splash of colour into his black and white images, mostly red. He established a design and advertising agency in 1992 from which his publishing company, Double Trouble, was  founded in 2003. See more of Molly & Macy on the website at

The puzzle in the picture is titled You're Leaving and is of 1000 pieces. The girls are featured at a picturesque railway station possibly on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway or the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, both in Yorkshire (email me if you know). It is reminiscent of a 1950's style scene with the girls pictured fronting a BR tank engine and beside a loaded luggage trolley  The jigsaw is not easy to assemble because of its strictly limited tonal range (except for the red) but leaves you with a great sense of satisfaction when completed. Schmidt make other puzzles from the series of adventures.