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Friday, 31 January 2014

Three Locomotives - GWR, LMS & LNER

This post, 31st January 2014, comprises three pictures of jigsaw puzzles all from the manufacturer, JR Puzzles. The three are simple record shots of locomotives and are photographic in origin. The JR range of puzzles was made by Handleys Printers of Stockport from the 1970's but have recently been acquired by (James Hamilton) Grovely Puzzles of Salisbury.

Picture one shows a 200-piece puzzle featuring ex Great Western Railway (GWR)) 'Manor' class 4-6-0, No.7812 Erlestoke Manor, from a series of four jigsaws titled Loco's. She is in pristine, preserved condition liveried in the 'Brunswick Green' of British Railways and the GWR. The Erlestoke Manor Fund also own a second example of Charles Collett's 'Manor' class, No.7802 Bradley Manor. They are based at the Severn Valley Railway. Seven others of the class are preserved. The thirty locomotives in the class were built between 1938 and 1950 and worked lines such as the Cambrian, (Shrewsbury - Aberystwyth) where heavier locomotives were barred.

Picture two shows an ex London Midland Scottish Railway (LMS) class 5MT (mixed traffic) locomotive known as a 'Black Five'. 'Black Fives' were also called 'Mickies' in my trainspotting days. William Stanier was the engineer responsible for this huge class of 842  built between 1934 and 1951. Eighteen escaped the cutter's torch. This jigsaw is the second from the 200-piece series Loco's.

A 'B1' class 4-6-0 of Edward Thompson No.61306 Mayflower is featured in picture three liveried in the famous LNER 'Apple Green'. This ex London & North Eastern Railway (LNER) engine was built in 1948 one of a class which eventually totalled 410; the class was begun in 1942 with the final locomotive appearing in 1952. Two B1's are preserved.  The original locomotive named Mayflower, No.61379, was scrapped and the name transferred to 61306. This is the third puzzle from the Loco's series. The fourth puzzle in the series showing ex LMS 'Jubilee' class 4-6-0, No.5690 Leander, was posted on 18th January 2012.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

The LNER and John Austin

Many of John Austin's fantastic paintings have depicted GWR locomotives, particularly 'Kings' battling atrocious weather conditions along England's south west coast. In today's post, 14th  January 2014, I am using two jigsaws featuring LNER locomotives in John's paintings.

The first picture shows the Ravensburger 500-piece jigsaw titled Highland Heroes, which is titled K4s and Ben Nevis in his 1993 original painting. The two Gresley 'K4' class 2-6-2 locomotives, No.3442 The Great Marquess and No.3443 Cameron of Lochiel are shown about to pass at Corpach Station. The picturesque, snow-capped Ben Nevis dominates the backdrop. A superb painting has been transformed into an equally superb jigsaw puzzle.

Both the locomotive and named train, Flying Scotsman, are shown in picture number two, also the title of the 500-piece jigsaw puzzle from Ravensburger. No 4472, (one of several numbers gained in her career)  is perhaps the most famous locomotive in Britain, being the first to officially  achieve 100mph, in November 1934. Equally famously, No.4472 hauled the 'Flying Scotsman' train in 1928 between Edinburgh and Kings Cross, a 392 miles journey, without a stop; this was the longest non-stop run for a scheduled service, at the time. In John's picture the locomotive is shown in close up sporting her apple green LNER livery and the famous headboard. Her 'shed' (Kings Cross) and number (4472) are clearly identified on the buffer beam. A rake of Gresley 'teaks' (coaches) is shown behind the locomotive.

John's book Smoke, Steam and Light is a must for anyone interested in steam railways. Superb paintings, interesting anecdotes and biographical details, interspersed with pencil drawings and sketches make it one of the best of its genre on the market. A fine book from a great artist.