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If you wish to communicate with me about steam trains, railway art and related jigsaw puzzles, please email David, at : david.precology@virginmedia.com

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Two 'Western' Expresses

Two British Railways Western Region expresses are featured in jigsaw puzzle photographs posted today, 29th October 2014.

The Paddington to Aberystwyth ‘Cambrian Coast Express’ was introduced onto the Great Western Railway (GWR) in 1927, although its origin dates from a 1921 service. The train was normally hauled by a ‘King’ or ‘Castle’ class 4-6-0 as far as Wolverhampton or Shrewsbury respectively, where the locomotive was changed. The lines west of Shrewsbury could not support heavy locomotives and ‘Dukedog’ 4-4-0s were used initially, often double-headed, followed later by ‘Manor’ class 4-6-0s. 

The first picture shows the famous GWR express at Leamington Spa headed by 'Castle' class 4-6-0, No.7027 Thornbury Castle. Barry Freeman's artwork features the train speeding through Leamington on a day when the sun is shining within a period of wet weather; hence the jigsaw title, Bright Intervals. The jigsaw is a 500-piece example from Gibsons. Barry's picture was a commision and is set in the mid 1950's. Also included is an ex London & North Western Railway (L&NWR) 'Super D' 0-8-0 tender locomotive No.49395, specially introduced for his client. 





The Paddington - Kingswear 'Torbay Express' was introduced in 1923 and was normally headed by Collett's 'Castle' or 'King' class 4-6-0 locomotives until the introduction of BR 'Britannia' class 4-6-2 locomotives. The latter also headed this and other BR Western Region expresses until the end of steam (1965 on the BRWR). 




The second jigsaw pictured is the Good Companion 400-piece example titled Torbay Express. There is no visible signature to the artwork but it may be part of a T. E. North painting, as North illustrated many others in the Good Companion series. The locomotive illustrated is 'Britannia' class leader, No.70000 Britannia, passing through a station and past a signal box. This picture is dated 1948-1956 because of the BR 'cycling lion' motif on the tender.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Two Gibsons' Panoramic Jigsaws

The two examples of jigsaws pictured in today's post, 21st October 2014, are from the Gibsons' Panorama series of 'letterbox' style puzzles.










The first picture (left) features a 636-piece jigsaw titled Arrival at Temple Meads. In the picture, a now preserved 'King' class 4-6-0 No, 6023 King Edward II designed by Charles Collett, is arriving at Bristol Temple Meads Station with a passenger service from Paddington. the artwork is by Barry Freeman. A previous post was dedicated to this locomotive  - go to the post of 12th August 2011.


The terminus at Bristol Temple Meads was opened on August 31st 1840. Designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, engineer to the GWR, the oldest railway terminus in the world was built on two levels with booking offices and waiting rooms at ground level. Platforms carried on arches were reached by a set of stairs. The first broad gauge trains ran to Bath in the opening year but by 1841 trains were accessing Paddington. By 1844 the broad gauge trains of the Bristol & Gloucester Railway were using the station. In 1845 the Bristol & Exeter Railway built a station next to the GWR station but compared to Brunel’s station, this was a mere wooden shed. The B&GR was taken over by the Midland Railway in 1846 and was converted to standard gauge. This led to mixed gauge track on the approaches to Temple Meads. A new station, replacing the 1840 terminus, was built between 1865 and 1878 by Sir Matthew Digby-Wyatt.

The right-hand picture shows the 636-piece puzzle titled New Forest Junction, again featuring the artwork of Barry Freeman. The latter to the best of my knowledge has provided artwork for at least 27 Gibsons' jigsaws, although a few are repeated in different sizes.  A busy Brockenhurst Station is depicted including three different outbound trains; the station provides easy access to the New Forest. To the fore heading the 'Bournemouth Belle' Pullman service is the re-built 'Merchant' Navy class 4-6-2 locomotive, No.35012 United States Lines, designed by Oliver Bulleid. The locomotive was built in 1945 for the Southern Railway and re-built twelve years later for British Railways (BR). To the left is a small 0-4-4 tank locomotive originally of the London & South Western Railway (L&SWR). The class was designed by Dugald Drummond and built between 1897 and 1911. To the right is a 'H15' class 4-6-0 locomotive No.30476. The engine was built in 1924 designed by Robert Urie. The class building began in 1913 for th L&SWR but 34076 was built in 1924 in SR days. The L&SWR was one of the railways amalgamated into the Southern Railway in 1922.


Friday, 10 October 2014

Main Line Locomotives

Two locomotives, one each from the West and East Coast Main Lines, are featured in today's post, 10th October 2014.


From the West Coast, (LMS) Stanier 'Princess Coronation' class 'Pacific', No.46254 City of Stoke-on-Trent is pictured in this 500-piece jigsaw from Rembrandt. Anglo - Scottish expresses such as the 'Royal Scot' and 'The Caledonian' raced along the West Coast Main Line between Euston and Glasgow. The jigsaw is titled City of Stoke on Trent; the train is pictured attacking Beattock Bank (the highest incline on the WCML) with a 1963 express. The photograph used by Rembrandt was by permission of Colour Rail.




From the East Coast, (LNER) Gresley 'A1/A3' class 'Pacific' No.60107 Royal Lancer is pictured in a second 500-piece jigsaw from Rembrandt. Anglo-Scottish expresses such as the 'Flying Scotsman' and 'Queen of Scots' matched the West Coast equivalents, thundering up and down the East Coast Main Line between Kings Cross and Edinburgh/Aberdeen, and Glasgow, respectively. The jigsaw is titled Royal Lancer; the train is pictured exiting the tunnel at Markham in 1962. The photograph used by Rembrandt was by permission of Colour Rail.

Two other jigsaws from this Rembrandt series were described in the post of 10th September 2014.