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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, 17 December 2014

Two 'Britannia' Class Locomotives


For today's post, 17th December 2014, I have chosen two jigsaws from my collection (500+), both depicted in the photographs beneath and featuring British Railways' (BR), 'Standard', express passenger locomotives.

The first picture shows a W. H. Smith’s 500-piece puzzle titled Outfoxed, replicating a painting by Anthony Cowland. In Anthony's artwork, hunted foxes are hidden from the riders and hounds by a passing express train; the latter is hauled by a ‘Britannia’ class '7P' 4-6-2 locomotive, No.70038 Robin Hood. Anthony is well known for his aviation paintings but he is obviously a fine artist in general. The class of 55 locomotives, designed by BR's Robert Riddles, was built between 1951 and 1954, the prototype being No.70000 Britannia.


The next picture features a 400-piece jigsaw from the Tower Press company under the 'Mercury' brand and titled Continental Express. The express is the prestigious 'Golden Arrow' boat train, which ran from London Victoria to Dover; the express is described in detail in the previous post.  Two of the 'Britannia' class locomotives were allocated to the Southern Region of British Railways from 1951 - No.70004 William Shakespeare and No.70014 Iron Duke - to haul the Pullman boat trains. Also, for a few months in 1951, No.70009 Alfred the Great was allocated to the same boat trains. The locomotive in the picture cannot be identified and the artist's name is also missing. However, the cycling lion motif on the tender dates the picture context to 1948-1956 and the short nameplate implies Iron Duke, possibly. To the right of the picture is a 4-6-2 locomotive of Oliver Bulleid.

Many, many thanks to all the supporters of the blog and may I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Kolorbax Wooden Jigsaw

In today's post, 4th December 2014, I am describing a wooden equivalent of a cardboard jigsaw that I previously reviewed in the post of 30th July 2010.



The first photograph depicts a wooden 150-piece puzzle by Kolorbax from the original artwork by B. A Osborne. A 'Merchant Navy' class 'Pacific' No.21C1 Channel Packet is shown heading the prestigious Southern Railway's  'Golden Arrow' express of Pullman coaches. Osborne has included an aeroplane in his painting and line-side engineers add human interest.


This next paragraph is copied from my post of 25th July 2011.

The 'Golden Arrow' luxury service, from Victoria to Dover, began operating c1929 starting as an all-Pullman train hauled by a 4-6-0 'Lord Nelson' class locomotive or, occasionally, by a 'King Arthur' class 4-6-0. On arrival at Dover passengers were treated to a first class English Channel crossing to Calais on a specially built ferry, Canterbury, owned by the Southern Railway (SR). At Calais passengers boarded an equally prestigious French train, the 'Fleche d'Or', for the journey to Paris. By the late 1930's, however, the 'Golden Arrow' service included ordinary first and second class carriages in its formation as the interest in luxury, all Pullman travel declined. The service was terminated at the outbreak of war in 1939, but was re-introduced in 1946 when a special headboard (until 1961) was added to the front of the locomotive. This headboard was truly inspirational with a large golden arrow piercing a green circle, the latter embracing the famous words, also in gold. British and French flags, fixed to the front of the locomotive, and a horizontal Golden Arrow fixed to each side of the locomotive, added even more flair. Interestingly, artists were sometimes criticised for inverting the flags on the buffer beam.












A second interesting photograph of the box and lid is shown with the replica, reference picture split and pasted equally between the lid (left) and the box base (right). The third picture shows the puzzle description, adhered as a label to the box end, in the style of other wooden jigsaw makers.

According to his excellent book British Jigsaw Puzzles of the Twentieth Century, author Tom Tyler describes Kolorbax as a 1940's producer of jigsaw puzzles. Can anyone help me with my research into this company which so far has yielded very little? (email address at the top of the blog page.)