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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

Friday, 31 July 2015

Locomotives at Bressingham

In this post, 31st July 2015, I am describing two jigsaw puzzles, each showing a locomotive on exhibition at Bressingham Steam Museum in Norfolk.

Bressingham hosts a garden centre, commercial nursery, gardens and a steam museum. Housed in the latter are steam locomotives, carriages, steam rollers, traction engines, showman's engines and steam waggons. A standard gauge railway has over ¼ mile of track and offers footplate rides.

The first picture shows a 300-piece puzzle from Hope's Railway Series titled Royal Scot. The Stanier 4-6-0, No.6100, Royal Scot, is pictured at Bressingham Steam Museum. She was built in 1927 for expresses on the London Midland & Scottish Railway and rebuilt by British Railways in 1950. She went on to serve another 12 years on the West Coast Main Line and was retired in 1962. The 'Duchess' was then purchased by Billy Butlin and became a star attraction at Butlins Holiday Camp in Skegness, as a static exhibit.

6100 left the Butlins site for the Bressingham Steam Museum in 1971 and was returned to steam in 1972. In 1978 she became a static exhibit again until 1989 before being sold to Bressingham by Butlins in the same year. She was sold again to the Royal Scot Locomotive and General Trust in 2009, and was moved by road to the Heritage workshops in Crewe. In the same year she caught fire en route to a steam gala at the West Somerset Railway while being transported along the M5 Motorway on a lorry. A fire started on the lorry under the loco's leading wheels leading to a long lay-off and more restoration. Royal Scot is expected to steam again in September, this year.

The same photograph is used in the Hestair 100-piece puzzle (Puzzler 100 series). For more information on the Hestair and locomotive No.6100 go to the post of 1st May 2011.


The second photograph shows a 200-piece jigsaw from Ingham Day from the Byegone Days series titled Duchess of Sutherland Locomotive. Depicted at Bressingham is Stanier 4-6-2 'Princess Coronation' class locomotive, No.6233 Duchess of Sutherland. This giant locomotive was built in 1938 at Crewe Works for the London Midland and Scottish Railway to haul express passenger services between London Euston and Glasgow Central, among others. She was retired by British Railways in 1964 and sold to Butlins Holiday Camp at Ayr. The loco was then transferred to the Steam Museum at Bressingham in 1971 where she was used on the demonstration line for footplate rides for the next three years. Unfortunately, problems occurred in her firebox and she was retired once again.  She remained at Bressingham on static display until 1996 when she was acquired by 'The Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust' for restoration. In 2001, No.6233 was restored to operating condition and since then has been a regular performer on the mainline network, mainly as No.46233. 

Monday, 27 July 2015

Record and Pictorial Jigsaws from Ravensburger

Today's post, 27th July 2015, comprises two jigsaws from German manufacturer, Ravensburger. The puzzles depict two of many different elements of the steam railway jigsaw genre; record and pictorial.













The first picture (left) features the 1000-piece puzzle titled Full Steam Ahead, from original artwork by John Austin. W.H. Smith also marketed this jigsaw but under the title Millers Dale (read on).

John's painting depicts the station and twin viaducts at Millers Dale in Derbyshire. The oldest viaduct was built for the Midland Railway in 1862/3 and the second in 1905. The latter doubled the number of lines to four. In his book Smoke, Steam, and Light John describes his passion for painting bridges and viaducts and I must add that he is expert at it. The line through Millers Dale was closed in 1967 following the recommendations enclosed in the Beeching Report but the older viaduct (left, I think) now forms part of the popular Monsal Trail, used by ramblers, horse riders and cyclists.

The passenger train in the painting appears to be headed by a rebuilt ex LMS  'Royal Scot' class 4-6-0 locomotive in early British Railways' days (the London Midland Scottish Railway - LMS - became part of British Railways in 1948). The second viaduct supports a freight train hauled by a small 0-6-0 tender locomotive. 

The second Ravensburger jigsaw, of 500 pieces and titled The Train Driver - part of the Happy Days at Work series - is shown next. My interpretation of the Trevor Mitchell painting is of a family returning from a short holiday (one case) and taking advantage of a friendly driver. Before leaving the station the father, holding one of his sons, converses with the driver whilst his wife and other children look on and listen intently. Another man and boy are included in the composition. The locomotive in close up is ex GWR King class 4-6-0 No.6005 King George II, and the era is early British Railways (the Great Western Railway - GWR - became part of British Railways in 1948). Another ex GWR passenger train is pictured in the background approaching the station: the family dog, a large water crane and a signal box complete the picturesque station scene. The interpretation is in the eyes of the beholder.