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Monday, 28 December 2015


Some enthusiasts love montage style jigsaw puzzles and I admit to being one of them. Today's post, 28th December 2015, features two pics of montage jigsaws although, I prefer to call one of them, a composite.

First of all let me explain. In my 2007 book, Steam Trains and Jigsaw Puzzles, I said "Composites are separate images joined together with definite boundaries between them in contrast to montages, where images are blended together with no definite boundaries. These are my own definitions for this book and may not comply with those of others". I stand by these entirely personal definitions.

Picture one, left, shows an early noughties', 1000-piece jigsaw from Waddingtons which, by my definition, is a montage. It is titled Classic Steam Trains. Eight images, duplicating the superb artworks of Malcolm Root are blended together to form a single picture with superb impact. The original images can be found in two books of Root paintings - The Railway Paintings of Malcolm Root (1996) and Malcolm Roots Railway Paintings (2004). From left to right, top to bottom the paintings are as follows:

'Winter at Corfe Castle'. A small 'M7' class 0-4-4 tank engine, No.30060, designed by Dugald Drummond for the London & South Western Railway in 1897 is pictured leaving Corfe Station. The two coach passenger train is shown in a winter . The snow and Castle add pictorial interest.
'Weymouth Turnaround'. A re-built 'Merchant Navy' class 4-6-2 locomotive of Oliver Bulleid, No.35017 Belgian Marine is the focus here. The engine crew are working hard turning the huge locomotive on the ex GWR, 65ft turntable at Weymouth.
'All Out Effort'. 'King' class 4-6-0 No.6023 King Edward II, in BR passenger blue livery, is pictured passing Stoneycombe Quarry and signal box. The train is the famous 'Cornish Riviera Express'.
'Clouds and Crosswinds'.  Sir William Stanier's 'Princess Coronation' class 4-6-2, No. 46238 City of Carlisle is pictured on the northern fells approaching Shap Summit with a Scottish express. The spot is famous for inclement weather and a favourite among artists.
'Night Ferry'. The night service destined to reach Paris in eleven hours after leaving Victoria Station at 10pm is headed by 'Lord Nelson' class 4-6-0, No.855 Robert Blake. The locomotive class was designed by Richard Maunsell. 
'Constable Country'. 'Britannia' class 4-6-2, No.70003 John Bunyan is depicted attacking Dedham Bank after leaving Manningtree with an express. The signal box adds to the impact.
'Grantham Departure'. The huge 'P2' class 2-8-2 locomotives, designed for the LNER by Sir Nigel Gresley, were the most powerful in the UK. No.2001 Cock o' the North is pictured heading north with an East Coast express.
'Halstead's Own'. This picture represent Root's home town of Halstead in Edwardian Times. The locomotive in the station is a Hawthorn-Leslie 2-4-2 tank, No.2 Halstead, of the Colne Valley Railway. 

Picture two shows the Gibsons 1000-piece jigsaw simply titled Brunel, which by my definition is a composite. From left to right, top to bottom the pictures are as follows:

The Deck of Brunel's 'Great Eastern' 1866; 'The Thames Tunnel', London, 1830; 'The Royal Albert Bridge, Saltash', BR (WR); 'Iron Duke' locomotive at Chippenham Station; Isambard Kingdom Brunel, English railway engineer and inventor, 1857; Launching a buoy from the 'Great Eastern'; 'Recovery of the cable on the Great Eastern'; 'Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol' GWR/LMS; 'Speed to the West' GWR poster, 1939. The pictures were sourced from the National Railway Museum, Science & Society Picture Library and Science Museum.

Friday, 18 December 2015

Small Railway Stations

Today's post, 18th December 2015,  features pictures of 1000-piece jigsaws on the theme of Railway Stations.

The first picture, left, shows  a Gibsons' example titled Little Spotters which was also used as a promotional jigsaw by Cadburys. The artist is Kevin Walsh. The station is a small example complete with most railway structures you would have been familiar with, if of a certain age, in the late 1950's - platform waiting room/buffet, children loco spotting, a couple of steam trains, a luggage cart with milk churns and numerous advertisements. The locomotive in the picture is ex GWR Prairie Tank '4575' class 2-6-2, No.4588, built in 1937 and designed by Charles Collett. The British Railways (BR) logo on the locomotive indicates a date between 1956 and 1962, when the engine was withdrawn from service. The locomotive was preserved and based on the Paignton & Dartmouth Steam Railway and then the Dartmouth Steam  Railway which gives a clue as to  the location of the station in the puzzle. It is now out of service, awaiting overhaul at Tyseley Locomotive Works.  

The second picture features a Falcon jigsaw titled Steam Express, reproduced from artwork by Kevin Walsh again. The scene is not dissimilar to the first puzzle but includes extras such as a signal box, a porter and trolley, a footbridge and the family dog. The main locomotive in the picture is the ex GWR 'Castle' class 4-6-0, No.5097 Sarum Castle; the latter, designed by Charles Collett is depicted pulling into the station with a passenger service. No.5097 was built in 1939, withdrawn from service in 1963 and scrapped two years later. In the jigsaw picture, a second locomotive waits on the adjacent line. 

Both pictures are typical of Kevin Walsh's work showing a strong affinity between railways and the local community.