In this post, 30 January 2018, I am featuring three jigsaws, each promoting the artwork of Trevor Mitchell. The artist, who began his trade at Bradford Art College, has come to the forefront in steam railway jigsaw artwork in recent years, as the genre becomes more popular with manufacturers. Currently in my inventory of 450+ steam railway jigsaws, the artwork in approximately twenty of them, is accredited to Trevor Mitchell. At least seven manufacturers use his illustrative style, including the three detailed below.
This picture shows the 1000-piece jigsaw from W. H. Smith titled Parcel for Canal Cottage. The painting is very busy with at least four modes of transport integrated into a rural scene. A parcel is being delivered to a thatched cottage by a postman; his Morris 'Z' chassis van - produced 1940-1953 - is parked beside him. The model of van helps to date the scene. An 0-6-0 pannier tank of the Great Western Railway is pictured in the background, shunting a few wagons and a toad van, on a branch line or siding. In between is a family group navigating a narrowboat along a canal. A pair of bicycle riders, man and woman, on the canalside path, complete the transport foursome. Other cottages, trees, fields and ducks complete an idyllic scene.
The second jigsaw featuring Trevor's artwork is a House of Puzzles example titled Passing By. This composition also uses a train, a canal boat and a cyclist to advantage but this time the train is transporting the Royal Mail, at this preliminary stage. The nets, used to snatch the parcels from lineside posts, are clearly visible on the sides of the coaches. An LMS Stanier* 'Black V' class 4-6-0 locomotive, No.5278, heads the mail train as it traverses a canal bridge. A working canal boat with driver and dog, travel sedately along the canal beneath, towards a lock appearing in the background. On a canalside towpath, a male cyclist and his dog acknowledge their counterparts on the canal boat.
The third jigsaw shows a 500-piece jigsaw titled Full Steam Ahead. The superb wooden jigsaw is made by Wentworth and includes the legendary 'whimsies'. Pictured leaving a main line station is another LMS Stanier* 'Black V' class 4-6-0 locomotive, No.5424, heading a passenger service. A LNER locomotive in 'Apple Green' livery is pictured nearby as a permanent way foreman, with a red flag, looks on attentively. To the left of the picture is an example of a famous Gresley* 'Teak' coach. The station name is not shown but it must be a mixed region example, as both LMS and LNER locomotives are pictured together.
* Sir William Stanier and Sir Nigel Gresley were brilliant chief mechanical engineers of the London Midland Scottish railway (LMS) and London and North Eastern Railway (LNER), respectively.