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Monday, 12 March 2018

Latest from Wentworth

A recent steam railway puzzle from Wentworth is the subject of today's post, 12th March 2018. A 250-piece, laser-cut, wooden example (available in larger sizes), the jigsaw features a superb painting by John Austin, one of the very best of British railway artists. John is a Fellow of the Guild of Railway Artists and has won 20 of the last 21, annual members' competitions. That's how good he is.

The title is The 50th Anniversary of the Severn Valley Railway. The largest Gala of the Anniversary Year 2015, was a four-day event staged in September. The jigsaw is enhanced by several, intricately cut, railway-related whimsies merged into the puzzle. I have included 12 of the whimsies in a separate picture - see if you can spot them in the jigsaw. If you wish to see more of John's jigsaw work, or of Wentworth puzzles, just use the search bar above, right.

This 'SVR 50th Anniversary' jigsaw can be found directly through this link -

The first meeting of enthusiasts to re-open the railway (closed in April 1963), was held at  The Coopers Arms in Kidderminster on July 6th 1965. The railway now runs from Bridgnorth to Kidderminster and is around 16 miles long.

John appears to have re-created a scene from 1969 involving a line up of 4 locomotives at Bridgnorth Station. The locos were (l to r)...

Ex BR Ivatt class '2MT' 2-6-0, No.46443, built at Crewe in 1950 and owned by the 'SVR 26443 Fund'. She is out of service at the current time, awaiting overhaul. Known locally as 'The People's Engine'.

Ex GWR class '2251' 0-6-0 tender locomotive, No.3205, built at Swindon in 1946, designed by Charles Collett. She is preserved at the South Devon Railway but currently out of service awaiting overhaul.

Ex BR Ivatt class '4MT' 2-6-0, No.43106, built at Darlington Works in 1951 and owned by the 'Ivatt Class 4 Group'. She is preserved at the SVR and affectionately known as 'The Flying Pig'.

Ex LMS Stanier class '8F' 2-8-0,  No.48773, built in 1940 by the North British Locomotive Company in Glasgow to serve the War Department during WWII. She is based at the SVR but currently in the Engine House at Highley.

The strong diagonal in John's composition lends impact to the picture and the busy railway scene is evidence of his innate understanding of spatial awareness and perspective.