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Thursday, 31 January 2019

Ravensburger, USA

Todays post, 31 January 2018,  features a 500-piece jigsaw from Ravensburger that was made for the USA market.

It is quite a unique steam railway puzzle of 'Large Piece Format', measuring 70cm x 50cm when completed. There is a lot of detail in the painting by British artist Michael Herring. Centre stage is a small L.N.E.R. tank engine, heading two small passenger coaches on a single track, rural line. Seven geese have escaped through a gap in the lineside fence, and have wandered on to the track in front of the stationary train. The geese are causing consternation among train crew and fascination among a few, visible passengers leaning from open carriage windows. The fireman and guard are shown walking beside the train towards the geese as the driver looks on from his cab. A man and his dog are approaching the line from a lineside property, presumably to rescue the geese. A shed is open alongside the property to re-house the geese. A covering of snow adds aesthetic appeal to the pictorial composition. The jigsaw is titled Snow Bound but the original artwork on Michael's website is titled Geese on the Line. The jigsaw is not generally available in the UK to the best of my knowledge, although my used USA copy, was purchased from a UK Amazon supplier. As it was first marketed in c2008, used copies may be the only examples currently available. Michael's picture must represent a British Railways' scene (1948-1968), as the logo -  on the class 'J69', 0-6-0 tank engine, No.68579, designed by J. Holden, c1902 - was used post 1956. The locomotive was withdrawn from service in 1960.  

Saturday, 5 January 2019

Two vertical jigsaws from Sovereign Publications

May I take this opportunity to wish all supporters of the blog a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

Today's post, 5th January 2019, features two pics of portrait style jigsaws from Sovereign Publications.

Titled M.R. Compound Class 4, 4-4-0 No.1000, (left), this 600-piece jigsaw from Sovereign Publications shows the preserved compound, Midland Railway (MR) locomotive on the 'Cumbrian Mountain Pullman' 'Special'. No.1000 was the first locomotive designed by Samuel Johnson for the MR. She was built at Derby Works in 1902 as No.2631, but renumbered to No.1000 in 1907. Richard Deeley modified the design in 1914 in which state she remained until 1923, when she became part of the London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS). Nationalisation in 1948 meant renumbering again as British Railways (BR) No.41000. She was 'pensioned off' from BR in 1951, heading for preservation, and restored in 1959 to virtually 1914 condition and MR red livery, to run main line 'Specials'. She was then stored at the Transport Museum in Clapham. She became a static exhibit at the National Railway Museum in York but is now at the Barrow Hill Engine shed in Derbyshire, on loan. In the jigsaw photograph the locomotive is double-heading with a second engine but there are no details on the box. However, David Rostance' photographs on 'Flickr' show No.1000 double heading with 'Jubilee' class 4-6-0, No.5690 Leander, heading the 'Cumbrian Mountain Pullman' on 5th and 12th February 1983. These photographs in the snow show many similarities to the jigsaw picture. A postcard of the same photograph used for the jigsaw has been on sale on Ebay recently.

The jigsaw (right) is titled B.R. Class 4MT No.80135. The locomotive was built as a large, 2-6-4 tank type by Robert Riddles, of British Railways, in 1956, at Brighton. She was withdrawn from service in 1965 and arrived at Barry Scrapyard a year later. In 1973, the locomotive became the 39th condemned example to be reprieved and rescued from the famous Woodham Bro's scrapyard. She was to be purchased by the North Yorkshire Moors Railway Trust (NYMRT) in 1973, but shortage of cash meant that she was sold to a Dutch businessman, who had her restored between 1977-1980. On his death in 2006, the locomotive was bequeathed to the NYMR where she remains today. She is out of service for repairs at the present time.