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Tuesday, 30 July 2019

The UK's oldest working steam locomotive.

A puzzle aimed at children, but of 500-pieces and tited Steam train in the snow, was sold at Wilko’s stores around Christmas time, 2017. The preserved ex Furness Railway, 0-4-0 locomotive, No. 20, owned by the Furness Railway Trust, is shown heading a clerestory coach passing a winter village scene. Watching on intently are children sat on a nearby gate. The main attractions are the handsome tender locomotive, the driver dressed as Santa, and a group of children building a snowman in the  field, opposite. The famous ‘Indian Red’ livery of the Furness Railway adorns the coach and locomotive; the latter built by Sharp Stewart & Co. of Manchester, in 1863. The artist of this attractive illustrative painting is not named. The loco was running on the Ribble Steam  Railway based at Preston Docks, but is now based at Shildon; it is the country's oldest working steam locomotive.

Because early/mid-19th century locomotives are rare subjects for artists or jigsaw manufacturers, I am delighted that this 1863 example has been featured. For this reason, it should be part of any steam railway jigsaw collection.