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Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Ravensburger Railway Heritage Series

No.1 in Ravensburger Heritage Series are two 500-piece jigsaws, packed in the same box, and titled Oakworth and Corfe.  This post, 23 April 2020 features both of these puzzles and No.2 in the series, showing another pair of puzzles, will follow in a later post. The illustrative artwork is by Trevor Mitchell.

Oakworth, left, is one of the stations on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway (K&WVR). The locomotive  approaching the platform with a passenger service is ex War Department (W.D.) class '8F' 2-8-0, No.90733. The locomotive has a fascinating history from 1945, when it was built at Vulcan Foundary in Newton-le-Willows. She was sent to the continent to carry out troop and supplies movements then, following the end of the war, ended up in The Netherlands. She was transferred to the Swedish State Railway in 1953, and later held in store until purchased by the K&WVR in 1972. She arrived in 1973 but was withdrawn from service three years later. Repairs began in 1993 leading to a return to active duties in 2007 when she was re-numberd 90733, thus continuing the B.R. numbering system for the class, 9000 - 90732. She was taken out of service in 2017 and is now under overhaul at Haworth. Oakworth Station looks splendid in Trevor's painting with many passengers of all ages waiting for the train to stop.  A luggage trolley, metal adverts and floral displays add to the nostalgic ambience. 

Corfe station, right, on the Swanage Railway, is ideally placed for visits to the famous castle, seen in the background in Trevor's picture. The steam locomotive 0-6-2T, No.6695, was built in 1928, withdrawn from service in 1964, and moved to Barry Scrapyard in the same year. She was transferred to the Swanage Railway in 1979 but was sold to the '6695 Locomotive Group' in 1995. In 2015 she was under overhaul at the West Somerset Railway but was then transferred to the Swindon & Cricklade Railway in 2019 to continue her overhaul. She is depicted waiting in Corfe Station at the head of a rake of Southern Railway (SR) green coaches. The platforms are busy with passengers and visitors. Adjacent to the steam train is a BR class 108 diesel multiple unit (DMU).

Unfortunately these jigsaws are printed in a very light and non-contrasty style and photographing them is difficult.

Friday, 10 April 2020

A Tale of Two Locomotives

Today's jigsaw, 10 April 2020,  is another 'gem' from the House of Puzzles' portfolio of superb steam train examples. It is a 1000 piece puzzle from the Castleford Collection, titled Bringing Them Home. The jigsaw features the ex Great Western Railway (GWR) 'Hall' class 4-6-0 locomotive  No.4965, Rood Ashton Hall, at Arley Station on the Severn Valley Railway (SVR). 

In a modern 're-enactment' scene, World War II Army personnel, men and women, are greeted by friends and relatives, including children, on arriving 'home'. The SVR is one of several Heritage Railways including such retrospective WWII events in their annual programmes. At these special events volunteers wear period dress and uniforms, and other items of period paraphernalia are added to the platforms; items such as milk churns and luggage for instance. A guard standing by the engine and the station master sat outside his office are each pictured with a mug of tea. The station cat is also included in a scene well captured by artist Ray Cresswell. 

The history of this locomotive is very interesting with mischievious exchanges and transfers going on between two locomotives at Swindon Works c1961/62. Basically the locomotive is a hybrid of No.4983 Albert Hall - the 10th locomotive to leave Barry Scrapyard in 1970 - and No.4965 Rood Ashton Hall.  Read the story on