The BCD, or Benevolent Confraternity of Dissectologists to give it its expanded title, is a subscription-based club for followers of Jigsaw Puzzles, whether for pure enjoyment or from a more research-based interest. Based in the United Kingdom, but with a Worldwide membership, the club was founded in 1985 when a small group of jig-saw puzzle enthusiasts met for a most enjoyable evening, assembling puzzles together and sharing information about them. As a result, they decided to create a club for like-minded enthusiasts, calling themselves “Dissectologists” after John Spilsbury, who invented the original puzzles in England in the 1760’s, called them “Dissected Maps”.
From these foundations the club has grown considerably to its current standing of several hundred members. Following on from those earliest events, we now meet quarterly in venues (usually village halls) around the UK and produce four colour-printed newsletters each year which are crammed full of news, pictures and information about puzzles, along with details of puzzles for sale and wanted by the members. We also organise a weekend of puzzling, or “House Party” event approximately every two years, at which some of the World’s finest and most fiendish puzzle examples usually put in an appearance, much to the delight and entertainment of our resident “Experts”! These functions allow us all to share and discuss our particular interests, along with being a great social occasion and provide much of the material to appear in each subsequent publication.
The BCD can count within its membership, many of the World’s finest jigsaw puzzle brains, often present at our meetings to discuss latest discoveries and share their experiences, as well as being learned contributors to the pages of our newsletters. The encouragement of restoration and research, along with the recording and sharing of information, are all very key aims within the club, helping us all considerably in our mutual enjoyment of this great hobby, all of which takes place within an environment of social enjoyment of the puzzles themselves and the friendship of the group.
The BCD is a non-profit organisation and membership is only a nominal annual fee, the majority of which goes towards the cost of producing the newsletters, plus the associated postage and stationery. Alongside the BCD website stands The Jigasaurus website, created by the present Club Chairman, David Shearer. This site is intended as a library, or thesaurus of jigsaw puzzles which, together with David’s childhood interests in all things “Dinosaur”, gave birth to the “Jigasaurus” identity. Many of the World’s finest vintage jigsaw puzzles, as well as those of modern cutters can be seen there in this ever-growing archive, now also receiving regular input from interested collectors all around the globe!