Ipswich Meeting – September 2017

A great day was had by all at the Autumn meeting hosted by Tom and Tricia Tyler.  A good member turnout enjoyed the “Countryside and Country Crafts” theme which yielded an interesting and challenging variety of puzzles. It was particularly rewarding to see several BCD members who don’t get to so many meetings, as well as some local visitors who joined us to enjoy the day’s puzzling  Two added bonuses were the ploughman’s lunch (with a plethora of delicious puddings) that Tricia and colleagues laid on and the offer to stay on after the meeting for lively conversation and a fish and chip supper at Tom and Tricia’s home. Our thanks go out to Tom and Tricia for entertaining us so well throughout the day!

A round dozen members took the floor for the Show and Tell session. Sally kicked off with a selection of Archers puzzles and artefacts and David wrapped up with a selection of puzzles including his oldest, “The Manor”, by John Wallace, dated 1809. Puzzles shown in between included four others from the 19th century: two from Gillian – “Farm Scene”(1804) and a F.K.Henke puzzle dated 1884 – and two from the secretive Barfoot’s – Tom’s “The Farm” (1840) and Pete’s “Farmyard Scene (Harvest Evening)” (1850). Other puzzles shown included Lynne’s “A Blacksmith”, interestingly cut by W.G.Evans, a Wentworth “Playing Cricket in Marylebone Fields” from Katy, an interesting “A Busy Centre in War-Time” showing WI members making jam and weaving baskets, several postcard sized puzzles of hunting scenes from Barrie, a lovely Salmon “Haven of Happiness” from Brian and a miniature “At The Inn of The Fox” made of faux-ivory by Vera in the 1920s.

Postscript. Jackie Armstrong has posted her own photos of the day , along with pictures of some of the her other jigsaws that fitted the day’s theme but she was unable to bring along, as well as collages of similarly themed puzzles that John Hyde has sold over the years. All these can be enjoyed at the link below:

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Issue 125 – August 2017

The Summer edition of the magazine covered an interesting variety of puzzling-related topics ranging from the recent sale of an original Spilsbury puzzle to an offer of a large, if just a little incomplete, Victory Gold box puzzle free to a good home!

Anne Williams reported that John Spilsbury’s 1767, “Asia in its Principal Divisions”, hand-coloured engraved map pasted on to wood and dissected along country borders into just under 40 pieces, sold at auction in Winchester in July for almost £2,500! Ann also wrote a piece on the recent donation of 1500 games and jigsaws to the Bodleian Library in Oxford by collector Richard Ballam and went on to explain the significance of the Bodleian’s position as one of the world’s major centres for the study of games, puzzles and other aspects of childhood play and learning.

Jackie Armstrong contributed two articles: the first on “Show & Tell Items – Made Up or In Boxes?” and a second longer piece on the increasingly popular “Traditional Wooden Jigsaws” Flickr group that she started in 2012. In the article she also included links to pictures of each of of her favourite 30 puzzles from the site. Brian Sulman discussed more of his extensive Salmon puzzle collection, this time covering those featuring Meccano advertisements on the box lids.

Two guest written articles were also included. The first from Jill Davis described the first Kedington Jigsaw Festival that she and a willing team of helpers successfully put on in May and the second, from Ruth Atkin, told all about “Just Jigsaws”, a community group who meet weekly in Wimborne library to do puzzles together as well as enjoy a cup of tea and a piece of cake!

Rounding off the edition was John Hyde’s offer of a 1700 piece puzzle of the famous “Gloriana Reviews Her Fleet” painting, sadly missing 8 pieces but too good to throw away!

Clevedon Meeting – June 2017

The summer meeting was held in the lovely seaside town of Clevedon on the Bristol Channel. The sun shone, the puzzles were varied and plentiful and a good time was had by all.

The theme for the meeting was “Maps”  and in the words of our chairman  “it brought out from the membership one of the finest displays I  can recall seeing for several years”.  Included in the Show & Tell session after  lunch were a cardboard reproduction of John Spilsbury’s very first puzzle of Europe dissected ,  a 1760 road map of England and Wales produced by Thomas Jefferys and 19th Century puzzles cut by two of the most prominent producers of the time, William Darton and John Wallis. The former, dating from around 1850, featured many of the routes travelled by a variety of sea-faring explorers including “Captain Cook, going south in search of a Continent 1773”;  the latter published in 1812, highlighting the “Southern Icy Ocean”!


More recent puzzles discussed included  a  1920’s map of the 32 counties of Ireland, each cut into one or more separate pieces, a 500 piece Chad Valley 1953 official souvenir puzzle of the Queen’s coronation route and a Waddington’s 1966 World Cup map.

The day was enhanced by by hosts Gillian and John Kernon’s family who looked after us in the kitchen all day and some of us were also lucky enough to enjoy further Kernon hospitality with a Sunday morning visit to their house to see their extensive puzzle and toy collection over coffee and biscuits. Thanks so much to all the Kernon family.

Issue 124 – May 2017

May 2017 saw the publication of a bumper Special 24 Page Edition of the newsletter featuring 10 pages of quality photos of puzzles shown at the BCD House Party weekend held in Bournemouth in February and the March meeting at Normandy (see previous post). So a quick bit of Maths will tell you that it also contained 14 pages of interesting news, information and articles about puzzling and the BCD too!

John Hyde contributed an article to accompany the pictures of his lovely and evocative advertising puzzles which included Holtzapffel’s “Dick Whittington”, rail-inspired “Scarborough”,  “Southport” and LNER’s “East Coast”, White Star Line’s ” RMS Majestic” , Cunard’s “Acquitania Outward Bound” and a more obscure South African poster for “Seltzbach” spring water.

David Shearer followed up his “Repairs” workshop and demonstration with an article referencing several puzzles he had worked on. These included the much-sought-after 1933 Chad Valley plywood “King Kong”, one of his personal favourites, ” The Conflagration of Moscow”, Holtzapffel’s “Sinbad” which came to him missing half of Sinbad’s face and thus required challenging artwork as well as skilful cutting to restore and another Holtzapffel “At The White Hart” that needed 17 replacement pieces making.

Barrie Hudson-Peacock’s wrote about his extensive Peacock Puzzle Box collection, spanning the period 1853-1924 (See photo at top of picture accompanying previous post) article and Jackie Armstrong celebrated the reported revival in the general popularity of games and in jigsaws in particular, now included in the UK’s official shopping basket. Among other articles were those that covered Tom Tyler’s talk on Lady Charlotte Finch, 18th century royal governess for three decades, who used jigsaws as part of her education of the royal children, Tom’s sole copy of a proposed  but unpublished Wentworth puzzle of a painting of The Herzogen Cecile, the 1936 Australia to England Grain Race winning square rigged sailing ship that subsequently sank near Salcombe , and a note on celebrity puzzle enthusiasts Patrick Stewart and Bill and Melinda Gates.

A bumper edition indeed!

 

AGM & Meeting – March 17 at Normandy

Hearty thanks to Bernard & Colleen Shambrook who hosted the Spring meeeting and AGM in a light spacious hall in Normandy, near Guildford in Surrey. Around 30 members attended, including some not so regulars, so a good time had by all – Brian and Jill Price’s sales table attracted lots of interest in particular.

The theme for the day was “Boats”. Attendees enjoyed assembling a good selection of puzzles, including some of chairman David Shearer’s more challenging puzzle library ones (not all of which were quite finished!), an interesting Show and Tell session – the boating theme being, as is often the case, quite loosely interpreted by some! – and a presentation from John Hyde of some his favourite Venice puzzles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Show and Tell featured, among others, a range of puzzles from Salmon, Chad Valley, AVN Jones South African Series, W.G. Evans, Frederick Warne, Waddington’s, Wentworth, Raphael Tuck, Picture Puzzles, Valentine’s, Philmar, and cutters Rob Garner, Andrew Kershaw and both Peter and Enid Stocken.

Issue 123 – Spring 2017

As is often the case, the Spring 2017 magazine led with an account of the previous quarterly meeting and also contained a full page account of the Show and Tell session along with two and a half pages of colour pictures of puzzles shown there (see previous post for more details).

Following regular entries Chairman’s Chatter and Editor’s Notes were lots of other very interesting articles of varying length, covering a broad range of puzzle-related content. Christopher Turner contributed a very interesting and informed two page article on the history and philosophy of jigsaw puzzling, centred around his grandfather, cutter Dick Sawbridge, who cut many puzzles for the Queen and once fooled the old TV game show “What’s My Line?” panel of celebrities when they failed to guess his hobby after their allotted number of questions ran out! Issue 123_3bJacques Velu explained how he is now able to make his own replacement pieces using a small milling machine linked to his PC.
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Editor Brian Sulman included an article of his own, “More Unusual Salmon Puzzles” which include “The Changing Picture”, a jigsaw with some interchangeable parts that create two different pictures. Martin and Frances Harper wrote about The Northern Picture Puzzle Exchange, operated from around the beginning of WW1 until his death in 1929 by a cutter called David Dippie Dixon from a Northumberland mansion, Cragside, now a National Trust property and Alan Sudbury followed up on the Winter meeting with an article on Simpkin Marshall’s Sport and Travel series of puzzles.

“Winter” at Harold Hill – November 2017 Meeting

Issue 123_1Harold Hill near Romford was the location for the last meeting of 2017. Following the usual introduction from Chairman David Shearer, attendees enjoyed the morning puzzling and checking out the sales tables. After lunch a brief committee meeting discussed the upcoming House Party weekend in Bournemouth and venues and topics for future quarterly meetings. Everyone then gathered together for the main event of the day, the Show and Tell session on the theme of “Winter – but not Christmas!”

The topic encouraged a wide range of puzzles. Host, Julia kicked off with a 1930’s Vera Ski Jumper puzzle. Among others shown were a J.Salmon selection, “Returning from Market” by Richard Dadd, two from Waddington’s, two cut by Enid Stocken, several Wentworths including a Special Edition, “Snowflakes” featuring a host of penguins, a set of 12 cut from a calendar by Meredith Worsfold, two from Springbok and a Giles puzzle. Issue 123_2bFavourite presenter John Hyde once again produced a lovely display of mounted puzzles and President Tom Tyler rounded off the session including a fine selection featuring trains in winter. Most interestingly, the session also included many of Simpkin Marshall Ltd.’s Sport and Travel series, rarely seen together.

More tea and cakes followed as members worked on completing as many puzzles as possible before the meeting eventually came to a close. Many thanks to Julia for setting up the meeting in a suitably fitting location.

Newsletter 122 – Winter 2016

As well as several articles on the September meeting (see previous post), Issue 122 contained another dozen or so articles on a wide range of puzzling topics and four full colour pages of puzzles discussed in them.

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Among these, Terry Walters reported on a framed massive 24,000 piece “World’s Largest Puzzle” purchased, put together and donated to the local Balloon Museum and John Hyde added to two previous articles on Collecting as a hobby.issue-122_3b Emma Jenkinson shared her experiences of winning the first British Championships at the Newmarket Jigsaw Festival in 2013 and more recently coming second and, best of all, while participating, discovering the BCD. Helen Stevenson and Martin Norgate contributed articles on jigsaws in museums and chairman David a short piece on a fascinatingly cut and colourful Hampton Court puzzle. In his Chairman’s Chatter, David also mentioned next February’s Bournemouth House Party Weekend which will include a full programme of puzzling activity including a Show & Tell theme of “My Favourite Two Advertising or Story-Telling Puzzles”.

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Two of the longer articles were about a really interesting collection of monkey puzzles and toys put together by Gillian Kernon to celebrate this year as the Chinese year of the Monkey and Brian Sulman’s account of an unusual Salmon series of three interchangeable jig-saw puzzles, “The Mad Tea Party”, “The Bruin Boys” and “Cook and Her Policeman”.

Autumn meeting Coddington, near Newark – September 2016

The day at Coddington started with a visit from Simon and Peter Stocken with some of their very complex wooden puzzles. The highlight of these was a large framed 3D puzzle of Sir Walter Raleigh returning from his travels and bursting through the canvas! Simon created this for the Queen for her Golden Jubilee in 2002 and calls it “I’m Home, Ma’am”. He told the group of a catastrophic collapse of the puzzle while touring it in the US. It has over 2,500 pieces and Simon sadly bagged them all up to bring home. Several years later he rebuilt it and then deconstructed it, taking a photograph each time he removed a piece and then strung all the pictures together to make a construction manual for the puzzle and a fascinating video, now to be found on Youtube by searching for “Sir Walter Raleigh – I’m Home Ma’am”.

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The Show and Tell theme was “Fascinating Cuts and Beautiful Places”. Among the puzzles shown were a Jeremy puzzle of a town market street with their characteristic animal whimsies, a Michele Wilson 350 piece aerial view of Balinese terraces, a Heather Prydderch pre-Raphaelite “St.Bride carried by Angels” and a Howard Smeeton panoramic “Glen Affric” puzzle.

Thanks to Jackie and David who organised the meeting in the lovely hall at the local community centre and for bringing along a wealth of puzzles both for attendees to assemble during the day and to present at Show and Tell. Thanks also to all who baked or brought the lovely cakes that everyone enjoyed!

Newsletter 121

Like its counterpart issue a year earlier, the Autumn 2016 Issue 121 had a lovely cover colour picture and included a further 7 pages of colour photographs of many of the puzzles discussed in the articles it contained. The cover photo was of an appropriately autumnal 700 piece push-fit puzzle titled “The Gleaners”, the picture having being taken from a cut-down Ovaltine poster.

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After chairman David Shearer’s “Chairman’s Chatter”, Jo Tyler kicked the issue off with an account of the recent June meeting held in Grayswood Village Hall, Surrey, followed by an account of the meeting’s “Underground, Overground …” Show and Tell session. Articles from members on a variety of topics followed including Part 6 of David Shearer’s “The wanderings of the Jigasaurus” about an interesting collection of over 50 old puzzles he had recently acquired that required a lot of sorting and unjumbling!, a profile of one of the few current French cutters, Genest Desfosses, Le Colimacon (The Snail), two articles by Jackie Armstrong on a Goya painting featuring an early jigsaw puzzle and a jigsaw puzzle race she had participated in and Stephen Smith’s piece on A V N Jones Australian and South African puzzles series.

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Also of note in this issue was a photo of member Geert Bekkering receiving the coveted John Spilsbury Award from the Association for Games and Puzzles International (AGPI). Our congratulations to Geert!

Haslemere meeting – Jun 2016

A lovely light spacious Grayswood Village Hall just to the North East of Haslemere was the venue for the June meeting. Sadly, long-time member and organiser John Jenvey was ill and couldnt join us but our thanks to him for arranging the day. Just over 30 members, including several newcomers, attended and enjoyed some stimulating puzzling, a challenging “Underground, Overground …” Show & Tell session and an interesting “Rivers” puzzles talk from stalwart speaker, John Hyde.
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Among the puzzles displayed for the Show & Tell session were two different Chad Valley Wookey Hole puzzles and two of Holzapffel’s splendid Figure It Out series, “Bluebird” and “Quality Street”. Two others brought along for members to put together on the day, a 1375 piece “The Businessman’s London” and a lovely vibrantly coloured deco-style “Underground”, depicting the occupants of an underground carriage, proved too tricky to complete in time, but were completed after the meeting and pictures of them included in BCD magazine Issue 121.

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Highlights of the Rivers talk were “The River of Life” – a Meredith Worsfold cut puzzle of a Tiffany stained glass window, a superb 1000 piece Raphael Tuck puzzle “Valley of the Shenandoah” – a magnificent painting of the Virginian river by Scottish artist Andrew Melrose and a particular favourite of John’s, “River Thames from The Yacht Inn at Greenwich”.

Newsletter 120

issue-120_1Newsletter number 120 arrived in June with a host of interesting articles and photographs including reports of the March meeting/AGM at Leverstock (see previous post).

David’s Part 5 of his “Wanderings of the Jigasaurus” series focused on the quite rare “Bildajig” range of 3D jigsaw puzzle models, manufactured by Scottish Toys Ltd of Glasgow in the 1930’s. He had thought they comprised a series of 3 black-hulled models of a tug boat, a cargo liner and a passenger, each being made up of a series of layers that stack on top of each other, each of which is its own mini-jigsaw puzzle. Add in wooden funnels and masts and metal ventilators and you have a fine model of a sea-going vessel! He has now discovered that there’s a fourth model in the series, having recently acquired a white-hulled variation of the passenger liner. In a second article, David followed up on Tom’s piece in the last issue on collecting as a hobby and encouraged other members to do likewise. Brian also added an account of his own highly developed “collecting gene”.
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Jackie Armstrong contributed two articles, one on “Big Jigsaws” and the second in response to the photo of a puzzle of “John Gilpin’s Ride to Where” in the last issue. John Hyde too responded to this with details and photos of his own John Gilpin puzzle and his original copy of Randolph Caldecott’s 1878 “Picture Book” that featured the rhyming story of John Gilpin’s wedding anniversary ride to The Bell Inn at Edmonton.

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Barrie wrote about another extremely rare puzzle he was recently pleased to acquire, “Exodus of Israel from Egypt” by E.J.Peacock who opened the Peacock firm in 1853 but did not stick around too long. Consequently, to the best of Barrie’s knowledge only 3 other puzzles made by him exist in the world!

Finally, on a lighter note, from Martin Norgate, came “Jigsaws are the stuff of Life” – in the form of ice cubes, ginger biscuits and a birthday cake depicting (very roughly) a theological map of the world from Medieval times!

AGM & Spring meeting – Flying High at Leverstock Green, March 2016

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Around 35 members, including some new faces, attended the March meeting where the Show & Tell theme was “Flying High”. As well as this and the annual AGM, on the agenda were tea, cakes, sales tables, and a short talk from John on what he calls “rotten” puzzles – those old puzzles with missing or badly repaired/replaced pieces!

As usual, the Show and Tell session produced a really nice and varied selection of puzzles. David showed several puzzles including a difficult Stocken Montgolfier balloon blasting off, a cardboard puzzle of Commonwealth flags and a Holtzapffel Figure=It=Out Sinbad puzzle featuring a giant Roc. Tom’s contribution included Swallows, an Edwardian bi-plane and two WWII puzzles – an Arrow Battle of Britain and another of a Hawker Hurricane. Planes of generations before and after these featured on other puzzles discussed – The Spirit of St.Louis, flown solo across the Atlantic by Charles Lindbergh and Concorde, from Wentworth.

Newsletter 119

The 16-page Spring 2016 newsletter brought us reports from the Reigate “Rumpus”, the December meeting (see previous post for more on that), early news of the next bi-annual BCD House Party weekend to be held in Bournemouth in February 2017 and a wealth of other articles.

Cliff Maddock supplied a thought-provoking interesting article “Too much of a good thing? or ‘Am i still a dissectologist?’, discussing both his collecting and puzzling and his perceived observation that the more ‘active’ current BCD members are perhaps more interested in the ‘challenge of the cut’ of a puzzle rather than the sheer enjoyment of its picture !

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John Hyde wrote about the Christmas puzzles he presented at the Reigate meeting. Pete Day contributed an article on Clarence Lawson Wood, prolific, mostly humorous, artist and illustrator. David Shearer added another chapter in his “Wanderings of the Jigasaurus” series focusing on two library puzzles cut by Enid Stocken and Eric Bond, and their puzzlers’ comments on having assembled them.

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This issue also included the regular members’ “Jigsaw Sales and Wants” insert, minutes and financial summary from the March AGM and a page of updates/amendments to the BCD Membership List.

A Rumpus in Reigate – December 2015 meeting

reigate-_1Terrible weather but a great turnout of 45 members and some “fiendishly difficult” puzzles characterised the Reigate meeting hosted by John Hyde.

The theme was “Christmas” and a splendid display of puzzles were discussed during the Show and Tell session and the day rounded off with a further impressive display of Christmas puzzles from John’s own extensive collection.

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Among the puzzles shown were Pete’s lovely Enid Stocken “Come and Worship” and one of Helen’s favourites, “Christmas at Dingley Dell” by Frank Reynolds featuring many Dickens characters. Sally brought a Wentworth promotional puzzle showing the 1988 Radio Times Christmas cover. David rounded off the session with several puzzles including a colourful “Christmas Day” triptych and a Meredith Worsfold cut “Christmas Eve – A Dream”

John’s presentation included several lovely Pears print puzzles (see picture included in next article) as well as lots of other beautiful and interesting puzzles. These included Holtazpffel’s Figure=It=Out “Dick Whittington” and another pantomime puzzle “Close to Midnight” cut by Lady Beatrice Wilkinson. He finished off with a “final curiosity” entitled “Privacy” showing the Royal Family enjoying Christmas at Sandringham, with the Queen, just a little girl, clutching her teddy bear, in the foreground!

Newsletter 118

The Winter 2015 edition of the BCD magazine comprised a dozen pages of interesting articles including two colour pages of pictures of some of the puzzles mentioned in them. A highlight was an article discussing two very interesting WW2 puzzles: the first “Seven Card-Playing Dogs”, each representing one of the countries involved in the struggle, was secretly produced by PRESISTO in Amsterdam during the war itself and proceeds from its sale used by the underground movement to feed Jews in hiding; the second, manufactured by USN from The Hague, shows the people of Amsterdam standing on the rooftops waving to planes dropping food parcels. School children were given the puzzle in May 1945 to celebrate the liberation. issue-118_ww2

Puzzle historian Anne Williams contributed a short piece about the hundreds of pre-1900 English children’s puzzles and games that have crossed the Atlantic to be housed in the Cotsen Children’s Library at Princeton University in New Jersey. This collection also includes the best collection of 18th century Spilsbury puzzles in private ownership.

issue-118_gamageAnother member, a lover of jigsaw research and catalogues, shared two pages of jigsaw puzzle advertisements from a reprint of a 1913 Gamages catalogue. On the lighter side, regular contributor Jo Tyler gave us an amusing account of his Master and Missus’ disastrously unsuccessful attempt to win a 1000 piece puzzle competition at a Jigsaw Puzzle festival in Newmarket!

Among the other articles in this issue were also a few on the recent September Cheltenham meeting – see the previous post for more information about that gathering’s proceedings.

Challenging Cheltenham! – Autumn meeting, September 2015

cheltenham_sep-15Lovely autumn weather for it but with a “How does the cut of a jigsaw affect the difficulty of making it?” theme, the Cheltenham meeting provided the 30 or so members who attended with a nice variety of interesting challenges. David had brought along some British Library puzzles specifically identified as high ranking in difficulty and so they proved to be. Furthermore, for the first time, those who did manage to complete a puzzle were asked to attempt to describe to the group the difficult aspects of its composition.

Among the puzzles presented in the Show and Tell session, were a nice Holtzapffel Figure=It=Out, “The Chocolate Soldier”, a tricky Eric Bond push fit, “Henny Penny”, a complicatedly cut “Muddy Farm Lane” (probably by Chandos), a modern Dutch puzzle made by Hauseman and Holte, ” The English Cottage Garden” with many false straight edges and “La Parisienne Japonaise”, shown by Terry (aka Grandpa T.J.), a beautiful and tricky to assemble 3D puzzle he had cut himself.

Thanks to Pearl and Sally for a meeting that created a real buzz and was enjoyed by all.

Newsletter 117 – Special 30th Anniversary Issue

117_cover-girlIssue 117 published in the autumn with a great cover colour picture of a lovely 3D puzzle cut by Terry Waters for the 2013 Bournemouth House Party and enjoyably put together again at the Peterborough House Party in February. As well as the usual “Chairman’s Chatter”, reports of proceedings and the “Library Puzzles” and “Interesting Cardboard Puzzles” Show and Tell session from the recent Sherborne meeting, this bumper issue was dominated by articles on many of the interesting sessions held at the Peterborough House Party: Tom Tyler’s after dinner thoughts on the first 30 years of the BCD; the Show and Tell session on “My most interesting puzzles”; The Stocken Family – a talk with cutting demonstration by Peter and Simon Stocken; chairman David Shearer on the Holtzappfel “Figure=It=Out” series and, finally, John Hyde’s entertaining Maps puzzles session. All were complemented by 7 pages of wonderful colour photographs of a wide variety of interesting, challenging and beautiful puzzles!

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In his session, Tom described how the BCD had come into existence back in October 1985 when a few collectors who met at toy fairs discovered that they had a common interest in jigsaw puzzles, agreed to meet for a jigsaw party and then to form a group whose prime interests were jigsaws, food and drink! Long may it last!!

David described in some detail the history of both the Holtzapffel company’s 25 year period of jigsaw production, highlighting their spectacular “Figure=It=Out” series, but also their 162 year history of manufacturing high quality woodworking and wood-turning equipment.

Sherborne meeting – June 2015

Nicki Barker hosted a most enjoyable June meeting in the village hall at Thornford near Sherborne. Attendees enjoyed their day, assembling puzzles, browsing the sales tables , catching up with friends and consuming cups of tea and coffee accompanied by plenty of cake!

The afternoon’s Show and Tell session had two themes: Jigsaw Puzzle Library puzzles, a subject of great interest to Nicki herself as well as chairman David Shearer who now also runs the British Jigsaw Puzzle Libary, and “Interesting Card Puzzles”, a subject that produced an equally varied display of puzzles to see and discuss.

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The cardboard puzzles shown included a US lake view one by Tuco, die cut using thick card similar to that used for wallboard by an American construction company and a 1930’s Daily Mail partly-interlocking competition puzzle with a then enormous £3,000 prize for naming the 14 films pictured in it!

On the library puzzle theme, Jackie showed a member’s report from a Newport Library puzzle and among puzzles discussed were a Pears Print “Family Worship” from Miss Hobson’s Club in Spalding and two from the British Puzzle Library, “Two Points of View” and Enid Stocken’s “Spinning Wool”.

Tom also showed and discussed Chad Valley’s “Dragonsland”, a puzzle with all but the outer frame comprised of a spectacular variety of colourful whimsies.

Newsletter 116

issue-116The summer 2015 edition of the newsletter included several articles on the Leverstock Green meeting/AGM held in March including a report on its 30 year B.C.D. anniversary show and tell session. It also contained, among others, articles from Jackie Armstrong on classifying cardboard puzzles, a jointly written piece by Terry Walters (the cutter, aka Grandpa TJ) and Bronwen Lewis (the puzzle-solver) detailing a blow by blow account of Bronwen’s eventually successful process of solving a very tricky Nuremberg Trial puzzle and a debut article from Pete Day on The Bystander magazine and Frederick Warne series of Bruce Bairnsfather WW1 “Fragments From France” puzzles. Bairnsfather spent some of his “leisure” time in the trenches sketching humorous cartoons of the life there. So morale-boosting for the troops were his efforts that, after recovering from serious injuries in the second Battle of Ypres, to his astonishment, was appointed as the War Office’s officially licensed humorous cartoonist! He spent the remainder of the war as such, both back in action zones and in the US speaking and fund-raising on behalf of the Allied cause.

Leverstock Green AGM & meeting – March 2015

leverstock_mar-15The 2015 AGM & meeting was hosted by long-standing member and former BCD secretary, Barbara Middlethorp and had as its theme “30 years celebration of the BCD”. Perhaps because we held our 6th Weekend House Party only 3 weeks before, attendance was lower than usual. Nevertheless, those who attended enjoyed plenty of tea, many delightful cakes and some very interesting puzzling.

Perhaps the highlight of the Show and Tell session was a beautifully coloured and very difficult 1100 piece puzze of a map of Ceylon cut by the great Enid Stocken. Other puzzles shown included a Waddington’s puzzle book sold in aid of The Red Cross and St.John’s Ambulance Service, a very interesting 1912/13 puzzle of “John Gilpin’s Ride to Where?” featuring Stanley Baldwin and Winston Churchill among its riders, a tricky coronation of Edward VII puzzle that a meeting 10 years or so ago had failed to complete and 1954 Victory promotion puzzle celebrating 150 years of the Challen Piano company.

Newsletter 115

115-P11The Spring edition of the BCD quarterly newsletter was very efficiently produced to go out just in advance of our 2015 weekend House Party near Peterborough. As well as the standard meeting reports, forthcoming programme, Sales & Wants etc., there was also a wonderfully diverse selection of material contributed from the readership, including one on Peacock-branded Postcard Puzzles, another entitled “A window on our Domestic History” and a fascinating piece on “Airships in Nisterland”.

Chairman David Shearer’s previous article, published in issue number 114 and  describing his “Perfect Puzzle & Why”, had certainly prompted some follow up material for this latest issue, as indeed did Julia Nenova’s piece on the comparison between wood and cardboard puzzles, so fingers crossed that these debates continue to stimulate further material for forthcoming publications too!

With over 50 guests appearing at The Orton Hall Hotel next week, along with a great line-up of displays and speakers, there is sure to be plenty more to report over the coming few editions. This will also be an opportunity for the BCD to celebrate its 30th Anniversary, with a “Show & Tell” theme to encourage members to bring along up to two puzzles which have relevance to this milestone on the club’s history.

Chelmsford-November 2014

The hall of St. Augustine’s Church in Chelmsford was the venue for our final meeting of 2014 and proved itself a perfect setting for hostess Marie to have chosen for us all. The attendance was a little down on our expectations but, for the thirty or so guests who did make the journey, there was plenty to see and do, with several well-stocked sales tables to help us swell our collections!

“Modes of Transport” was the theme for the puzzles on display and this brought out a rich variety of material to grace the Show & Tell tables, with examples depicting a range of transportation means including airships, camel trains, ocean-going liners, bicycles, Shanks’ pony and even a magic-carpet! Isn’t it great to see the lengths some members are prepared to go to in their interpretations of the chosen topic? Come and have a go if you fancy it.KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Also on hand today was one of our favourite speakers who had brought along a puzzle depicting “Diana of the Uplands” painted around 1903-1904 by the artist Charles Wellington Furze, in which his wife Katherine acted as model. She went on to lead a highly distinguished career as head of the VAD nurses and WRNS.

This was also the first time out for a new idea, that of a “Q and A” table on which members could bring along puzzles which they would like to try and learn more about. It seems highly likely that we have, within our collective experiences, lots of answers to a lot of questions if we can only communicate them suitably. More on this as it develops, but please give it your support. If we don’t find answers on the day, we can hopefully promote the questions in future newsletters and appeal to the wider readership as well. Thanks.

Newsletter 114

114-P10The arrival of Autumn 2014 was heralded for BCD members by the welcome thud of the fourth newsletter of the year dropping on to their doormats. A quick flick through this colourful 16-pager, fronted up with a report of September’s meeting at Malvern and an image of Wentworth’s “Lest we Forget” poppy puzzle, served as a good taster of what would be in store for us when we explored more deeply.

Sure enough, it was full of interest and information including details of all of our forthcoming activities through to next November. Amongst the items featured were members articles on a variety of topics including: preferences twixt cardboard and wooden puzzles; a comprehensive study of “Postcard-Size Puzzles by J. Salmon” (see image); a piece on Wentworth “Wooden” jigsaws for serious collectors; another entitled “My perfect puzzle and why?”, plus a full report of the previous meeting’s “Show & Tell” session, all supported by a collection of over sixty photographs, mostly in colour.

We are trying harder and harder to pose as many questions as possible now in our publications, hoping to weed out answers to many of our queries. This really is a fascinating hobby which can prove such an exciting mixture of pure enjoyment and more research-based interest to all who participate.

Last meeting of the year coming up at Chelmsford in November.

Malvern Meeting-September 2014

Village d'Alsace Around 40 members journeyed to the Worcester town of Malvern for our third meeting of the year, including one couple from Spain. How’s that for dedication to the cause? The theme of the meting was “1914-Life and Times”, with an excellent display of members puzzles to represent this most significant year in world history. Many were directly related to “The Great War” itself, but others were far more oriented towards social and cultural aspects of the period. Hopefully the forthcoming newsletter will suitably reflect the variety on display. The images shown are of a wooden puzzle and its box by French manufacturer “Perplexité-Paris”, entitled “Village d’Alsace and featuring a painting dated 1914 beside the signature of illustrator Fabien Fabiano.
Village d'Alsace (Box 2)
The host and hostess for this meeting had taken the unprecedented step of having flask upon flask of tea and coffee prepared for the guests and these proved to be very popular accompaniments to the puzzling activities of the day, enabling us all to concentrate even more of our time towards the assembly of the great selection of fascinating puzzles laid out on the tables for that very purpose. Come along and join us some time, it’s great fun.

We even get together every couple of years for a weekend House Party event where the puzzling continues unabated for two-three days! Next event Peterborough 2015.

Newsletter 113

113-P4August’s newsletter included a front page report of the last meeting held at Frisby on the Wreake, including two pages full of colour images dedicated to the Show & Tell display on British Naval History. Also featured were an article dedicated to one particular puzzle, that of “The Hero of Trafalgar-Lord Nelson”, another relating to a series of  “Detecto” puzzles produced in 1975, news of the “Jigsaw Community on Flickr” and one dedicated to the work of Enid Stocken, a remarkable lady whose production ran to literally thousands of wonderful wooden jigsaw puzzles over a period of approximately 73 years.

 Next meeting-Avenue Road, Malvern on the 20th September 2014.

Summer Meeting Frisby on the Wreake-21st June 2014

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Alas, the numbers attending the meeting at Frisby were rather down on expectations, but the twenty or so who did make the journey were treated to a great day of puzzle related and social activity. The Show & Tell theme of “British Naval History”, which had been chosen by our host John Greaves, proved a very popular choice and the display tables soon boasted a wonderful selection of members puzzles to help illustrate this. Several new members joined us for their first meetings and I hope enjoyed their day enough to come along to future meetings.

113-P5One of the BCD’s most popular speakers was on hand and, following the theme of the day, made a presentation of one of his favourite puzzles, a most impressive 1100 piece wooden jigsaw depicting “The Hero of Trafalgar”-by William Overend. He went on to give a short history of Lord Horatio Nelson, particularly relating to the Battle of Trafalgar in October 1805 and his remarkable victory over the combined French/Spanish fleets with a more detailed report promised to follow in the next newsletter.

Newsletter 112

DickensJune 2014 saw the arrival of issue 112 of the BCD quarterly newsletter with details of the meeting and “Show & Tell” report from the AGM, along with the club’s programme for the forthcoming June meeting and other scheduled events through to March 2015. Within the publication were also articles such as “Nister & Peacock Puzzles”, “Charles Dickens and Jigsaw Puzzles”, “Dating of Salmon Puzzles Part 2”, a review of “Grandpa T.J. Puzzles” and a look back by the Editor to issue 61 from Summer 2001, which had included another article on Peacock puzzles as well as a reprint of a 1933 Hobbies Magazine entitled “Jigsaw Puzzles and how to make them”.
Four pages of colour photographs also appear in this summer’s newsletter, helping to illustrate the wide variety of topics discussed, along with puzzles from the “Show & Tell” session of the previous meeting which had been on “The World of Fantasy and Fiction”.
Next stop Frisby on the Wreake” on June 21st. Show & Tell theme “British Naval History”.

AGM and Spring Meeting-Lane End. 15th March 2014

A Holtzapffel puzzle-Robinson Crusoe (shown here against a black background)

A Holtzapffel puzzle-Robinson Crusoe (shown here against a black background), one of the many puzzles on display.

Thanks to all of the organisers of the BCD’s most recent meeting and especially to Les, one of our latest recruits to the club’s organising committee, as well as being the host for today’s event. A theme of “The world of Fantasy and Fiction” brought out a wonderfully eclectic selection of puzzles for the Show & Tell display, where members have a chance to discuss and show off puzzles from their own private collections.

Perhaps most notable amongst all of these were those brought along by Julia, who found the theme of the day was right up her street, impressing us all with her display and presentation on the puzzles of English author Terry Pratchett’s “Discworld” series, along with all of their accompanying books! Jan raised the roof with his presentation of just one puzzle, that of “Iduna”-goddess of spring and of immortal youth, a superbly colour line-cut puzzle by Meredith Worsfold. This was a tale from Norse Mythology: whenever the Gods needed their youth restoring, she gave them an apple from a magically replenished barrel.

Hopefully Tesco’s and other leading grocery stores will soon be stocking these!

Don’t forget to make a note in your diary for our next meeting: June 21st 2014 at Frisby on the Wreake, near Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire. Look out for more details in the next newsletter.

Newsletter 111

111-FrontSpring 2014 was heralded by the arrival of Issue 111 of the BCD’s quarterly newletter, a sixteen page extravaganza of articles, reports and photographs including four pages of colour. The articles included one giving a general report of the last meeting as well as a more specific one on the “Show & Tell” element of our trip to Clent in Worcestershire, along with news of Jigsaw Festivals and a “Where is This” contest. 111-Page 7 Amongst the members articles sent in were one on “Home-made puzzles”, a piece about the artist Trevor Mitchell’s artwork in puzzles, a continuing debate on the correct use of the word “Dissectology and several excellent articles on such diverse topics as “The English Farm in early puzzles” and one by our Honorary Life President Tom Tyler about “Wookey Hole” and the part puzzles played in its promotion.
The newsletter also contained booking details for the next BCD Weekend House Party in February 2015, a copy of the proposed new club constitution, “Sales & Wants” page and details of the forthcoming March AGM near High Wycombe.
All together, this was a very comprehensive addition to our back catalogue of newsletters, so thank you to all involved.
Why not click on the “Joining” tab above to find out more.

Clent, November 2013

Hopes were high for another good turnout at this November’s quarterly meeting and sure enough, the hall was buzzing by the start-time of 10.30. Some exciting puzzles were beginning to appear on the “Sales tables” and the stage, which was being used for the layout of jigsaw puzzles for the “Show & Tell” display on “Farming Through the Ages”, soon started to fill up with relevant puzzles, some going right back towards the late 18th/early 19th centuries! A fine selection of puzzles laid out on the tables around the hall were also soon being worked on by the members, with some very challenging examples amongst them, that’s the puzzles we’re talking about, not the members!

One of our members even journeyed from Spain to make a presentation  on the puzzles of Ernest Nister, bringing with him many examples of his works to illustrate the talk. More and more people are stepping forward nowadays to share their collections and knowledge with us which is great for everyone present, and including news and reports of such talks in the newsletters acts as an important source of knowledge for the future.

A ploughman’s lunch organised by our host proved a great success, with proceeds of around £50.00 going to the charity “Combat Stress” so thank you to all who joined in and especially to Katey and Elaine for their efforts in the kitchen. All in all, another great day with so much to see and do. Thanks to all who helped in its planning and especially to those of you who joined us. See you next time. Have a great Christmas.

Newsletter 110

Issue 110 front page

Issue 110 front page

The Autumn “Magazine” edition of the quarterly newsletter arrived in the post well in advance of the next scheduled meeting, that planned to take place in Clent, near Stourbridge in Worcestershire, some ten miles or so south west of Birmingham city centre. As usual the publication gave details of the plans for the day along with travelling guidance.

The front cover gave a brief summary of September’s meeting at Ipswich, along with news of a “Jigsaw Puzzle Festival” which had recently taken place at St. Lawrence Church in Alton, Hampshire. Inside there was news of the next forthcoming weekend event in 2015, along with a great article on Bridge Party puzzles following up on an exhibit seen at the last meeting. There was also an extensive report of the last “Show & Tell” session, a report on Victorian jigsaw puzzles by John, which complemented a talk he had presented at Ipswich and another article from David reporting on some of his latest “Jigasaurus” findings.

Issue 110. Page 7

Issue 110. Page 7

Four pages of colour content were possible thanks once more to Colin and his ever present camera, these all helping to highlight the puzzles featured in the various articles. The images on page 7 included a puzzle cut by the late Sara White, one of Britain’s finest cutters. Long may her legacy live on in some of the treasures she created during her cutting career.

In response to a members enquiry on possibly help with dating of vintage puzzles, our editor composed an excellent article on his own methods relating to puzzles from his personal favourite manufacturer, that of J. Salmon from Sevenoaks in Kent. It now seems that more and more answers are being put forward in response to some of the many unknowns of jigsaw puzzle research and I for one, certainly hope that this trend will continue. The BCD can proudly count within its membership, some of the world’s great jigsaw minds and I am sure that within our collective knowledge and private collections, we can answer many, many more.

Ipswich 21st September 2013

If there is one thing you can be certain of in BCD history, it is that any event hosted by Tom and Tricia Tyler will prove popular and September’s quarterly meeting at St. Andrews Church Hall in Ipswich was a case in point! Over 50 members of the club made the journey and I doubt that any regretted their decision. A super selection of modern and vintage puzzles for sale were evident, along with a huge display of puzzles for the “Show& Tell” session, themed as “British animals and birds” by our host and drawing out a wonderful selection from the members private collections, including several by the brilliant and now very sorely missed, Sara White.

The "Lox-Sur" Bridge-Party Puzzle

The “Lox-Sur” Bridge-Party Puzzle

A fascinating exhibit brought along by one of the members, fitting the theme with its depiction of sheep and shepherd’s dog and entitled a “Lox-Sur-Bridge Party Puzzle”, drew a lot of interest, particularly from one of the other members who had a keen interest in bridge memorabilia and felt that this was an American product, probably dating from the era 1920’s-1930’s. The gist of this was that the four-sectioned wooden puzzle was “worked” by the 4 people who were “dummy” at progressive bridge parties, so popular both in the UK and America during this period. A wooden divider supplied with the puzzle kept the four sections separated on the table. The use of the terminology “worked” encourages the American connection, with “assembling” being the more popular British description of the task of putting a jigsaw puzzle together. Fingers crossed for a more expansive report on this super puzzle in the next newsletter, along with more detailed news of the day.

Newsletter 109 arrives

Issue 109 front page.

Issue 109 front page.

The arrival in the post of the Summer 2013 newsletter, a few weeks prior to our scheduled Ipswich meeting in September, was eagerly awaited following the hugely enjoyable Wymondham event in June.

The front cover featured the assembled crowd at that meet and reported on the event itself. The remainder of the sixteen page publication was given over to such regular items as the “Show & Tell” report, “Editor’s Corner” “Chairman’s Chatter” and “Sales & Wants” pages, along with four excellent colour pages show-casing some of the puzzles which had been displayed, or relating to some of the other articles featured. The inclusion of so much colour in the recent newsletters comes courtesy of the lens of Colin who attends every meeting nowadays and beavers away snapping just about everything there is to see on the day, with Brian then ably editing as many as possible of these into their relevant places.

Page 7 "Show & Tell" puzzle images.

Page 7 “Show & Tell” puzzle images.

Amongst the other articles were one on box restoration, another by Tom Tyler regarding the Chad Valley “Dunlop” promotional puzzles, a wonderful piece entitled “Travellers Guide to a BCD Meeting”  and a further report on the “Mammoth” jigsaw puzzles of the 1930’s-1940’s, along with numerous other features and news reports.

As usual this publication also gave details of the timings, theme selection and travelling directions to September’s meeting, with Tom Tyler as host, in the Ipswich area. More on this event shortly, but surely going to be another very well attended and busy day!

 

Wymondham June 2013

Close to 40 members arrived in the characterful market town of Wymondham for the club’s Summer gathering. For some, this represented a journey of several hundred miles, with others far more locally placed. Huge thanks to Richard and Moira for their efforts in providing the location and making our visits so enjoyable. What a memorable venue this turned out to be, with great natural lighting, plentiful supply of tables and chairs and an excellent display area.

The “Show & Tell”(*) theme for the day had been selected by Richard as “Push Fit Puzzles”(**) and as a consequence of the choice, Richard also thought it humorously prudent to have a broom on hand to sweep up any of the puzzle pieces which collapsed on to the floor during their owners presentation!!

Wymondham Group during Show & Tell

Wymondham Group during Show & Tell

As is so often the case, an extraordinarily diverse and exciting selection of puzzles soon appeared on the display tables and all of the puzzle-working tables were equally well stocked with disassembled jigsaw puzzles ready to be enjoyed by all during the day.

Sales tables were once again very well represented, giving us all a great opportunity to add some more treasures to our own collections, many likely to resurface at future meetings to admire again and again! What a great recycling system we have going here!

As if six hours exposure to some of the finest jigsaw puzzles around, both modern and those of a considerable vintage was not enough, we also had on hand some of our greatest experts on the subject, including of course, Tom Tyler, our very own leading light on all things of a jigsaw-related nature and for that matter, just about everything else besides!! Thank you Tom and all our other “Experts” present throughout the day. Your combined input and knowledge help to make make the BCD stand out as surely being the leading jigsaw club there is and long may it continue to be so!

Walker & Holtzapffel's "Egyptian Donkey Boy"

Walker & Holtzapffel’s “Egyptian Donkey Boy”

One of the many spectacular puzzles to have been enjoyed by the Wymondham assembled puzzle assemblers.

(*) an opportunity for members to bring along and exhibit examples from their personal collections and discuss their attributes, points of interest, or simply their reasons for finding them so pleasurable.

(**) puzzles which are cut in a non-interlocking style whereby all pieces simply push up against one and other without joining tabs, thus prone to movement, especially when held aloft for display!!

Next stop Ipswich in September. Personally I can’t wait. Hope to see you all there.