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Donald McGill – ‘Seaside Antics’
By Falcon DeLuxe Jigsaws

THE JIGSAW

This is my latest compilation jigsaw and one of the most enjoyable and satisfying I have done for some time.

This is also the first Falcon/Jumbo jigsaw puzzle I have purchased and I have to say, that the quality and finish is impeccable.

All the images featured in this jigsaw puzzle were illustrated as individual ‘seaside’ postcards and each one was printed with a humourous phrase.

In 1894, British publishers were given permission by the Royal Mail to manufacture and distribute picture postcards, which could be sent through the post. The first UK postcards were produced by printing firm Stewarts of Edinburgh and early postcards were pictures of famous landmarks, scenic views, photographs or drawings of celebrities and so on. With steam locomotives providing fast and affordable travel, the seaside became a popular tourist destination, and generated its own souvenir-industry: the picture postcard was, and is, an essential staple of this industry.

Anyone over a certain age, will remember the time of the summer fortnight factory shutdown, when, en masse, the thousands of factory workers and their families would take to the trains and roads, heading off for their summer holidays at the seaside. Not for us the privilege of jetting off to warmer climes, we had to take our chances with the great British weather and head for the coast, where come rain or shine, we would settle ourselves on the beach by day and parade up and down the promenade by night.

Part of the annual ritual would be to wait until the second day, then scour the local beachfront shops for an appropriate postcard to send to relatives and friends back home, with space for just a few lines to let them know how much fun you were having, even though you had probably only just arrived, but you had to send early to avoid the possibility that the Post Office wouldn’t deliver your precious greetings before you had got back home!!

There were always plenty of the traditional scenic postcards, which were the only suitable choice for elderly relatives, however, lurking in the higher recesses of the display stand, out of reach of younger hands and eyes, there was always a selection of the slightly more risque, humourous postcards, meant only for the eyes of close friends and workmates….

 

THE ARTISTDONALD McGILL (‘the Picasso of the pier’)

Donald McGillDonald McGill, was born and spent most of his life in London. After losing a foot in a rugby accident at school, he became a naval draughtsman, until a relative, after seeing a card which Donald had illustrated for a sick nephew, encouraged him to study art and the rest is history!

Donald was known as the ‘King Of Saucy Postcards’, his designs selling millions between 1904 and 1962. These wonderfully witty illustrations only earned him up to three guineas a design and many of them were banned and censored as obscene, but today his original artwork can fetch thousands, with the censored postcards going on sale for the first time in more than fifity years. In 2010, the Tate displayed some of McGill’s artwork, which would have pleased the artist as he always felt that he should have done more with his talent. A museum dedicated to exhibiting some of Donald’s more than 12,000 cards and illustrations, has also opened on the Isle of Wight.

MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS JIGSAW PUZZLE

‘Nostalgia, innocence, sea air, kiss-me-quick hats and saucy postcards.’

This is the first time I have purchased a ‘Falcon deluxe’ jigsaw puzzle and I was suitably impressed with the quality of the pieces and the appearance of the finished picture. Both were equally comparable with other superior quality jigsaw puzzle manufacturers I have purchased from.

The picture content was colourful, crisp and clear. The overlapping images and individual border arrangements, were an unexpected challenge. The traditional starting point with jigsaw puzzles of completing the edge pieces first, was almost impossible, given the similarity in the colouration and design of said pieces, so starting from the various images, working out to complete the edge pieces almost last, was the only feasible option which worked for me.

All the images featured in this jigsaw puzzle were illustrated as individual postcards and each one was printed with a humourous phrase, although almost as deference to the bygone age of censorship, the full and inclusive commentary about both the images and their original designer, which was most interesting and informative, was relegated to the back of the box.

Re-live the good old days of classic English holidays by the sea and indulge in the humour of yesteryear.

I decided to post this short product review on Amazon.co.uk and as always with this site, I was compelled to give the jigsaw a star rating, so I have awarded it 4 stars. This product is part of my personal collection, bought and paid for by myself and I have not been asked, nor received any payment for a review.

 

Written by
Yvonne

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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6 comments
  • Well that’s a completely new puzzle to me, I’ve never seen it before or even one like it. Lovely. It sounds like it was great fun to do. I had two recently where I had to do the edges last too. They were all black and I just couldn’t do them at all and had to work from the centre out. A novel experience for me… but not a problem at all. Thanks for sharing, I need to do another jigsaw post too. I’m not doing one at the moment but did several last month.

    • Hi Cath,

      I hadn’t come across the name of Donald McGill before, but as soon as I mentioned him to my mother-in-law she knew all about him, although to be fair, back in the days before MrG. and I were married, I seem to remember her being quite keen on collecting postcards. She now has this jigsaw to do for herself, before I re-donate it back to the charity shop I purchased it from.

      I have another jigsaw on the go now, however I have got into a real muddle with it somewhere alnog the line, so I need to spend some time trying to sort it out!

      Thanks for stopping by, I love to receive your comments and thoughts.

  • Though not a fan of jigsaw puzzles myself, I find I don’t have the patience, I have a good friend who will be fascinated by this. Great post, interesting and informative, I’ll be sure to send her the link.

    • Hi Tracy,

      Thanks for the kind thought of sending on the link to your friend.

      I find, that even though I don’t have a great deal of patience for things on a daily basis, jigsaw puzzles are very absorbing and therapeutic. Whereas I find it quite difficult to ‘tune out’ extraneous noise if I am trying to read, I can get totally immersed in a jigsaw, without realising what is going on a round me.

      I only tend to do this kind of ‘fun’ jigsaw these days, although in the past, I was a great fan of the traditional ‘chocolate box’ image, I just seem to have grown away from this lately!

      The images on this particular type of jigsaw are so bright and colourful, with plenty of interest and there are usually some great facts, figures and interesting snippets of information on the back of the box. Of course, there is also the nostalgia attached to many of the images … a real trip down memory lane!!

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, even if it is a post that isn’t of great interest to you personally, I appreciate your thoughts.

  • It does look an in interesting puzzle to do! The one I’m doing has difficult edges too and although I’ve done most of the edges there are pieces that don’t seem to fit – black ones of course, so I’m having to work from the inside out too, something I’ve never had to do before!

    • Hi Margaret,

      Whoever made up the rule that you should do the outside of a jigsaw puzzle first … Is there actually some science to it, or is it just another of those ‘old wive’s tales’, passed down from generation to generation?

      These days, particularly with the multiple image jigsaws which I seem to be drawn to, I tend to start by arranging my pieces into colour blocks, thus building the individual images almost independently, before starting to assemble the images together and almost always finally, building the outside edge.

      I don’t envy you those black edge pieces, a bit like knitting with black or navy wool, it’s an almost impossible colour to work with in artificial electric light and certainly in jigsaw terms, a much easier edge colour to finish off at the end.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment, it is always great to chat with someone who has a shared interest in ‘puzzling’ out jigsaws.

Written by Yvonne

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