GWR jigsaw puzzle

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GWR jigsaw puzzle

For many generations Exeter has been a tourist attraction at the heart of Devon. Its popularity as a holiday destination began with the arrival of the railway in 1844 which enabled cheap and easy access from across the country. By the 1930s the city was part of a large rail network with links to Dartmoor, north Devon, Torbay and the South Hams.

This jigsaw was purchased in 1934 by Mr Tarry for his young son who was at home in Brighton. Unusually for its time the jigsaw is double sided – one side with a plan of the Great Western Rail network, the other an iconic image of Exeter cathedral. With 150 pieces it sold for 2 shillings and 6 pence at the station bookstall, and was one of a series of GWR jigsaw puzzles designed to promote their ‘Holiday Line’. This ‘Cathedral’ jigsaw was one of their best-sellers over a ten year period, highlighting the popularity of Devon as a tourist attraction. Only thirty years later many of the branch lines were closed in Dr Beeching’s reforms of the railway network.