Whimsies and Wentworth wooden puzzles

Those of you who love doing jigsaw puzzles may be interested to know that Wentworth puzzles have included "sleeping hedgehog" in their latest Autumn Catalogue. Wentworth makes wooden jigsaws, which are rather unusual as they contain special “Whimsies” pieces. These are puzzle pieces cut into the shape of an object, for example a garden themed jigsaw would have some pieces cut in the shape of a garden tool, a plant, a gardener leaning on a spade etc. Nowadays these puzzles are cut by laser but in the past they were cut by using a jigsaw, what else? It took ages before I made that connection. The “whimsies” were so called because they were cut on a whim.

As jigsaw puzzles go, these are quite expensive items but they are made to last and should provide hours of pleasure to generations. Some of them even achieve a cult-like status and become collector’s items, changing hands for very high prices.

When I was a child I had a jigsaw puzzle, which had a picture of ice skaters in an ice rink. I have the image firmly fixed in my mind; I must have stared at each piece for so many hours on rainy afternoons. It was my job to collect together all the straight edged pieces, paying particular attention to those precious corner pieces. I loved those special times when my father, brother or sister would join in and finish a bit for me. I even remember the doctor calling by and helping! I wonder what became of that puzzle?