Oops... Craftsman accidentally topples Queen’s Diamond Jubilee jigsaw earmarked for exhibition at Sandringham
PUBLISHED: 15:17 30 April 2013 | UPDATED: 15:17 30 April 2013
One slip. That was all it took. A moment’s distraction and Dave Evans had what you might call a right old puzzle on his hands.
For as he put the finishing touches to the world’s biggest jigsaw, before it goes on display at the Queen’s Norfolk retreat, the 19ft 6ins wide montage of pictures came crashing to the ground.
Instead of travelling to Sandringham ready to go on show in part assembled sections, Mr Evans now has a small army of volunteers battling to put its 40,000 pieces back together before the puzzle can travel.
“The puzzle was a montage of 33 pictures taken during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Year,” he said. “By very carefully picking up the pieces when they fell, I managed to salvage between 50 and 80pc of it.
“Luckily it didn’t disintegrate into all 40,763 pieces, so it won’t take too long to put it back together - a couple of weeks hopefully.”
Mr Evans, a traditional jigsaw craftsman based in Weymouth, Dorset, recalled the moment when disaster struck the jigsaw, the day after he finished cutting it.
“I came in in the morning and it was on a slight camber, it looked like it had slipped slightly,” he said. “I wanted to put an edging piece on to stop it slipping any further, when a woman came to the door and asked where the shops were.
“I turned round, I still had the batten in my hand and I must have caught it. Boomf - the whole lot fell like a giant carpet.”
Mr Evans, who hopes his puzzle will be accepted as a new Guinness World Record, expects to deliver it to Sandringham towards the middle of this month - depending how long it takes to re-assemble it.
It will go on show as part of an exhibition of Diamond jubilee memorabilia for the summer, before being auctioned off in aid of the forces charity Help For Heroes.
He also plans to present the Queen, who is a well-known jigsaw fan, with a smaller replica of the puzzle.
The exhibition also features some of the tens of thousands of cards the Queen received from well-wishers during her Jubilee year, and a selection of portraits including pictures by EDP photographers Matthew Usher and Ian