Waterloo Station Puzzle - Secrets & Origins


Have you ever wondered how the Waterloo Station was developed and became one of Gibsons most successful puzzles of all time?

 After 23 years of developing puzzles at Gibsons, this Waterloo Station jigsaw puzzle still has to be one of the most interesting jigsaw puzzles I ever developed.

Two paintings of Waterloo Station from the exact same viewpoint with the SAME people painted during War & Peace in ONE puzzle!

“Deceptively difficult … a giant Spot the difference”

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Most interesting Puzzle!
Waterloo Station 1000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle | Gibsons
Waterloo Station 1000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle | Gibsons

The most interesting jigsaw puzzle for Adults?

After 23 years at Gibsons, I still think it is! Two paintings of Waterloo Station from the same exact viewpoint. The same people, but dressed in Wartime and Peacetime. All in one puzzle.

Waterloo Station – the most interesting jigsaw puzzle!

“The pieces told innumerable stories about the people passing through this iconic London station in 1939 and then in 1945”

Move the white slider to see the difference between the peacetime and wartime puzzles.

Did you spot  … The Couple?

Glad to also see the young soldier is back to being a scout!

Did you spot  … Epsom Races?

Now the war is over, Epsom Races have restarted.
Have a close look at the sign.

Waterloo Station jigsaw puzzle – a closer look!


Tap once lightly on the paintings below
(it may take a few seconds to load as I wanted to include as much detail as possible, so thank you for your patience)

The Artist – Helen McKie

The artist Helen McKie (1889-1957) studied painting at the Lambeth School of Art. She became a magazine illustrator and was famous for drawing military figures during WWI.

During WW2, she worked for Southern Railway and was commissioned to paint ‘The Upper War Room’ for Sir Winston Churchill – himself a good painter, as I have seen myself at Chartwell, National Trust.

Helen also painted murals for the leisure industry, from Butlins to the Ritz Hotel!


The ‘Scientific’ Story behind Waterloo Station

Michael Gibson, chairman of Gibsons, sent me off in my early years at the company, for a visit to the Science Museum photographic archives in London. He had spotted a painting in the National Archives, which led to me searching through filing cabinets full of transparencies (large photographic slides) – looking for the next bestselling jigsaw puzzle idea.

I found these two beautiful paintings, and by putting them together, saw they would make a challenging jigsaw puzzle!
Bob Mitchell did a fantastic job creating a unique box for the puzzle
highlighting the fact it was commissioned to celebate the 100th anniversary of the opening of Waterloo Station.

Posters of the two paintings are valuable, and rarely available to buy together.
When posters were auctioned at Swann Galleries in 2018, they fetched US$5000.
They were also sold at the famous Christie’s auction house.


“A compelling jigsaw that kept us occupied for ages. A magnifying glass would have been useful. A real achievement to finish..”

“This is a novel idea, two pictures in the same jigsaw showing views of Waterloo station at different times in its history.
It wasn’t quite as hard to do as we’d expected, as there were lots of points of reference, but it was interesting and fun and enough of a challenge to keep us occupied for several days during the Christmas holidays.
Even my 19 year old son got into it and he hasn’t done a jigsaw since he was 5! Highly recommended.”

“This is a deceptively difficult puzzle: a giant spot the difference.
The pieces told innumerable stories about the people passing through this iconic London station in 1939 and then in 1945.
The upper half shows the bustle and activity at the beginning of WWII with soldiers preparing to board trains to Europe while the bottom one depicts life returning to ‘normal’ as soldiers return.

World's best jigsaw puzzle? Waterloo Station jigsaw puzzle

I hope you enjoyed Waterloo Station?

It was the most interesting & challenging jigsaw puzzle I developed over my 23 years at Gibsons. If you haven’t tried it, do give it a go!

Geoff Lee