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Newmarket Jigsaw Festival organiser 'flabbergasted' at lengths puzzlers will go to compete




Top puzzlers Olivia Moring, Geoffrey Scott, Sarah Mills, Dan Martin and S J Bodell are pictured with Janet Ramsay-Helie and the Rev John Harvey.
Top puzzlers Olivia Moring, Geoffrey Scott, Sarah Mills, Dan Martin and S J Bodell are pictured with Janet Ramsay-Helie and the Rev John Harvey.

The organiser of Newmarket’s annual Jigsaw Festival has declared herself ‘flabbergasted’ by the lengths puzzlers will go to compete.

Janet Ramsay-Helie said jigsaw fans had come to the event at St Mary’s Church from all over the UK and from Europe.

“We had one man who travelled from New York to take part and a 14-year old girl from Holland. In the past we have had a couple from Spain, people from Belgium and another American who booked herself into the Bedford Lodge for the week and visited the festival every day.

Newmarket Jigsaw 2019 (12881338)
Newmarket Jigsaw 2019 (12881338)

“I’m always flabbergasted at what an obsession it can be – but a nice obsession,” she added.

The festival’s contest which started as a free-for-all is now divided into groups for elite, fun, pairs and primary schools.

The two young women who have fought out the elite title on many occasions again conquered the 1,000-piece image entitled Strictly Come Dancing ahead of everyone else with winner Sarah Mills in 2hrs 4mins pipping runner-up Olivia Moring to the prize.

Newmarket Jigsaw 2019 (12881359)
Newmarket Jigsaw 2019 (12881359)

In the fun section, New Yorker Geoffrey Scott made sure his air fare from the USA was a worthwhile investment by clinching first place and pairs winners were Dan Martin and SJ Bodell. A team from Paddocks School, Newmarket were the primary school champions.

The festival, which is sponsored by jigsaw manufacturers Gibsons, continues until 4pm this afternoon with more than 1,000 completed jigsaws on show for prospective buyers to admire. Janet hopes the event will raise close to last year’s total of £2,600 for church funds.



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