Manley Virtual Spring Fair

Happy St David’s Day! We are delighted to take part in the Manley Virtual Spring Fair, running online from 1st – 15th March 2021. There’s a great selection of goodies from small local retailers as well as specialist shops from further afield. As well as Dab Hand’s jigsaws and traditional games, you will find plenty of gift ideas or why not treat yourself? With sections covering accessories, children, food and drink, homeware, gifts and more, there is something to interest everyone.

Click here to browse the full range of products.

The Manley Spring Fair has been running in the village of Manley, Cheshire, for over 25 years. In recent years this traditional village May Fair has had over 1000 people through its gates during a single day. The organisers are running a special virtual fair in March this year, raising funds for Manley & Alvanley Churches. We are delighted to support this online shopping event and of course we hope to join in all the fun of a full May Fair at a future date.

Manley Virtual Spring Fair banner image
Image: Manley Virtual Spring Fair

Latest Additions: February 2021

The new year brings good things – a large delivery of new jigsaws! We have some brand new releases from Gibsons to tickle your fancy, alongside the welcome return of some favourite titles.

Here’s a very small selection of our new titles to whet your appetite or browse all latest additions or browse all new jigsaws.

1000 piece jigsaws

500 piece jigsaws

Contact us for orders and enquiries.
Browse all New Jigsaws | Used Jigsaws | New Games Used Games | Emporium

Handy Jigsaws – new year additions!

Our completely free jigsaw library for Kelsall residents has had a New Year makeover! We’ve added 15 new titles so far in 2021 and more are coming soon. We stock jigsaws in a wide variety of piece counts, piece sizes and styles so there is something to suit all tastes. Of course all our Christmas titles (apart from two lovely snowy ones) are now safely tucked up in storage.

See Handy Jigsaws to access the service and browse all our titles including latest additions. We deliver and collect from your doorstep and we can also talk through our range with those without internet access.

Here’s a small selection of current titles:

Please note that we are only able to offer the Handy Jigsaws free lending library service to Kelsall residents. However, we do deliver purchases nationwide and delivery is free within a 10 mile radius of Kelsall. For full details on local and national purchases click here.


Browse all New Jigsaws | Used Jigsaws | New Games Used Games | Emporium

Puzzling Pastimes: Cooking

The lack of opportunities to dine out in recent times has resulted in a surge in home cooking. While takeaways have remained an option, they were never going to entirely fill the void left by enforced pub and restaurant closures and with supermarkets capitalising on the situation, a recent Tesco survey found that 20% of Brits are cooking all meals from scratch, up from 12% before lockdown. With less time pressure, around 50% of respondents are also experimenting with different ingredients and 35% are making the effort to avoid food waste by thoughtfully using leftovers.

Whether you are an experienced cook or amongst those to have discovered your inner chef or if your culinary limit is cheesy beans, there should still be ample time to indulge in another most satisfying hobby…… puzzling. To whet your appetite before your next creation, we’ve pulled together a smorgasbord of cookery related jigsaws from our range of new, used and free to loan titles.

New Jigsaws – contact us for orders and enquiries

Loan Jigsaws (Kelsall only) – see Handy Jigsaws for more information

Contact us for orders and enquiries.
Browse all New Jigsaws | Used Jigsaws | New Games Used Games | Emporium

Latest Additions: Wasgij & Falcon

The New Year brings New Jigsaws! We’ve just added 10 new titles to tickle your fancy.
Contact us for orders and enquiries.

Not sure which jigsaw to choose? Have a look at our “Joy of Jigsaws” advice on our By Piece Count page.
Contact us for orders and enquiries.

Browse all New Jigsaws | Used Jigsaws | New Games | Used Games | Emporium

Latest Additions: Festive & Quirky!

We’ve had a delivery of fabulous festive jigsaws as well as some quirky new titles just in time to add them to your Christmas shopping list. Treat yourself if you’re an avid puzzler or introduce a loved one to the joy of jigsaws! 

Not sure which jigsaw to choose? Have a look at our “Joy of Jigsaws” advice on our By Piece Count page.
Contact us for orders and enquiries.

Browse all New Jigsaws | Used Jigsaws | New Games | Used Games | Emporium

Puzzling Pastimes: Trainspotting

It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but Trainspotting is a remarkably popular pastime…… and you don’t necessarily need to wear an anorak to participate!! It generally involves many miles of travelling by train, then logging, photographing and filming trains and building up a wealth of knowledge about the network. Obviously, this is one of the multitude of hobbies that has been curtailed this year, so we thought we would suggest an alternative for frustrated spotters – jigsaws featuring trains.

We currently have a number of new and used train themed puzzles available to buy (any location, free local delivery – read more) or loan (Kelsall only – read more) and here’s a selection –

New Jigsaws – view all our titles on this link

Loan Jigsaws (Kelsall only) – see Handy Jigsaws for more information

Handy Jigsaws is 3 months old!

It’s 3 months since we launched Handy Jigsaws (Kelsall’s completely free jigsaw lending library) and the response from everyone has been terrific. 

All loan jigsaws are delivered on foot – we’ve covered 81 miles around the village delivering jigsaws since we launched the service!

Our aim was to offer up to 100 titles with a wide selction of images and piece counts from quality manufacturers. With existing Dab Hand stock and the help of some generous donations, we are delighted to report that we have arrived at the century mark. We have now made a few more of our jigsaws available to purchase to make way for more titles we have waiting in the wings.

During our first 3 months we have been looking at the most popular choices and are pleased to share with you our MOST WANTED…..

MOST WANTED TITLES

The delectable Cadbury Heritage Collection (Gibsons) is our most requested title, closely followed by Wasgij Antiques Hunt & Ravensburger’s The Stately Home.

MOST WANTED THEMES

  • Montage
  • Cartoon & Humour
  • The Great Outdoors

MOST WANTED PIECE COUNTS

MOST WANTED BRANDS

Gibsons Games logo
Ravensburger-logo
Falcon & Jumbo logos

Would you like a Handy Jigsaw delivered to your door? Find out more and browse titles.

If you know someone without internet access please ask them to call us on 07803 203617. We can talk through our range and/or take along a few for them to choose from.

Jigsaws on my mind

This article was published in the KADRAS magazine No. 272 June/July 2020

Laurel & Hardy ‘Me & My Pal’ (1933)

I read recently that jigsaws are back in fashion but did they ever become unfashionable? No. Instead, they kept a low profile and waited for us to realise that technology doesn’t fulfil all our needs.

Jig-saw puzzles, or Dissections as they were originally called, were invented by British cartographer John Spilsbury in the 1760’s. He produced his first jigsaw by attaching a world map to wood and carving out the countries. These dissected maps were used for educational purposes to teach geography. Most modern jigsaws are made from cardboard with an infinite choice of images and are largely used for entertainment purposes.

With many people seemingly inseparable from their screens you could be forgiven (but not by me) for thinking that the humble jigsaw would be in terminal decline. Not so. While the coronavirus has left us housebound for 23 hours each day, a length of time even an iGadget can’t fill, there has been a remarkable revival in traditional pastimes, including jigsaws.

The resurgence in enthusiasm for jigsaws pre-dates the coronavirus crisis and has its roots in the mindfulness movement of recent years and changing attitudes to mental health. Academic studies show that frequent jigsaw puzzling is likely to alleviate mental health problems such as anxiety and depression by occupying sufferers with an enjoyable and structured activity. The concentration required for the activity and the eventual satisfaction of a mission accomplished are thought to be very positive factors for improved self-esteem and wellbeing. It is also thought that jigsaws can improve brain function in later years. People living with dementia or cognitive decline may benefit from the popularity of nostalgic themed jigsaws in the UK as these can evoke fond memories and spark conversations.

Celebrity endorsements

An increasing number of celebrities have revealed themselves to be avid puzzlers. Not since the 1933 Laurel & Hardy film ‘Me and My Pal’ have so many famous people been willing to reveal their hobby. Actors Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart and musicians Ronny Wood and Fatboy Slim are all devotees, as is the Queen apparently.

If jigsaws are good enough for Stan & Ollie, they’re good enough for me.

If you are persuaded that jigsaws tick many boxes, we run an entirely free lending library available to all Kelsall residents.

Visit dabhandpuzzles.uk/handy-jigsaws for details or call Delia on 07803 203617 or 01829 458259.

Sam Geoghegan

VE Day anniversary in Kelsall

We are delighted to announce the winner of our competition – run with Kelsall Parish Council – to submit a photo as part of celebrations marking the 75th anniversary of VE Day on 8th May 2020. The prize went to local resident Marilyn Wakefield who decorated all the wooden bears in her garden with special hats. They raised many a smile amongst passers by. Our thanks to Marilyn for giving us permission to use her name and an extract from her photo on our website.

The prize – a special VE Day themed jigsaw – is on this link.