World record attempt is coming together piece by piece

Posted by: Belinda Hargreaves

Thu 9th November 2023

A Derbyshire company is currently working hard to piece together their self-set World Record attempt.
The team at Just Jigsaws, which is situated in Alfreton, is currently on a quest to create the world’s biggest ever hand-cut puzzle – recreating an achievement of the company’s founder more than 50 years on.
Back in 1971, John Trowsdale handcrafted the world’s largest puzzle ever made. It featured an incredible 32,000 pieces.
He went on to found Just Jigsaws, formerly known as WJ & J Trowsdale, in Luton in 1973 with his wife Jacqueline.
Now the company, which is located on Alfreton’s Meadow Lane Industrial Estate, is the only UK manufacturer still producing handmade wooden jigsaw puzzles.

To mark its 50th year this year, Just Jigsaws is currently working hard to recreate John’s world record breaking efforts.
Leading the campaign is his grandson, also called John Trowsdale, who joined the family company in 2014.
At present, Jill Walterbach, from the US, holds the Guinness World Record for the largest hand-cut jigsaw puzzle. The puzzle, unveiled in 2021, had a total of 101,010 pieces.
Just Jigsaws is aiming to go further and create a hand-cut puzzle of at least 120,000 pieces.

We caught up with John to see how him and his team are getting on with their self-set challenge.
He said: “This monumental task will be a staggering 120,000-140,000 pieces and around a third of a mile long. It will be an astonishing achievement once completed.
“We are currently unsure when the creation of the jigsaw will be completed. It was meant to be for Christmas but for uncontrolled events we couldn’t be done for then.
“I’d say maybe February/March time now.
“We are then hoping to have it all pieced together soon after that. There are a few local venues where we are looking at doing this.”
As for what will happen to the giant jigsaw afterwards, John said: “I would like to see it up for display in loads of different locations, that would be great. Then after that we will have to store it and find it a permanent home.”

While attempting this World Record challenge, Just Jigsaws is also raising funds for charity.
John said: “Whilst making this puzzle we are helping to raise money for Sheffield Children’s Hospital NHS and Charity as well as other good causes and all the proceeds will be going towards making puzzles for the hospital at Christmas.
“So please, where you can, donate even if it’s £1 it all helps.
“Along with this if you know a business that would like a space on our World Record puzzle please ask them to email us at, we have about 20 spaces left to fill.”
So far the following local companies have sponsored the giant jigsaw: Cosy Direct, Cosy Foundation, Darwin Forest Lodges, The Children’s Hospital Charity, Morbid Chalk, Ormonde Fields Golf Club, Heights of Abraham, Cromford Mills, Crich Tramway, Birchwood Kennels, Walvins Timber, Kilburns Timber, 8 Ball Custom, Plan B Retro, Great British Car Journey, Appliance Team, and Matlock Farm Park.

To find out more about Just Jigsaw’s World Record attempt, and to donate or sponsor, go to: