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28 October 2014
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Thomas the Tank Engine's Gloucestershire connection
Thomas the Tank Engine
Thomas didn't appear in the Reverend Awdry's stories until the second book


A Reverend from Minchinhampton wrote some of the best-loved children's books of the 20th Century.

Internet Links
Thomas the Tank Engine website
The books of Rev W Awdry
Thomas Game

 

 

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Fact File

+ Rev Awdry was very interested in railways as an area of study and in 1979 he published "The Steam Railways of Great Britain".

 

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Thomas the Tank Engine is the most famous steam train in the world but not many people know that the inspiration for the lovable locomotive comes from the south of Gloucestershire.

James the engine
James is a medium sized engine with high fallutin' ideas

The Rev W Awdry was the son of a country parson and he spent his boyhood listening to railway engines on the old Great Western Railway Chippenham-to-Bath line which was 200 yards from the rectory.

In 1943, the Reverend's son Christopher was ill with the measles and the parson made up stories about steam engines to help him through the illness.

The first story was about Edward, who had a sad face on the front of his boiler. The young Awdry asked his Dad 'why?' (so the story goes) and his father replied that Edward hadn't been out for a long time.

"Why?" asked his son again. "Because the other engines were bigger and stronger and the drivers always chose them first," replied the parson.

Awdry's final book about Thomas and his friends was published in 1976. He wrote 26 stories altogether but his son Christopher continued writing them after his father's death.

Edward the engine
Edward is a kind older engine

The Rev Wilbert Vere Awdry was born June 15 1911 and died March 21, 1997.

Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends are making a tour of the country.

You could get to see him if you win our competition. See the competition pages for more details.

   


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