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The Famous Series Created By Rev.W.Awdry in 1945

A Breif History of The Railway Series
 
It was in Birmingham, in 1940, that Wilbert and Margaret's first child, Christopher, was born, followed by two daughters, Veronica in 1943 and Hilary 1946. When Christopher was two years old he was confined to bed with measles. Wilbert entertained his son with a story about a little old engine who was sad.
 
'Why is he sad, Daddy?'
'Because he's old and hasn't been out for a long time.'
'What's his name, Daddy?'
'Edward!'
 
It was the first name that came into Wilbert's head. By question and answer, he invented the Cinderella-type story of 'Edward's Day Out': how the little engine was eventually given a chance to take out a train of his own. The story was told over and over again and was eventually written down and illustrated with simple line drawings. The adventures of Edward - along with two other engines, Gordon and Henry - might easily have been forgotten had not Margaret Awdry encouraged her husband to offer them to a publisher. In 1945, after being turned down by several publishers, the book was accepted by Edmund Wad and published as The Three Railway Engines.
The most famous of all Wilbert awdry's engine characters appeared the following year in Thomas the Tank Engine.
In 1946, Wilbert was given his first parish at Elsworth and Knapwell, near Cambridge, where he stayed for seven years before moving to Emneth, near Wisbech, During these years, Wilbert continued writing books for children and from James the Red Engine in 1948, published a new Railway Series title each year untill his last book, Tramway Engines, in 1972, The stories featured the already established engines, Thomas, Edward, Gordon and Henry, as well as introducing new characters in such volumes as Toby the Tram Engine, Percy the Small Engine and Duck and the Diesel Engine which featured the type of disagreeable non-steam engine that were increasingly taking over from traditional locomotives to the disgust of wilbert Awdry and many other steam enthusiasts.
With his brother, George, Wilbert invented a fictional setting for his stories situated between the British mainland and the Isle of Man and called the Island of Sodor. The Awdry brothers made maps and wrote a long, detailed history of the island, it's people and raiwlay engines which helped shape many of the events described in the later volumes of the series.
Wilbert also pursued other railway interests: building ambitious model railway layouts in each of his vicarages, taking railway excursions at home and abroad with his brother or his friend the Reverend 'Teddy' Boston, and becoming involved with the work of various railway preservation societies, such as the Talyllyn Railway in Wales, which was to inspire the Skarloey Railway on the Island of Sodor, featured in such books as Four Little Engines and The Little Old Engine.
Another preserved railway was to honour the author of the Railway Series when, in 1987, the Dean forest Railway named one of it's engines 'Wilbert'. By this time, however, Wilbert Awdry had long ceased to be a fulltime clergyman. In 1965, he had retired, or as he put's it, gone 'into private practise', and moved with his wife to Stroud in Gloucester. Sadly, margaret Awdry died in 1989, the year after she and Wilbert celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary.
 
Reverend Wilbert Vere Awdry had been telling his poorly son Christopher about Engines who lived on a place called sodor, an island that is far far away from Egnlad and is home to some very clever engines, and the Island is home of a small blue Tank engine called Thomas, Thomas was Wilbert Awdry's very first creation which then told the story about Engines living with Humans together and running a Railway where visitors come and go every day of the year.
Wilbert Awdry in 1945 then wrote his very first book and publised it with outstanding Results, the book was Called "The Three Raiwlay Engines" and told the very first story about Edward, Gordon and Henry, Three tender engines who had alot of problems and in the end became very great friends and even helped each other out of troubles. In 1946 Thomas The Tank Engines Was published and introduced Thomas to the Next Stories all about his Adventures, and how he met Gordon and James in his travels. and so on all the books came out each year and to this day are very rare to find in most places around the UK.
 
Later In 1984 Thomas the tank engine hit Every tv screen in the uk and for years noiw has been a great sucess in bringing new arrivlas to the set and new locations into the Episodes, Rev.W.Awdry the creator of the Railway sereis bought Thomas to be what he is Today, a Great Engine and really useful to be with, Thomas has made millions of childrena dn Adults all over the worls very happy and he is still puffing along today as he steams into new Episodes.
Thomas has been very busy on the island Of Sodor and Since Micheal Angelis took Over As Narrator for the Current series, he has been doing a very grat job to bring the characters to life. Ringo Starr, a singer in the beetles band was the first UK Singer to Ever Narrate Thomas The Tank Engine At Shepperton Studios in London, This is where Thomas the tank engine was first brought into action byt the Model Makers and Crew Of Shepperton Studios. The Crew had been making other shows and decided to make a series about Talking Trains, and Rev.W.Awdry was the first person to ever think of Thomas The Tank Engine after reading a story he had made to his son Christoper Awdry, Awdry made the Railway Series Books and introduced Edward into one of the books along with four other Engines, This book was the titled The Three Railway Engines and was the first of Awdry's series about Thomas The tank Engine.
 
After Making the First books in the RS, The Studios Made the first ever o gauge model railway series for Thomas The Tank Engine and the first Story ever made Was Thomas And Gordon which hit the screens of Tv's everywhere in 1983.
 
In 1983, eleven years after Wilbert Awdry wrote his last Raiwlay Series title, his son, Christopher, published Really Useful Engines, the first of, to date, fourteen books about the engines of Sodor. The book, like its succesors, was illustrated by Clive Spong who - like Reginald Dalby and John Kenney before him - studied at Leicester College of Art. The following year, 1984 saw the premiere of Britt Allcroft's popular Tv series, Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends, narrated by Ringo Starr.

Island Of Sodor Fan Site

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