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?'
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
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, 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.