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Thomas Story Library - 40 Books

Thomas Story Library - 40 BooksThomas Story Library - 40 Books

Thomas Story Library - 40 Books

Thomas Story Library


40 Thomas and Friends Books

based on the Railway Series by the Reverend W Awdry


Books in this set:

Thomas Bill and Ben Oliver Daisy
Toby Harvey Duck Spencer
Bulgy Cranky Henry Fergus
Elizabeth Terence Harold Emily
Mighty Mac Bulstrode Peter Sam Trevor
Donald and Douglas Gordon Molly 'Arry and Bert
James Edward Salty George
Skarloey Duncan Stepney Jack
Mavis Rusty Bertie Annie and Clarabel
Percy Sir Handel Diesel Rheneas


Thomas the Tank Engine History

"The Story of Thomas and Friends"

Our story begins in 1917 in the sleepy village of a Box in Wiltshire, England. It is night-time and a young boy lies awake in his bed, listening to steam engines huffing and puffing along the nearby railway tracks.

Deep in the surrounding contryside, where the Great Western Railway main line climbs steadily uphill for 2 miles, a tank engine from Box station is steaming away, helping a heavy goods train up the hill. To the little boy tucked up in bed, listening to the engines struggling up the incline, it sounds very much like they are talking to each other.

The young boy is Wilbert Awdry - later to become the Reverend W. Awdry, the creator of The Story of Thomas and Friends and the most famous tank egnine in the world, Thomas.

Wilbert Awdry's passion for trains was shared with his father, the Rev. Vere Awdry. The "Railwayman Parson" used to walk around his parish with his son Wilbert, meeting and talking to local railwaymen. A model railway layout was even built for Wilbert in the garden.

Many years later in 1940, when Wilbert was married, he found himself passing on his inherited love of the railways to a son of his own, Christopher Awdry. It was in King's Norton, Birmingham, in 1943 when Christpher was confined to his bed with measles that Wilbert decided he needed entertaining. Drawing on his childhood memories, he improvised stories about steam engines to amuse his son.

And so the first in a long line of characters came to life. The adventures of Edward and two other engines, Gordon and Henry, were told over and over again until, pressed by Christopher to be more consistent with the details, the Rev W. Awdry finally wrote them down. Initially, he had no intention of getting them published and just scribbled the stories on scraps of paper for family use.

It was only due to the persistence of the Rev. Awdry's wide, Margaret, that he eventually offered the scribbles to a publisher by Edmund Ward in 1945.

In the Christmas of that year, the Rev. Awdry made his son Christopher a simple wooden toy engine that was later christened Thomas. And so Thomas the Tank Engine was born. At Christopher's urging, his father began to make up stories about Thomas too.

"Thomas the Tank Egnine" was published the following year and steamed onwards. The Rev W. Awdry invented a fictional setting for the stories - the Island of Sodor - and wrote a new book every year until his twenty sixth and final story, "Tramway Engine," came out it 1972.

By this time Thomas and his railway friends has become a publishing phenomenon.


This item is permanently out of stock.

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