My Choice – Thomas the Tank Engine
Today I’m going to be telling you about “Thomas the Tank Engine”.
We will discover how and When Thomas began, the inspiration for his character and how he still plays apart in our lives.
Question; Does anyone know anything about Thomas?
Activity; Hand out pictures and name tags, can they match them correctly (3 mins approx.).
Thomas all begin with a man called Reverend Wilbert Awdry, and his passion for Steam Trains. Wilbert Awdry was nursing his son Christopher through measles when he had an idea to draw Steam Trains with faces and make them talk. This was 1942 when he first put pen to paper and wrote the first story.
Having also made Christopher a wooden train, Wilbert began writing a series of books based on fictional Steam Trains in “The Railway Series”.
Picture; First book
The first book in the series was called “The Three Railway Engines”, which only featured three engines who we still know today as Edward, Henry and Gordon.
The second book called “Thomas the Tank Engine” was taken from son Christopher after he had named his wooden toy train Thomas. This was the first time that Thomas was introduced to us and it was a shock to know it was back in 1946.
After a lot of encouragement from his wife to try and get the books published Wilbert searched and found an illustrator called Reginald Payne to bring his stories to life.
Reginald Payne began the task of creating these engines, and decided to model them on the E2 Class steam train that was designed by Lawson Billinton in 1913.
Picture; Lawson E2 Class
In 1952 the first two books of the series were narrated by Wilbert Awdry for vinyl record release.
After writing 26 books in the series between 1945-1972 Wilbert decided he had, had enough and it would be son Christopher who took over. Christopher added a further 14 books to the series as well as writing the annuals.
In 1979 Britt Allcroft a British writer/producer, arranged a deal to bring the stories of Thomas to life as a TV series called “Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends” this would later become called just “Thomas and Friends.
The Fictional Story;
In 1915 the Fat Controller brought a locomotive for a small amount to be a pilot engine, from Vicars town….. This is Thomas.
Thomas became a really useful engine and was put in charge of the Ffarguhar Branch line after rescuing James.
To date he works all over Sodor.
Thomas pulls two carriages who are called Annie and Clarabel. His best friends are Percy and Toby.
Ffarguhar Branch Line
The Island of Sodor
This is Thomas, Toby and Percy.
October 1984 first saw the series of 26 books brought to life on TV screens. This was aired on the ITV network and voiced by Ringo Starr.
This was to begin a very long TV career for the “Thomas and Friends” series which saw the brand take off in many directions.
It became an award winning hit around the world with a vast amount of merchandise. Today