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Author Information: Wilbert Awdry

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"That Christmas I made Christopher a small, simple wooden model engine out of odds and ends, later christened Thomas. At Christopher's urging I made up stories about Thomas too. Margaret suggested that I 'do something' about the stories, and in May 1945 the first book, The Three Railway Engines, was published. Thomas the Tank Engine followed the next year, and new titles followed almost every year until 1972. By then there were 26 books in the Railway Series, none of which, until recently has ever been out of print."

Wilbert Awdry, it has been said, created a publishing phenomenon, though it seems fairly certain that he never saw it that way. As time went on he built several model railway layouts, which he greatly enjoyed taking to exhibitions all over the country, often assisted by his great friend and fellow railway enthusiast the Revd E R (Teddy) Boston. Wilbert was involved with railway preservation from its first days in 1950, and was always grateful that he was, through his models and in other ways, able to make a useful contribution to it. Wilbert Awdry was awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List of 1996, but by then his health had deteriorated and he was unable to travel to London to receive it. Instead it was presented to him at home by the Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire. Wilbert died peacefully at his home in Stroud, Gloucestershire on 21st March 1997, aged 85.

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Series: Links:
  • web site :: with info about awdry and Thomas Series

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