Syndicate content

The Awdry Study

The Awdry Study

The Museum displays contain a special section devoted to the Reverend W. V. Awdry, creator of "Thomas the Tank Engine".

In 1943 railway enthusiast Wilbert Awdry invented stories about locomotives for his three year old son Christopher, who was recovering from measles. They were published in 1945 as "The Three Railway Engines", and were followed by "Thomas the Tank Engine" in 1946. A successful series of books followed.

Awdry was an early volunteer on the Talyllyn Railway, and its history and his experiences were the inspiration for his "Skarloey Railway" on which operated scarcely disguised counterparts of Talyllyn locomotives.

In 1979, seven years after the Reverend Awdry wrote his last Thomas book, sale of the television rights to the stories led to the hit series "Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends". The Thomas brand spread worldwide.

Christopher Awdry is a Vice President of the Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society, and he and other members of the family have contributed the items on display.

Apart from the Reverend Awdry’s own models of Skarloey Railway locomotives and carriages the display includes a reconstruction of part of his study at his last home in Stroud, Gloucestershire. It uses his original furniture, donated by his family. At the time he moved to Stroud in 1965 the Reverend Awdry had retired as a Parish Priest, but he still spent most of his time in his study, replying to letters from fans, researching and writing about railway history, and composing sermons: he also wrote the last six books of The Railway Series in this time.

Museum objects:

  • AWD001 Relief map of the Island of Sodor
  • AWD002 Office desk, polished wood with leatherette top panel
  • AWD003 Captain's chair, polished wood, with tapestry cushion
  • AWD004 Chest of drawers, buff painted wood, used to hold model railway material
  • AWD005 Cane framed "oriental" style stand with three shelves
  • AWD006 Filing cabinet, four-drawer, painted green
  • AWD007 Map tray, wooden, painted cream, made to fit top of AWD006
  • AWD008 Wire desk basket, white
  • AWD009 Desk guillotine, foolscap size
  • AWD010 Typewriter by Imperial, Model 66
  • AWD011 Typewriter, portable by Olympia, Model Splendid 66: complete with tan zip case
  • AWD012 Bookstand, revolving library type, with four sections and carved wood panels
  • AWD013 Card archive box marked on end "Island of Sodor Model Railway File"
  • AWD014 "System Desk Secretary" filing system for correspondence. Foolscap size. With letters
  • AWD015 Three galvanised metal bookends
  • AWD016 Rug with multi-coloured oriental pattern
  • AWD017 Rug, pink
  • AWD018 Pipe rack with two pipes, tamper and pipecleaners
  • AWD019 Brass match holder(?), possibly middle eastern origin
  • AWD020 Model of Stephenson's Rocket and tender, converted from Airfix kit
  • AWD021 Small stone (marble?) cross marked "TINTAGEL"
  • AWD022 Three pairs of spectacles with cases
  • AWD023 Circular cast iron plate "Birmingham and Gloster RR Co."
  • AWD024 Model gun, small scale model 17th century field piece
  • AWD025 Bookmark in leather, with feather design. Written on back is "Granpuff from Sara and Simon 15/6/74"
  • AWD026 Print of TR loco No. 1 "Talyllyn" at Dolgoch by Terence Cuneo
  • AWD027 Record player, portable type, by Bush. With Garrard deck. c. 1965
  • AWD028 Home made wooden modelling tool box
  • AWD029 White china "Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends" cereal bowl with transfer design
  • AWD030 White china "Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends" cup with transfer designs
  • AWD031 White china "Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends" tea plate with transfer designs
  • AWD032 Child's digital watch in "Thomas the Tank Engine" shape; the face opens to show the time
  • AWD033 Book "The Eight Famous Engines" by Rev. W V Awdry; Railway Series No.12
  • AWD034 Gramophone record (vinyl) 45rpm "Skarloey Remembers" and "Sir Handel" read by Johnny Morris
  • AWD035 Book "Very Old Engines" by Rev. W V Awdry, Railway Series No. 20. Paperback copy
  • AWD036 Railway Series books by Rev. W V Awdry Nos. 1 to 26, in small wooden rack. A mixture of hardback and paperback copies
  • AWD037 Wall clock with "Thomas the Tank Engine" design. Made c.1986 as it bears Britt Allcroft name
  • AWD038 Twelve souvenir pencils c.1993, made for Talyllyn Railway with image of a train headed by locomotive "Peter Sam"
  • AWD039 43 glass mounted slides,railways,Ampfield Vicarage, church etc where Wilbert's father Vere Awdry was vicar
  • AWD040 Book "Gordon the Big Engine" by Rev. W V Awdry, Railway Series No. 8. Hardback copy
  • Also many other books and items of memorabilia which are listed in the Museum collection but too many to list here.