A complete guide to the Thomas Annual Stories since their launch in 1979 to the final Awdry written Annual in 1996 compiled by Chris...
THE REV. AWDRY ANNUALS
During the 1973 to 1983 hiatus between Railway Series books, and the leading up to the Television Series, Awdry produced these two annuals to celebrate the life and times of his famous engines. It is unclear as to why there were no follow-ups in the years of 1981 to 1984, but these Railway Series annuals were more than suffice to keep the memory of the characters alive in the meantime! ;)
World Distributors, SBN 7235-0482-2
Written by the Rev. W. Awdry. Illustrated by Edgar Hodges (uncredited)
Review by Ryan
The 1979 Annual contained no new material in terms of stories, but it did have retellings of previous stories as will be explained below.
First, we are greeted with an intro by the Author explaining how Thomas/The Railway Series came to be.
MEET THOMAS feature, recapping adventures of the Railway Series.
FRIENDS OF THOMAS - Human characters; The Fat Controller, Thin Controller, Drivers, Firemen and Guards, Station Masters
QUIZZES - All About The Engines; Crossed Lines (Crossword); Rhyming Engines quiz; Nancy's Railway Crossword; What's In An Engine's Name?; The Fat Controller's Quiz; A Riddle Mee-Ree Engine; and the snakes and ladders type - In The Sidings!
REAL RAILWAY FEATURE: Beer Heights Opening by Rev Awdry
REAL RAILWAY FEATURE: Mountain Railways
RAILWAY DATES: Events of importance in the 19th/20th Centuries.
REAL RAILWAY FEATURE: The Ffestiniog
THOMAS HAS A WORD FOR IT: Explanations of Railway terms.
MAGNIFICENT MODELS: Model Railway Expos (Not Awdry's own)
REAL RAILWAY FEATURE: Ravenglass and Eskdale
FEATURE ON THE NATIONAL RAILWAY MUSEUM
MEET TOBY: Chronicling the life and times of Toby the Tram Engine!
REAL RAILWAY FEATURE: The Talyllyn
REAL RAILWAY FEATURE: Flying Scotsman
World Distributors, SBN 7235-6561-9
Written by the Rev. W. Awdry. Illustrated by Edgar Hodges
Review by Ryan
INTRO FROM AUTHOR
FEATURE on the Rev. Awdry's Own Model Railway.
REAL RAILWAY FEATURE: City of Truro
REAL RAILWAY FEATURE: Keighly and Worth Valley Railway
REAL RAILWAY FEATURE: Isle of Man Railway
REAL RAILWAY FEATURE: The Engine Which Disappeared, the Barrow and Furness incident that Awdry based "Down the Mine" on, where an engine was never found again following a similar incident!
REAL RAILWAY FEATURE: North York Moors Railway
REAL RAILWAY FEATURE: Shunting Engines
MEET JAMES - Life and times of James, recalling Railway Series stories about him
THOMAS' BRANCH LINE - Map and feature on Thomas' Branch.
MEET THOMAS - Furthering the previous from 1979 including the Tank Engine Thomas incidents and Ghost Train.
REAL RAILWAY FEATURE: Ravenglass and Eskdale again!
REAL RAILWAY FEATURE: Flying Scotsman, Sir Nigel Gresley and Cumbrian Coast Express
MEET DUCK - Recalling the Duck and Diesel Trilogy
REAL RAILWAY FEATURE: The Bluebell Railway
MEET GORDON - His trip to London and meeting Flying Scotsman again!
MEET PERCY - Duck Takes Charge; Percy's Promise.
THOMAS' ALPHABET - Naming the engines who begin with ABC...etc
A Picture Puzzle
Find a Famous Engine
Number the Engines
Know Your Signals
Do You Know Your Engines?
The Name's The Same
The Tricky Track Board Game!
CHRISTOPHER AWDRY & THE TV SERIES ERA
We now steam proudly into the era that made Thomas a global phenomenon - The TV Series era. One of the major tie-ins and a favoured Christmas present for many children, is the Thomas Annuals. These were written by Christopher Awdry up until 1996, when I presume the Copyright dispute came into action. With stills from the TV series, and illustrations by David Palmer.