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! ;)

1979

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

1980

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
QUIZZES:
   A Picture Puzzle
   Find a Famous Engine
   Number the Engines
   Know Your Signals
   Do You Know Your Engines?
   Express Crossword
   The Name's The Same
   Who's Who?
   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.

Click the images for full summaries and audio narrations!

1985Annual (1).jpg

1985 ANNUAL STORIES:

* Thomas & The Swan (Paperback Edition) * Percy to the Rescue

* Edward Cracks A Nut * Thomas & The Important Visitor * Oliver Gets The Bird * Donald's Duck * Gale Warning * The Twins' Passing Problem * The Strawberry Special * James' Rest Cure * Whistle Trouble * Unhappy Landings

1988 ANNUAL STORIES:

* Donald & The Lost Tarpaulin

* Signal Failure

* Timber

* Lost In The Snow

* Percy's Passengers

1991 ANNUAL STORIES:

* Near Miss

* Trucks for Scrap

* Thomas & The Sunday School Outing

* In The Drink

* Rusty Red Scrap Iron

1994 ANNUAL STORIES:

* The Merry-Go-Round That Wouldn't

* Thomas & The Tickles

* Better Safe Than Sorry

* James' Rest Cure

* Bertie the Snow Bus

1997 ANNUAL STORIES:

* Ice Magic

* Percy In Print

* Skarloey Gets A Scare

* Edward Saves The Day

* Rusty's Revenge

* Pipe Dreams

* We Wish You A Merry Christmas

2000 ANNUAL STORIES:

* Slow Down, Thomas

* Thomas The Famous Engine

* Double Trouble

* Buzzing Bees

* The Flood

* Star Engines

1986 ANNUAL STORIES:

* Percy & The Christmas Tree

* Old Groaner

* Terence Takes A Bath

* Funnel Trouble

* Golden Oldies

* Gordon's Stowaway

* You Never Know!

1989 ANNUAL STORIES:

* Trapped By Trees

* The Trouble With Sheep

* Post Early for Christmas

* Harold & The Landslide

* Quick Thinking

1992 ANNUAL STORIES:

* Percy and the Vicar's Prizes

* A Problem for the Twins

* Thomas and the Swans

* Bertie to the Rescue

* Galloping Sausage

1995 ANNUAL STORIES:

* Easter Egg Special

* The Picnic Express

* Oliver's Sparkler

* Thank You Thomas and Toby

* 1st Prize

1998 ANNUAL STORIES:

* Engines To The Rescue

* Henry Scores A Goal

* Percy Plays A Joke

* Rescue

* The Star of the Show

* Toby and the Mail Train

2001 ANNUAL STORIES:

* Very Special Engines

* Thomas the Famous Engine

* The Good Old Days

* Edward Saves The Day

* Best Friends

* Donald and Douglas

1987 ANNUAL STORIES:

* Percy & The Brake Van

* Responsibilities

* Thomas and Trevor

* Terence Turns Pot Hunter

* On Your Guard

* Jack In The Box

1990 ANNUAL STORIES:

* Thomas & The Cricketers

* Hosepipes and Shunters

* Old Square Wheels

* Donald and the Breakaways

* Points Of No Return

1993 ANNUAL STORIES:

* James' Traffic Jam

* Thomas & The Snowblock

* Oliver Gets The Bird

* The Hut That Walked By Itself

1996 ANNUAL STORIES:

* James Gets Cracking

* Rings A Bell

* All Pull Together

* The Wrong Shirt

* Pantomime Pranks

1999 ANNUAL STORIES:

* Blooming Railways

* Bill and Ben

* Leaves on the Line

* Toby Saves The Day

* Blowing Bubbles

2002 ANNUAL STORIES:

* A Special Day for Thomas

* That's The Way To Do It

* Terence to the Rescue

* The Really Useful Traction Engine

* Percy's Dream

* Harold the Helicopter