Faced with yet another resignation, a new artist had to be employed to take on the role of illustrator for the continuation of the Railway Series.  Eric Marriot decided to ask Swedish born artist - Gunvor Edwards to try her hand at capturing the style that had been set by Dalby.  Believing little to be beyond her, Gunvor started with the illustration of the Diesel standing alongside the engines at the sheds.  

 

Gunvor found it quite difficult concerning the amount of space she had to work with on the picture, and turned to husband Peter to see if he could try and do the pictures.  Although he claims he was unable to imitate the previous style any better than his wife could, Eric Marriot was still happy to allow Peter Edwards to continue, and despite illustrating the further books on his own, he continued to share credit with wife Gunvor.

Relations between Awdry and his new illustrator went very well from the first meeting, Awdry appreciated Edwards' style of artwork, and was quoted as saying, "He drew from life and obviously had an affection for the characters."

The illustrator often found himself on "Bus-man's Holidays" where he was going to railways which Awdry needed imagery of real locos and landscapes from to base the artwork in the books.  "At a time in our life," says Edwards, "of short funds and few breaks, the family had an excuse to explore the Welsh Coast, Lakeland, Cornwall and Devon, Sussex and Kent with a steam trip to cap it all!"

Edwards stayed in dedicated service up until the final book in 1972 - Tramway Engines, and even illustrated The Surprise Packet in 1971, published by Edmund Ward to avail Awdry in his time of writer's block.  

 

It would be fair to say his illustrations were somewhat the inspiration for the 1979/1980 annuals, where the artist - Edgar Hodges - drew and painted in a very similar impressionist style!

Peter & Gunvor Edwards

The Impressionists (1963 - 1972)