Sodor Island - Thomas Annuals Guide

Thomas Annuals Guide

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)

1979 Annual

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 TFC, 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

1980 Annual

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 RS 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!

We were honoured by the Annuals' Illustrator, Edgar Hodges himself in that we were able to dedicate a special page to his fascinating career and work which can be read in this SiF Spotlight on Artist & Illustrator Edgar Hodges.  

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.

1985
Grandreams, ISBN  0-86227-237-8
Written by Christopher Awdry. Illustrated by Jo Lawrence and David Palmer.

1985 Annual

Review by Chris
PERCY TO THE RESCUE
Thomas is taking the all the children from the valley to the schools Christmas party. As the Vicar is leaving the train for the party, he realises he has left his Father Christmas costume at Ffarquhar station. Can Percy bring the costume in time?
 

EDWARD CRACKS A NUT

One evening, when Edward tries to leave the station with his passenger train, he finds he cannot move. It turns out the guard’s brake-handle has seized ‘on’. If he is to meet Henry’s connection, Edward has to work very hard to get his train to the junction on time.

 

THOMAS AND THE IMPORTANT VISITOR

One winter day, an important looking man has a meeting with Mr. Kyndley. Unfortunately both the road and railway are blocked with deep snowdrifts. At Thomas’ suggestion it is Terence who comes to the rescue to clear the line for them. The important visitor gets to the meeting, and The Fat Controller is very pleased with them all.

 

OLIVER GETS THE BIRD

The guard is cross one day, when Oliver starts without him blowing the whistle. Both Oliver and his driver are puzzled, as they both heard one. Everyone has a good laugh, when it turns the stationmaster’s parrot, Cocky, had learnt to mimic the sound of the guard’s whistle.

 

DONALD’S DUCK

Dilly is a duck, who lives at one of the stations on the Little Western branch line. Both Duck and Oliver become very worried when she goes missing one day and no one can find her. She returns quite unexpectedly, with a very nice surprise!

 

GALE WARNING

James teases Henry about hiding in a tunnel one windy day, but after the green engine helps prevent a nasty accident when a tree falls on the line, James agrees that it’s useful to be able to stick when you need to.


THE TWIN’S PASSING PROBLEM

On one part of Edward’s branch line, there is a single-track with a passing loop about halfway along. Usually trains are short enough to pass each other. One day, this is not the case, when Donald and Douglas both arrive from opposite directions with very long trains of china clay wagons. The signalman is amazed when the Scottish Twins come up with a clever solution to the problem.

 

THE STRAWBERRY SPECIAL

In a story that may have provided the inspiration for Toby’s Megatrain, Toby tells Thomas and Percy how, on his old line, he was worked very hard pulling fruit vans. One day, he had to deliver a whopping 48 strawberry vans. Low on water, he had to leave the vans at a station, and get his tanks refilled before he could make it home. After going back, he managed to deliver all the strawberries safely.


JAMES’ REST CURE

James is grumbling that he has too much shunting to do and doesn't go out of the yard as much as he used to. But one day, he and Edward decide to swap jobs. After a very difficult journey to the Harbour with some stone trucks, James soon realises that he much prefers to stay in the yard!


BERTIE SAVES THE DAY

Bertie is looking forward to taking the Naturalists’ society on a picnic, and is very upset when he becomes ill and cannot take them anywhere. Bertie’s friend Algy has to take them on the excursion instead. Algy’s engine causes trouble all day, and finally packs in when it is time to go home. Luckily, Bertie is mended in time and is able to rescue the stranded passengers.

 

WHISTLE TROUBLE

Sir Handle is grumbling about being overworked again. Over the next few days, Sir Handel bounces about so much that he shakes the bolt holding the top part of his cab loose. Even though he was hoping for a rest, it turns out he has to pull his train anyway.

 

UNHAPPY LANDING

Thomas thinks jumping out of aeroplanes is silly, but he still comes to the rescue when a parachutist lands in the river.

1986
Grandreams, ISBN 0-86227-342-0
Written by Christopher Awdry. Illustrated by David Palmer.

1986 Annual

Review by Chris

PERCY AND THE CHRISTMAS TREE

One Christmas Eve night, the lorry delivering the Christmas trees to Tidmouth market has broken down. It is up to Percy to collect them from Hackenbeck and deliver them on time.

 

OLD GROANER

James is grumbling about getting old to the others, but they take no notice. A few days later, an Inspector arrives. It seems people who live near the yard are complaining of a groaning noise that keeps them awake at night. It turns out it is James: While he was shunting, his brake-blocks were rubbing together and making the sound. James is pleased he gets a rest, but not when the others nickname him “Old Groaner”!

 

TERENCE TAKES A BATH

Terence is called to clear a branch causing a blockage at the bridge near Hackenbeck Halt. As he goes to work, the damp earth on the riverbank slips, and Terence slides into the water. Luckily, Thomas comes quickly to the rescue with the breakdown crane. Later, a grateful Terence thanks Thomas: “Remember that snowdrift? This makes us quits, I reckon.”

 

FUNNEL TROUBLE

Poor Oliver is feeling stuffed up in his smokebox, but the Inspector can find nothing wrong. He becomes so ill, that Duck has to take his ballast wagons for him. After giving some trucks a big bump, Duck’s driver later finds that his water gauge is dropping rapidly. It turns out a plate was loosened when Duck bumped the trucks and his tank is leaking. Algy takes Duck’s passengers, but when Oliver tries to help Duck home something shoots out of his funnel. He had something jammed there, and now feels well enough to pull his ballast train.

 

GOLDEN OLDIES

While on the Ffarquhar Sunday School outing, one of the teachers falls ill. An ambulance would take a long time to arrive, but luckily, Bertie is on hand to take her to Wellsworth hospital. This creates another problem, who will take the children home?

 

GORDON’S STOWAWAY

Gordon makes fun of Oliver’s friend, Dilly the duck, saying animals don’t help to run a railway. One winter’s day, while visiting the mainland Gordon feels a scrabbling under his tender. The next day, while resting Gordon discovers just what that scrabbling was and makes a surprising new friend.

 

YOU NEVER KNOW

Toby tells a story about his old line, of how he and Henrietta were sad because the buses were taking all their passengers. One day however, they came to rescue of the passengers of a bus that had suffered a mishap…

1987
Grandreams, ISBN 0-86227-494-X  ; Budget Books, ISBN 0-86801-924-0
Written by Christopher Awdry. Illustrated by David Palmer.

1987 Annual

Review by Chris

DONALD AND THE LOST TARPAULIN

Due to the fact there is no turntable at the end of Duck’s branch line; tender engines have to run backwards in one direction. This makes Donald cross; especially when the rain gets into his cab. To the keep the rain off, his crew puts a tarpaulin from the cab roof to the tender. When the weather improves it is stashed at the back of the tender. Suddenly, the tarpaulin disappears, but it becomes apparent where it’s got to when Donald’s injector fails…

 

SIGNAL FAILURE

James wishes there would be no signals since he was having trouble with them. His wish comes true sooner than expected when a hurricane attacks the island.


TIMBER!

The old elm tree on Wellsworth village green has become unsafe and must be cut down.  Jem Cole and Trevor are called to assist when the tree cutter breaks down. Trevor and his driver work very hard felling the tree and cutting it into smaller pieces to be taken away.

 

LOST IN THE SNOW

It is winter, and Thomas is cross about having to wear his snowplough. Meanwhile, at Dryaw station a cat has gone missing in the snow. Thomas has to stop here for water, and while everyone is searching, Thomas’ crew are filling his watertank with melted snow because the water column is frozen. It is they who find the cat, in a most unexpected place!

 

PERCY’S PASSENGERS

Percy feels sorry for his guard when no passengers travel in his brake van but feels happier when the guard gains the company of couple of foreign passengers who had missed their stop.

1988
Grandreams, ISBN 0-86227-372-2
Written by Christopher Awdry. Illustrated by David Palmer.

1988 Annual

Review by Chris

PERCY AND THE BRAKE-VAN

Percy begins think that perhaps he could get by without his brake-van. A few days later, Percy sets off with his goods train, unaware that the Guard and the brake van have been left behind. Suddenly a weak coupling snaps, and the last four trucks roll back down the hill. The Guard runs to the brake-van in time, slamming the brakes on and then jumping out. The trucks hit the brake-van, which stays on the line, halting the trucks. Later Percy has to admit that brake-vans are useful after all.


RESPONSIBILITIES

Percy has to spend the night at the Big Station shed, and Gordon tells him about the responsibilities he has of keeping the railway running efficiently. Next day, Gordon has to push Percy to the water column. When Gordon tries to use the water column himself, he can’t move; his valves have jammed. Percy has to push Gordon back to the Shed, although he feels it best to say nothing at all.

 

THOMAS AND TREVOR

Trevor has to take some steel pilings to the new harbour, but Thomas is rather unsure about him due to his unusual looks. On arrival Trevor soon sorts out the terrible mess. Later, Trevor even gets to give some children rides. Trevor feels sad to leave, but Thomas tells him that they may need his help again one day, which makes him feel much better.


TERENCE TURN POT HUNTER

Terence is ploughing in a field opposite to one where an archaeological dig took place. His plough unearths some rather old pottery. The Tidmouth Museum curator comes to investigate, and discovers why: the archaeologists had been using an old map, and had been digging on the wrong side of the railway!

 

ON YOUR GUARD

There are thieves about, and Bill and Ben are warned to be ‘on their guard’ although they don’t know what this expression means. One night, Ben hears noises, and sees a dark shadow in the shed. The intruders are shocked by the Twins thinking they are seeing the same engine again and again. This proves too much for them, and they make a run for it.

Next morning, Bill and Ben tell their drivers about the two men who tried to play hide and seek in the sheds with them!

 

JACK-IN-THE-BOX

A mysterious crate is being loaded into the guards van James’ train. No one knows what is in the crate. After a delay, James starts in a hurry. When he arrives at the next station, there is no sign of the Guard. The men look all around, and they go into his van, and find him locked inside the crate. Everyone laughs when they discover he had been looking in the empty crate when James started suddenly, so he fell in and it locked itself!

1989
Grandreams, ISBN 0-86227-635-7
Written by Christopher Awdry. Illustrated by David Palmer.

1989 Annual

Review by Chris

TRAPPED BY TREES

One blustery morning, Gordon boasts to James and Henry. He manages to cross the big viaduct with some difficulty, but is stopped later at Edward’s station by a tree blocking the line. Then another tree falls behind Gordon, trapping his train. Luckily, Trevor is soon on hand to move the tree, but not before Henry comes past just in time to see Gordon’s predicament!

THE TROUBLE WITH SHEEP

There is a stray dog about, chasing sheep in the valley. On one of his journeys, Thomas comes across the canine and has to make an emergency stop. After the sheep are rounded up, Thomas tries to start again, but he cannot move. His driver fixes the problem with the brakes, but in his haste to start Thomas once again leaves someone behind…

 

POST EARLY FOR CHRISTMAS

One evening, about a week before Christmas, Percy has to pull a special mail train along the branch line. Despite having a snowplough, Percy cannot move for snow by the time he reaches the valley. He ends up stuck there for the night. The next day, the skies are clear enough to allow Harold to take off, and he relieves Percy of the mail, but Percy remains there until the following afternoon.

 

HAROLD AND THE LANDSLIDE

Heavy rain causes a landslip on Duck’s branch line. Then, Harold has to come to the rescue of a hiker who has fallen over some cliffs. It’s a tricky job reaching him in the high winds, but the man gets to hospital safely. Meanwhile, Duck is not best pleased that he has to stay at Arlesdale for a week, while the line is repaired!

 

QUICK THINKING

One day, Donald is taking a long train of china clay trucks down Edward’s branch line, when they push him down the hill towards the passing loop. He cannot stop, and to his horror, BoCo is coming the other way with his empties. Will the quick thinking of BoCo’s driver be enough to prevent a head-on collision?

1990
Grandreams, ISBN 0-86227-674-8
Written by Christopher Awdry. Illustrated by David Palmer.

1990 Annual

Review by Chris
THOMAS AND THE CRICKETERS

A strong, cold wind is blowing as Thomas puffs to work one morning. Luckily for him, some cricket players save him from a nasty accident when a tree falls on the line near their playing field.


HOSEPIPES AND SHUNTERS

Whilst Mavis is away for repairs, Percy has to go the harbour in an emergency. The Ffarquhar stationmaster calls Terence to help with the shunting. Toby has problems of his own up at the quarry. In his absence, the water tower has been removed, and he has to take on water by way of a hosepipe connected to the tap in the quarrymen’s restroom.

N.B. This story probably takes place around the time of Toby, Trucks & Trouble.

OLD SQUARE WHEELS

In the first of three annual stories that take place during Duck and the Diesel Engine, Diesel begins to plot at how to get back at Duck for the making trucks laugh at him. Then, one day, Henry’s trucks push him down a hill. The brakes are applied, but Henry’s wheels lock. He slides down the hill and into the Junction, where he finally manages to stop.  Later, the driver discovers the sliding on the hill causes a flat place to be worn on each of Henry’s drive wheels. When Diesel hears, he is delighted and starts making a plan…

 

DONALD AND THE BREAKAWAYS

One day, Donald is bringing some loaded trucks back from the Other Railway. Whilst the empties behave well, the loaded trucks are visitors to the island and very badly behaved. During the journey one truck gets a hot axle-box and another slips it’s brakes on on purpose. More delays follow, and Donald becomes cross. Worse is to come when a coupling snaps at the top of Gordon’s Hill and the last ten trucks chase Donald down the other side…

 

POINTS OF NO RETURN

James remarks to the others that he would like a branch line to himself.  James’ wish comes true sooner than expected when he is switched to the branch line platform of Edward’s station. Unfortunately, the points behind James have jammed, and he cannot reverse back onto the main line. He is trapped and has to do odd jobs in the goods yard until they are fixed.

1991
Grandreams, ISBN 0-86227-784-1
Written by Christopher Awdry. Illustrated by David Palmer.

annual_1991.jpg

Review by Chris
NEAR MISS

Henry scoffs at the trap-points outside the big shed. They are used to derail runaways from colliding with trains using the main line. Next day, however, Henry is very glad of their existence when a careless firelighter meddles with his controls. Demolishing the shed doors, he runs out on his own into the yard, but is derailed just in time to avoid colliding with Gordon’s Express.

 

TRUCKS FOR SCRAP

None of the engines like taking ‘The Scrap’.  It is a train made up of the oldest, rudest and noisiest trucks from the Other Railway. BoCo has a particularly bad time one day, but makes the other trucks behave when one of the older trucks collapses and is left to be broken up.

THOMAS & THE SUNDAY SCHOOL OUTING

When Bertie breaks down, Thomas has to take the Sunday School outing into the mountains. He nearly misses his path home his path home when the Sunday school party is late returning to the station.

IN THE DRINK

Trevor the traction engine loves being given unusual jobs. He and Jem Cole are called upon one day to uproot some old cherry trees. Whilst refilling his tank at a stream, he almost ends up in the water, when the earth on the bank slips…


RUSTY RED SCRAP-IRON

A story telling of how Diesel came up with his nickname for James in Duck and the Diesel Engine. When Diesel makes a mistake arranging James’ train, the red engine gets very cross with him. As we all know, Diesel is not one to be crossed and began thinking up a nickname for James. Chatting to the trucks, he hears about the time Edward had to chase the runaway James, and eventually comes up with a suitable name…

1992
Grandreams, ISBN 0-86227-854-6
Written by Christopher Awdry. Illustrated by David Palmer.

1992 Annual

Review by Chris
PERCY AND THE VICAR’S PRIZES

A slightly extended version of 1985’s Percy to the Rescue. The main difference is the Vicar leaves behind a suitcase full of prizes behind instead of the Father Christmas outfit.

 

A PROBLEM FOR THE TWINS

Another extended re-write of a story from a previous annual, this time 1985’s The Twins’ Passing Problem.

 

THOMAS AND THE SWANS

Percy is frightened by a pheasant-like bird that flies out and hits him. Thomas scoffs about it, but is soon laughing on the other side of his smokebox, when he has an encounter of his own with an angry swan, with a broken wing.

BERTIE TO THE RESCUE

The third and final re-write in the annual is of Bertie Saves The Day (again from 1985).

 

GALLOPING SAUSAGE

Christopher Awdry’s own “Diesel trilogy” concludes with this story. Duck suffers the wrath of Henry and James, who have heard his (or rather Diesel’s) nicknames for them, and has to sleep in a siding. After talking with the trucks again, and seeing Gordon’s mishap with a water tower, Diesel comes up with a fitting nickname for the big blue engine. The big engines are all turned against Duck, so the Fat Controller sends him away to help Edward. Of course, as we all know, he found out who was really making up the silly stories all the engines became best of friends again.

1993
Grandreams, ISBN 0-86227-957-7
Written by Christopher Awdry. Illustrations by 'Primary-Design'.

1993 Annual

Review by Chris
JAMES’S TRAFFIC JAM

Some confused foreign passengers pull the emergency cord, bringing James's train to a halt. When James tries to start, his driver discovers the brakes have locked. To make matters worse, the train has stopped on a level crossing, causing an enormous traffic jam…


THOMAS AND THE SNOWBLOCK

A reprint of 1985’s Thomas and the Important Visitor.

 

OLIVER GETS THE BIRD

A reprint of the earlier story from 1985 with the same title.

 

THE HUT THE WALKED BY ITSELF

High winds whistling around the shed keep the big engines awake one night. Next day, Gordon has a near miss when a workmen’s hut “walks” along the platform by itself, with the help of the wind…

1994
Grandreams, ISBN 1-85830-055-X
Written by Christopher Awdry and Jenny Lewis. Illustrated by David Palmer

1994 Annual

Review by Chris
THE MERRY-GO-ROUND THAT WOULDN’T

Percy is excited when a funfair sets up near the branch line. He and Trevor talk about it. Trevor thinks he would like to help out at the fun fair. Trevor’s wish to go along and give the children rides comes true sooner than expected, when the Merry-Go-Round breaks down.


THOMAS AND THE TICKLES

One winter's night, Thomas has a nasty case of 'the tickles'. Next morning the mystery is solved when his crew discovers a mother cat and her kittens asleep in Thomas’ cab.

BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY

Harold gives Thomas a lesson in safety by the sea one day. Later two children get stuck out at sea on a lilo, and Thomas whistles to get help. Harold flies quickly to the rescue and the children are soon safe and sound.

 

JAMES’ REST CURE

Reprint of the story of the same name from 1985’s annual.

 

BERTIE THE SNOW BUS

Returning to the bus station one winter’s day, Bertie gets stuck in the snow. His driver leaves him to go for help, and the snow soon mounts up around the bus, covering him like a blanket. After a while, Terence the tractor is able to clear the snows away and tow Bertie back to where the snow is less deep. Bertie is very glad get home to his nice warm bus station at Wellsworth.

1995
Grandreams, ISBN 1-85830-140-8
Written by Jenny Lewis. Illustrated by David Palmer

1995 Annual

Review by Chris

 EASTER EGG SPECIAL

James feels very pleased to be taking the children on the Easter Egg hunt on Easter Saturday. The hunt takes them all over the island: to the Bluebird café, a farmer’s barn and finally back to the Big Station. After searching all over the station, the eggs are discovered in James’ cab.

 

THE PICNIC EXPRESS

Thomas is upset when Gordon is chosen to pull the special Picnic Train. Gordon isn’t very pleased either, thinking himself to important to take it. He pulls the train much too fast, and the passengers get very cross. They complain to The Fat Controller that they didn’t have time to take in the scenery. In the end, Thomas, Annie and Clarabel get to take the passengers around the island at a more leisurely pace.

 

OLIVER’S SPARKLER

Oliver is very puzzled about what’s so special on November 5th. Both his driver and Thomas are very mysterious about it, and Oliver is bursting to know. He soon finds out later that day, when he takes some passengers to a bonfire party.

 

THANK YOU THOMAS AND TOBY

The main roads on Sodor are being repaired, and the Fat Controller has arranged extra services to be pulled by Thomas and Toby until the roads can be used again. Despite their hard work, the engines remain cheerful. The passengers are so grateful that they decide to throw a party for the railway staff in the church hall. This saddens Thomas and Toby as they cannot attend. That night, they discover the passengers have not forgotten them…

 

1ST PRIZE

Trevor’s driver is preparing to enter him in the 'Best Kept Engine' rally at the Village Agricultural Show, whilst Edward is collected the farmer’s donkeys who will be giving rides to children. When Edward breaks down Trevor ends doing his job instead, but he becomes very dirty and doesn’t win a prize in the rally. He is still able to give rides to the children and the following day, the Vicar presents him with a special rosette…

1996
Grandreams, ISBN 1-85830-288-9
Writer uncredited. Illustrated by David Palmer

1996 Annual

Review by Chris 

JAMES GETS CRACKING

James is very puzzled when he is ordered to collect a load from Farmer Finney’s battery farm. He didn’t think batteries came from farms! Some hens run across the line and the emergency stop causes his truck to derail. James now discovers what he’s really carrying – eggs! Farmer Finney arrives with Terence and, while the mess is sorted out, cooks a delicious pancake with the eggs for James’ driver the workmen.

 

RINGS A BELL!

Mavis is having trouble at the quarry trucks and Toby seems to have disappeared. His bell is heard all over the Island, but no one can find him. When The Fat Controller goes to inspect, he discovers it was really a cow’s bell that everyone has been hearing. They find Toby is stuck in his shed with a broken wheel, thinking everyone had forgotten him.

 

ALL PULL TOGETHER

A big storm has blown up on Sodor. Percy is having a tough time at the harbour when the wind blows the mail right out of his trucks. Then, a particularly nasty lightning strike sends the Island into darkness, after causing a power cut. All the engines as well as Bertie and Harold work hard through the night to keep the railway running and The Fat Controller is very pleased.

 

THE WRONG SHIRT

Thanks to a mishap caused by Gordon, a boy's football shirt and a workman's overalls get mixed up...

PANTOMIME PRANKS

It’s the day before Christmas on Sodor. The engines see unusual things throughout the day: a talking horse, a flaming black pudding and even a guard in women’s clothing! All is revealed that evening in the sheds, when the railway staff put on a special party and pantomime for the engines. Everyone has a lot of fun and looks forward to a happy Christmas.

1997
Grandreams, ISBN 1-85830-402-4
Writer and illustrator uncredited.

1997 Annual

Review by Chris 

ICE MAGIC

Thomas has to take Mr. Bjork, a visiting engineer from Lapland, around the island so he can start work repairing signal boxes.  He even makes an ice sculpture of Thomas as a present for the engine. But it melts in Thomas’s warm cab, much to the other engines amusement. Thomas is sad, but also surprised at what he sees at the sheds the next morning; a huge ice sculpture of the Fat Controller and some of his engines.

PERCY IN PRINT

A famous author is visiting Sodor to finish his book about famous steam engines. On the day when the author has to deliver his manuscript to the printers, a huge storm has blows in and Percy has to take the author to the other side of the island via the coastal route. It isn’t easy, but Percy is determined, and when he finally reached the end of his journey, the author takes his photograph. When the book gets published many months later, there was a picture on the front page of a small green saddletank engine.

SKARLOEY GETS A SCARE

Skarloey is unfortunate enough to have a rather forgetful driver. One day, he looses his tea mug, his sandwiches and his torch. In the shed that night, he hears loud rustling noises around him. A policeman comes the next morning to investigate these mysteries, but finds nothing. The next night, Skarloey hears the noises again. Next morning, all the mysteries are solved; the tea mug is in a toolbox, the torch is besides the telephone, and the sandwiches had been eaten by a hedgehog and its family in the shed; they had been making the rustling noises.


EDWARD SAVES THE DAY

Sir Handel doesn’t want to help transport equipment for the Tidmouth Gymkhana. By mistake he goes to the harbour instead of the riding school, and ends up delivering several pot plants. Luckily, Edward has a plan to solve this dilemma….

 

RUSTY’S REVENGE

Rusty is asked to help out at the harbour, but James doesn’t think that the ‘rusting’ old diesel could prove very useful. James has to pull trucks empty trucks to the windmill to be loaded with flour. On collecting the flour, he heads back to the harbour. But the trucks surge forward and James comes off the rails on a bendy line. Flour goes everywhere, and Rusty pulls James back to the sheds, where everyone laughs at him.

 

PIPE DREAMS

With Burns Night approaching, the Scottish Engines tell the other engines all about Scotland. Donald tells Peter Sam about the Loch Ness Monster, and this scares him. That night, as he pulls his train, he hears an eerie noise. At the Sheds; all is revealed. The noise was in fact the wind whistling through the bagpipes on one of the trucks. When Burns Night arrives, a party was held at the sheds, which makes the Scottish Engines very happy.

WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS

Henry’s driver, Ted is constantly practicing carols during the day for the carol service on Christmas Eve. The engines want to sing too, but they can’t, so they decide to whistle instead. On the night before the service, Ted lets the engines use their tuned whistling to help him practice. But there is problem; the church organ had broken. Fortunately, Ted has an idea, and before long, the engine orchestra are whistling the tunes to the Christmas carols. The night proves great success, and once again, the Fat Controller is pleased with all of his engines.

ANNUALS COVER GALLERY - Post 1997
A gallery of annual covers from 1998 to the present. This period reflects a markedly changed annual content that is targeted at pre-schoolers . This is reflected in the simplistic puzzles and 'pablumised' storytelling that discouraged many older fans from purchasing the annuals for their collections - especially during the early part of the new millenium. However,  the annual content style and quality have improved greatly in recent years. We can only hope that HiT and their licensed publishers return to the quality that was, and still is popular amongst the fans during the Awdry era annuals!

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1998
World International Limited
ISBN 0-7498-3380-7
1999
World International Limited
ISBN 0-7498-3764-0
2000
Egmont World Limited
ISBN 0-7498-4286-5
2001
Egmont World Limited
ISBN 0-7498-4861-8
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2002
Egmont World Limited
ISBN 0-7498-5144-9
2003
Egmont Books Limited
ISBN 0-7498-5605-X
2004
Egmont Books Limited
ISBN 0-7498-5845-1
2005
Egmont Books Limited
ISBN 1-4052-1390-6
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annual_2007.jpg
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Thomas Annual 2009
2006
Egmont Books Limited
ISBN 1-4052-2105-4
2007
Egmont UK Limited
ISBN 1-4052-2608-0
2008
Egmont UK Limited
ISBN 978-1-4052-3168-8
2009
Egmont UK Limited
ISBN 978-1405239134
Thomas Annual 2010
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2012 Annual
2013 Annual - click for larger view
2010
Egmont Books Limited
ISBN 978-1405246354
2011
Egmont UK Limited
ISBN 978-1405252409
2012
Egmont UK Limited
ISBN 978-1405257077
2013
Egmont UK Limited
ISBN 978-1405263429
2014 Annual
     
2014
Egmont Books Limited
ISBN 978-1405267588