Train to glory
Friday 29 December 1995
It's hard to pinpoint exactly what it is that makes Thomas quite so universally popular with children and grown-ups alike. Perhaps the date of his birth is significant. Think about it. Thomas is a small, plucky, cheeky chap who always succeeds in the face of seemingly impossible odds. In short, he is the spirit of wartime Britain. In the secure, class-conscious world of The Railway Engines, goodwill always win through, evil will never go unpunished, and at the end of the day responsibility will rest with the Fat Controller, who bears more than a passing resemblance to Winston Churchill. Awdry, albeit unwittingly, was not merely telling a children's story, he was creating an allegory for an England we have lost.
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