Sir: Strange that the only ethic Thomas Sutcliffe can find in Thomas the Tank Engine is obedience ("Dear Thomas the Tank Engine", 24 May). Had he read a little slower, he would have found respect - for others and for oneself, loyalty, duty, the value of kindness; the possibility of growth by accepting oneself and one's circumstances; the inevitability of upsets and misunderstandings; and, in the end, the certainty of forgiveness in a secure home.
Granted these do not make sparkling copy. The stories do, however, very accurately reflect the world of little children and the concern of their young parents, seeking to surround them with the essential security and love which every parent wishes for his child and which only a parent can provide. That is why they are popular classics.
Originally told, simply and directly, by an old-fashioned clergyman, then sympathetically produced and brilliantly filmed by a producer of talent, the Thomas stories continue to inspire delight and loyalty in parents and children all over the world.
Britt Allcroft (Thomas)