This was the Forums’ 1st Anniversary ERS volume from 2003. It was written over the course of a week, if I recall correctly, and the first story
took me by surprise as it screwed with continuity very badly – claiming that the Fat Controller had been in charge for
50 years, which is impossible, as there have now been three Fat Controllers across three generations of the Hatt family. Happily, I was given free rein to fix this one out for the V2 version, and amended
a fair bit of the original, which badly needed it.
WILBERT, AUDREY & THOMAS
The new title was a deliberate attempt at humour. The 50th
Book in the Railway Series is being published, and a huge celebration is taking place at the Big Station, with many visiting
engines returning to take part. It’s here that Thomas meets Audrey, an
came from the Other Railway when Thomas and the others went to London in 1957. She
and Wilbert had stalled on Gordon’s Hill whilst double-heading a train from the Works Station, and had to be banked
by Flying Scotsman! This reminds Thomas of the time when he first arrived on
the railway and encountered a similar problem himself!
HENRY’S HILL START
Back in the
early days of the railway, the Fat Director at the time has a problem with the lack of engines at his disposal to run the
railway. This means that Thomas has to be sent to other yards as and when required,
and on this occasion, he is sent to Wellsworth to help realign some sidings. This
means Thomas also has to bank engines up the hill, which two of the early engines, , don’t think he’s capable
of doing. Whilst Thomas has very little trouble helping Edward over the top,
Henry proves to be a bigger challenge, and he can’t manage. 87546 and 98462
blame Thomas for the failure and the little tank engine begins to think that he might not be up to the job...
by #~CaeSaR~# - Edits / Additional Dialogue by Ryan
This was about the first and only contribution made to any ERS volume by our first and
founding administrator, Triple8 (aka. FatHatt / Caesar) who is now a
bit more of a floating and occasional visitor on the current SiF. Thomas is given
the task of shunting trucks in the yard for some important goods trains, and uses it as a chance to redeem himself for his
previous failure. However, the trucks make life very difficult for him, and he
breaks a coupling when trying to shift them out of a siding. With some encouragement
from Edward, he sets back to work feeling renewed, and when he hears of a train needing two engines at the Big Station, he
rushes off to try and help. But his eagerness comes untangled when he hits a
set of points set against him. To make matters worse, he finds himself in Edward’s
path as he tries to pass with a train of logs. The momentum of Edward’s
sudden stop causes the logs to fall from the flatbeds and onto the track, causing an even bigger calamity. Once again, Thomas is left in doubt about his future.