Earlier this year, we were proud to announce the return of the Railway
Series books written by Christopher Awdry, and a brand new title to be added to the series too.
This comes as the result of an uphill struggle for Christopher and the Awdry family
in trying to convince Egmont Books to take a chance and republish the books so dearly loved by generations of children, and
to give them a chance to continue after a second long hiatus!
The results of Christopher Awdry's meeting with Egmont Publishing were
disclosed by wife Diana on the Sodor Island and Clearwater Forums back in 2005. Here's what was said:
Meeting with Egmont
I'm sorry to have to report that
Christopher's meeting with David Riley of Egmont was somewhat disappointing. He seems to have been more concerned with making
excuses for not doing anything rather than offering anything positive. In particular he was very dismissive of the comments
from the forums - he said they were mostly from America - not true - and that wasn't his concern.
He seems to have
tried to put the blame on HIT, whereas we've always been told by HIT that they have no influence on Egmont - believe who you
like! One good thing to have come out of it is that he will try to set up a 3-way meeting with HIT & Christopher. The
other is that he has offered to look at any new material Christopher cares to send him.
BUT no promises as far as books
27-40 are concerned. So...
the GET THOMAS BACK ON TRACK PETITION GOES AHEAD! About 100 signatures were
collected at the Mid-Hants Rly last weekend, hopefully lots at NRM this week. I suggest you either try to get to one of his
personal appearances if you live in the UK (see http://www.cawdry.co.uk/meet.htm) or go to our webpage http://www.cawdry.co.uk/anniversary.htm and download a copy of the petition for yourself - get all your friends to sign it!
The petition was signed by numerous people at Thomas related venues around
the world that Christopher was visiting, as well as a petition form available online for the benefit of those who could
not reach these events.
It has been reported to us that the unofficial logo above created by
Jaquin and Ryan was used by Christopher during his signings to highlight the campaign. For that, we'd like to extend
our thanks to him, and to all of those who signed the petition, and will buy or have bought the reissued books.
However, while Egmont will be producing a Book 41 for the Railway
Series, more volumes depend upon sales for the reissued books and for any future volumes that come too. While many older
fans of the series will be keen to add the reissued titles to their collections, we would urge the parents of the target audience
to embrace the old style of Thomas too, and allow the Awdry name to flourish and become a stronghold in the workings of the Island
of Sodor again.
If the demand is there, there will be more, but if there isn't then the Railway Series
could vanish for a third time, and possibly for good...