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The Awdry Extravaganza is an event hosted by the Talyllyn Railway and supported by Mattel. The event celebrates the legacy of Wilbert Awdry and The Railway Series, and their connections to the Talyllyn Railway.

During these events, an exhibition is usually held in the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum at Tywyn Wharf, displaying artefacts from the Awdry Study, original artwork from The Railway Series and behind-the-scenes material from Thomas & Friends provided by Mattel. The exhibition is also home to Ffarquhar Branch, which is operated by volunteers to its original timetable.

For the Extravaganza, the locomotives of the Talyllyn Railway are dressed as their Skarloey Railway counterparts from The Railway Series. A number of special trains are also scheduled throughout the weekend alongside a lecture, which often includes notes from the Awdry Study being read aloud to the public for the first time since the Reverend's passing.

Awdry Extravaganza 1[]

The first Awdry Extravaganza was held between 14th and 15th August 2021. This event featured the first public outing of Awdry's Mid Sodor layout since the closure of the Cadeby Light Railway, courtesy of the Awdry family. It also featured a live reading of some compiled notes from the Railways of Sodor lecture - along with additional material relating to Bloomer - by Tim Dunn on the Saturday of the event.

Exhibition[]

Trivia[]

  • The Awdry Extravaganza was the Talyllyn Railway's busiest weekend since 2016.[1]

Awdry Extravaganza 2[]

The second Awdry Extravaganza was held between 23rd and 24th July 2022. This event featured a full reading of the 1972 Railways of Sodor lecture by Tim Dunn on the Saturday and Sunday of the event at the Neuadd in Pendre. Visitors were also able to purchase a drive down the line between Tywyn Wharf and Pendre in either Douglas (dressed as Duncan) or Midlander (dressed as Rusty).

Exhibition[]

  • Wilbert Awdry's OO scale layout, Ffarquhar Branch.
  • Wilbert Awdry's OO scale models of Thomas Mk3, Edward, Henry, Spare Percy, Toby, Duck, G&SWR No. 403, Bear, Annie and Clarabel on display.
  • A scratch-built OO9 scale model of Falcon - built for Wilbert Awdry by a friend - on display.
  • Scratch-built OO9 scale models of Stuart/Peter Sam - built for Wilbert Awdry by Paul Windle - on display.
  • Wilbert Awdry's modelling toolbox.
  • Hand-drawn trackplans by Wilbert Awdry of Ffarquhar and the Quarry Tramroad from The Railway Series.
  • A hand-drawn map of Wilbert Awdry's planned OO9 Skarloey Railway layout, including an alternative spelling of Cros-ny-Cuirn as Cros-ny-Quern.
  • Several photographs of Ffarquhar Branch Mk1.
  • The end board for Hackenbeck Tunnel from Ffarquhar Branch Mk1.
  • Original artwork from Four Little Engines, The Little Old Engine, Gallant Old Engine, Very Old Engines, Duke the Lost Engine, Tramway Engines, Great Little Engines, New Little Engine and Thomas and his Friends.
  • Original lecture notes from Narrow Gauge Rails in Sodor.
  • Concept art from the fourth series for Duke's Shed, Glennock, Cros-ny-Cuirn, Rheneas station, Skarloey Slate Quarry, Rheneas Bridge, Rheneas Tunnel, the Mountain Road, Forest Runby, Mountainside Runby, Valley View, Rheneas Viaduct, Sodor Castle, Skarloey Bridge and several buildings from Lakeside.
  • Ruler reference photographs from the fourth series of the small-scale models for Skarloey, Sir Handel and Peter Sam.
  • Production photographs from the fourth series of Sir Handel's model in its guise as Falcon.
  • Production photographs from the fifth series of Rusty's small-scale model.
  • Ruler reference photographs from the fifth series of the large-scale model for Duncan.
  • Skarloey's large scale model used between the fifth and twelfth series on display.
  • The small-scale and close-up models of the Refreshment Lady from the television series.
  • Several faces - both large and small scale - used by Skarloey in the television series.
  • Orthographic sheets for Skarloey, Rheneas, Sir Handel, Peter Sam, Rusty and Duncan's CGI models used between Blue Mountain Mystery (the eighteenth series for Duncan) and the twenty-fourth series.
  • CGI model sheets for the Thin Clergyman, the Fat Clergyman and Fergus Duncan.

Special Trains[]

  • The Picnic, hauled by Edward Thomas (dressed as Stuart) on the Saturday evening of the event.
  • The Skarloey Photo Charter, hauled by Edward Thomas (dressed as Peter Sam) on the Sunday evening of the event.

Trivia[]

  • For this event, a new face was made for Peter Sam.

Awdry Extravaganza 3[]

The third Awdry Extravaganza was held between 22nd and 23rd July 2023. It featured a talk held on Saturday - at the Magic Lantern Cinema, Tywyn - from Veronica Chambers about her life with Wilbert Awdry followed by further archive material from the Awdry Study read by Tim Dunn. Additionally, visitors were able to ride the Talyllyn Railway trolley, Toby (dressed as Ivo's Flying Bedstead) between Tywyn Wharf and Pendre, while Alf (dressed as Fred) ran shuttle rides at Abergnolwyn.

Exhibition[]

  • Wilbert Awdry's OO scale layout, Ffarquhar Branch.
  • Wilbert Awdry's OO scale model of Henry on display.
  • Wilbert Awdry's OO9 scale models of Skarloey, Rheneas, Peter Sam, Duncan, Agnes, Ruth, Jemima, Lucy, Beatrice and Cora on display.
  • A scratch-built OO9 scale model of Falcon - built for Wilbert Awdry by a friend - on display.
  • Scratch-built OO9 scale models of Stuart/Peter Sam - built for Wilbert Awdry by Paul Windle - on display.
  • A hand-drawn map of Wilbert Awdry's planned OO9 Skarloey Railway layout, this one with the final spelling of Cros-ny-Cuirn.
  • Original sketches of illustrations for The Three Railway Engines, Thomas the Tank Engine and James the Red Engine by Wilbert Awdry.
  • Early sketches of Terence and Bertie drawn by Wilbert Awdry as illustrator's reference for Tank Engine Thomas Again.
  • Original artwork from Four Little Engines, The Little Old Engine, Gallant Old Engine, Very Old Engines, Oliver the Western Engine, Duke the Lost Engine and Great Little Engines.
  • A letter from Wilbert Awdry to a fan, explaining the history of the Skarloey Railway's Saloon Coach.
  • Filming schedules for the 1953 BBC adaptation of The Sad Story of Henry, revealing that the story was merged with Edward, Gordon and Henry and included other elements from Edward's Day Out and Edward and Gordon.
  • Various letters relating to the broadcast of The Sad Story of Henry.
  • A first-hand account of the 1953 BBC adaptation of The Sad Story of Henry from Talyllyn Railway volunteer Robin Webb.
  • Concept art from the second series for the Watermill.
  • Concept art from the fourth series for Duke's Shed, Glennock, Cros-ny-Cuirn, Rheneas station, Skarloey Slate Quarry, Rheneas Bridge, Rheneas Tunnel, the Mountain Road, Forest Runby, Mountainside Runby, Valley View, Rheneas Viaduct, Sodor Castle, Skarloey Bridge and several buildings from Lakeside.
  • Concept art from the seventh series for the Refreshment Coach.
  • Concept art from Blue Mountain Mystery for the Blue Mountain Quarry, featuring Owen and Merrick's working names, Bud and Brad.
  • Production photographs from the fourth series of Sir Handel's model in its guise as Falcon.
  • Production photographs from the fifth series of Rusty's small-scale model.
  • Ruler reference photographs from the fifth series of the large-scale model for Duncan.
  • Behind-the-scenes photographs of Strawberry Grove taken during filming of the sixth series.
  • Behind-the-scenes photographs of the Mountain Line taken during filming of the ninth series.
  • Henry's original Gauge 1 model from the first series on display.
  • Large scale models of Skarloey, three slate trucks , the red narrow gauge coach and the Skarloey Slate Quarry winding house and water towers used between the fifth and twelfth series on display.
  • Several large scale faces used by Skarloey in the television series.
  • Close-up scale models of Skarloey's backhead, Rusty, a red narrow gauge coach, a driver, a workman, Mr. Percival, his second bicycle and the magician from the eleventh series episode Smoke and Mirrors on display.
  • Orthographic sheets for Skarloey, Rheneas, Sir Handel, Peter Sam, Rusty and Duncan's CGI models used between Blue Mountain Mystery (the eighteenth series for Duncan) and the twenty-fourth series.

Special Trains[]

  • Fred's Special Train, hauled by Alf (dressed as Fred) on the Friday evening before the event.
  • The Pop Special, hauled by Douglas (dressed as Duncan) on the Saturday and Sunday afternoon of the event.
  • The Skarloey Photo Charter, hauled by Douglas (dressed as Duncan) on the Sunday evening of the event.
  • Goods train charters, hauled by Douglas (dressed as Duncan) throughout the Saturday and Sunday of the event.

Trivia[]

  • During a live interview at this event, Richard Awdry revealed that Barry was to be based on an LMS Ivatt 2MT 2-6-2T, rather than the BR Standard Class 2 2-6-0 as previously thought.
  • As part of the Talyllyn Railway's YouTube livestream covering the event, a previously unheard recording of Wilbert Awdry reading the story Bulgy from Oliver the Western Engine was played.
  • As part of the event, Midlander was briefly painted in Rusty's black livery from The Railway Series. Due to poor weather conditions, the paint eventually began to run off in the rain, resulting in Midlander's original livery being visible.
  • For this event, a new face was made for Duncan, based on the sixth illustration of Home at Last.
  • Following this Extravaganza, Skarloey's large-scale television series model has been temporarily housed at the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum in Tywyn (on loan from Mattel).[2]

Awdry Extravaganza 4[]

The fourth Awdry Extravaganza will be held between 20th and 21st July 2024.

Exhibitions[]

Tywyn Wharf[]

  • TBA

Abergnolwyn[]

  • Wilbert Awdry's OO scale layout, Ffarquhar Branch.

Special Trains[]

  • Fred's Special Train, hauled by Alf (dressed as Fred) on the Friday afternoon before the event.
  • The Picnic, hauled by Corris Railway No. 10 (dressed as Sir Handel) and Sir Haydn on the Saturday morning of the event.
  • The Chapel Train, top-and-tailed by Corris Railway No. 10 (dressed as Sir Handel) and Sir Haydn on the Saturday afternoon of the event.
  • The Boat Express, hauled by Corris Railway No. 10 (dressed as Sir Handel) on the Saturday afternoon of the event.
  • The Horse and Cart, a mixed train hauled by Corris Railway No. 10 (dressed as Sir Handel) and Sir Haydn on the Sunday morning of the event.
  • The Picnic, hauled by Corris Railway No. 10 (dressed as Sir Handel) on the Sunday afternoon of the event.
  • The Skarloey Photo Charter, hauled by an unknown engine on the Sunday evening of the event.
  • Fred's Shuttles, short trains between Abergnolwyn and either Nant Gwernol or Quarry Siding, hauled by Alf (dressed as Fred) during both Saturday and Sunday.

Trivia[]

  • For this event, the Corris Railway's No. 10 will visit the Talyllyn Railway to take on the guise of 'Sir Handel', allowing for both Sir Handel and Sir Haydn to be seen together for the first time.
  • Over the weekend, Midlander (dressed as Rusty) will be on display at Tywyn Wharf to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the character's introduction in The Railway Series.
  • This is the first event to feature two exhibitions, with the main one at Tywyn Wharf and one themed around Wilbert Awdry's Ffarquhar Branch layout (previously displayed in the usual Tywyn exhibition room) at Abergnolwyn.

References[]

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