When Harold first met Percy, he stated that railways were "slow and out-of-date", but was proven wrong when Percy beat him in a race. Harold also dropped hot drinks for Percy's crew when they were stranded in a floating river. When Thomas' brakes failed while boarding at a station, Harold chased him down the line with an inspector. For Christmas that year Harold brought Father Christmas to the party at Tidmouth Station.
However, he still had a bit of a rivalry with Percy. Once, when the Mail Train was threatened to be scrapped, rumours began to spread that Harold would make the deliveries instead. However, Thomas and Percy worked even harder than ever to prevent that from happening and Harold's chances of taking over the mail run were stopped when the unpredictable strong winds caused him to be grounded.
One day, while checking for danger around the Skarloey Railway, Harold met Rusty, who told him that The Fat Controller had sent him to help the other engines. Harold then left, telling the little diesel to "Keep up the good work".
When Percy stopped at a broken signal, Harold was sent to take the mail for him and continued to tease Percy about being slow. However, the net of mail was too heavy on Harold, got him caught in a tree and caused Harold to fall into a haystack. Percy, who witnessed the incident, ran off to get help. Harold thanked Percy, who had the last laugh with the engines and this was the last time Harold had ever teased Percy.
Harold used to live at Dryaw Airfield by Thomas' Branch Line. He keeps a watchful eye over Sodor in case of trouble and speeds to the rescue of anyone in distress.
As of Misty Island Rescue, he joined the Sodor Search and Rescue team and lives in his own hangar at the Sodor Search and Rescue Centre. Since joining the team he has been involved in a search for Thomas when he got lost, saving Bertie from the Shake Shake Bridge and helping Charlie to recapture an elephant that escaped from the Sodor Animal Park. Once, Harold's rotors became jammed, so Thomas and Duck took him to the Search and Rescue Centre.
In the twentieth series, Harold and Percy's rivalry resurfaced at Christmas. Percy was struggling to get through the snow while delivering mail for Santa, so Harold offered to help. Percy however refused and accidently left behind a stack of letters at Dryaw. Harold decided to get them to him, but Percy, believing Harold was mocking his speed again, decided to race him, only to crash into a snowdrift. Harold again offered to help deliver the mail and this time, Percy agreed. While he was able to deliver the mail to Hiro, Harold ran out of fuel and was grounded in a field on the Mainland for the night. When Percy found out, he raced off to find him and then brought him some fuel, not wanting him to spend Christmas alone and believing "one good turn deserves another". The two friends then returned to Sodor.
Thomas and the Magic Railroad
Harold flew by at Tidmouth Sheds for a routine flyby and greeted the steam engines, accidentally spreading sneezing powder all over Thomas, Splatter and Dodge, dumped by Diesel 10. In earlier scripts, he did not speak and he spread quarry dust in the quarry bowl all over the three engines.
When Harold was first introduced, he was shown to be very proud of being able to fly and the speed and versatility this gives him. He somewhat tended to be cocky, as he believed that "railways are slow and quite out of date". This caused a bit of rivalry between him and the engines, particularly Percy and he is usually nicknamed "whirlybird" for that, but he usually got his comeuppance in the end. Sometimes, he finds himself in need of Percy's help after he teases him for being slow. Despite this, he still works hard and deep down, he knows that the engines on the Fat Controller's railway, including Percy, are just as useful as he is. He is always helpful and highly alert whenever there is an emergency, especially on patrol. Because of this, he remains a friend to the railway.
However, since he joined the Sodor Search and Rescue Centre, he has acted a lot more mature and almost never teases the engines. He takes his job as part of the team very seriously and continues to remain on patrol.
Harold also speaks in a manner reminiscent of an RAF pilot, using terms such as "wizard" and "old chap" in conversation.
Harold is based on a Sikorsky S-55 helicopter (also known as Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw), built in the UK as the Westland Whirlwind. these were used to transport US troops during the Korean War He has added floats. Around 70 of these still survive in some form.
Harold is painted white with red lining. His name is painted on his sides, near his tail, in red. In the later Railway Series books under Christopher Awdry, the area below Harold's red stripe is light grey.
Harold was called Herbert in the French dub from the second to seventh series.
One of Harold's Wooden Railway toys appears in an episode of CW's show Smallville entitled "Nicodemus".
Despite having floats with fitted wheels, Harold has never been seen floating or being rolled onscreen.
Harold is the second anthropomorphised helicopter to be voiced by Kerry Shale, who had previously voiced Chuck the American twin-rotored helicopter from Budgie the Little Helicopter. The two even share similar mannerisms.
"Hello", said Percy, "Who are you?"
"I'm Harold. Who are you?"
"I'm Percy. What whirley great arms you've got!"
"They're nice arms!" said Harold, offended. "I can hover like a bird. Don't you wish you could hover?"
"Certainly not! I like my rails, thank you".
"I think railways are slow!" said Harold in a bored voice. "They're not much use and quite out of date".
- A conversation between Percy and Harold in Percy and Harold, Percy the Small Engine.
The engines were just leaving the station, when they heard a familiar buzzing.
"I say you two, there's news flying about!"
"Where?" puffed Percy.
"All over the place. They're going to scrap the Post Train/the Mail Train and use me instead. Wings work wonders you know! Always!"
"Rubbish!" huffed Thomas.
- Harold boasting to Thomas and Percy in Thomas, Percy and the Post Train.
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