“It's a surprise! But whatever it is, I'm sure it will bring a sparkle to your eyes!”
―Thomas to Oliver

Oliver's Sparkler is a 1995 annual story.


One day Oliver notices a pile of wood sitting next to his branch line. Each day it grows larger and larger. After a few days, Oliver can no longer contain his curiosity and asks his driver what the pile is for. His driver tells him that tomorrow is November 5th. Oliver does not know what November 5th is and his driver tells him to wait and see. The next day Thomas and Oliver find themselves up to their axles in bread rolls, potatoes, sausages, and some brightly coloured boxes. Oliver asks Thomas what November 5th is and Thomas tells him it is fireworks night and that there will be a big bonfire near Oliver's branch line. But he keeps something else to himself, not wanting to spoil the surprise for Oliver. Thomas reassures Oliver that the surprise will bring a sparkle to his eyes. When Oliver pulls into the station later that day, he sees a crowd of people wearing woolly hats and scarves. His driver sees that Oliver can't wait any longer to find out the surprise. Oliver and his driver set off to the bonfire and see lots of people lit up by the warm glow of the fire. Oliver hears a crash and a whoosh and sees the fireworks high in the sky. After the fireworks end, some people bring Oliver his own sparkler which he thinks looks like a magic wand. At last Oliver understands what Thomas meant when he said the surprise would bring a sparkle to his eyes.



  • In one illustration, Toad and Clarabel are facing the wrong way.
  • Toad's eyebrows are missing.


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