“Never mind, George. Sometimes things do go wrong you know!”

Smokey Joe! is a magazine story.


One day, Thomas is feeling glum because he has been told that Smokey Joe's days are coming to an end. Thomas cannot remember who Smokey Joe is exactly and thinks it might be an engine, but Edward explains that Smokey Joe is actually a very tall chimney that is about to be knocked down. George the steamroller is very happy for a change; he is helping to flatten some land next to the factory for some new building work.

All week, when they engines pass by the old factory, they eye Smokey Joe wearily. The trucks can talk about nothing else as they are worried that the chimney will fall on them. The workmen at the factory assure the engines and their trucks that they have knocked down dozens of chimneys and it certainly won't fall on the railway line. But when Thomas passes George, the steamroller wickedly reminds Thomas that sometimes things can go wrong.

On the morning of the demolition, Percy is very concerned as he has to pass the chimney around the time it is due to be knocked down. Luckily, when Percy arrives at the old factory, the workmen informs him that there has been a delay and the chimney will now be demolished later in the afternoon.

Now, it is Thomas' turn to feel nervous as he has to pass Smokey Joe in the afternoon. As Thomas passes by, he hears a loud bang followed by a loud rumbling. The tall chimney starts to crumble, but something has gone wrong. The workmen call out to warn everyone that the chimney is falling the wrong way. Thomas shuts his eyes tight and braces himself. He hears a loud crash as the chimney crashes to the ground. Luckily, it hasn't fallen near the railway line. Through the dust, Thomas can see bricks all over the ground, near to where George has been working. George is okay, but he is not very happy; his smooth ground is now covered in debris from the chimney. Thomas can't help smiling as he reminds George that sometimes things do go wrong.



  • The title of the story is also a nickname given to a Hornby pug locomotive outside their Thomas range.


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