“Oh! How wonderful, dear, thank you!"
"Don't thank me, thank the engines!”
―Lady Hatt and the Fat Controller

Valentine's Surprise is a magazine story, illustrated using images from the CGI television series.


The Fat Controller has been on an important trip to the Mainland. Percy is waiting at Vicarstown to take him back across the island. The Fat Controller catches a glimpse inside Percy's mail trucks and notices that they are full of mail bags. There is more mail than usual and Percy says that it is because tomorrow is Valentine's Day. The Fat Controller has completely forgotten to get Lady Hatt a card. Percy agrees that Lady Hatt is wonderful and deserves something special. The Fat Controller quickly runs off and returns with a bunch of flowers and a card just in time to catch Percy before he departs the station.

As the journey progresses, Percy picks up speed and the card the Fat Controller is holding is tugged from his hands by the wind. It lands in a field, near Farmer Trott's feet. The farmer can see that the Fat Controller is very upset and calls to him to say that he will meet him at the next station. At the next station, the farmer meets Percy's train and hands back the card.

The next stop is at the Animal Park where Percy has to deliver feed for the animals. Unfortunately, a giraffe leans over the wall and nibbles the Fat Controller's bouquet of flowers. The Fat Controller is still grateful to have his card.

At the engine sheds, Gordon calls out to welcome Sir Topham back to the island and whooshes past. The Fat Controller is so surprised that he drops his card and Percy and his trucks run over it. Percy, his crew and the Fat Controller gasp as they realise the card is ruined. The Fat Controller is very upset; it is too late to buy a replacement card.

The following morning, Sir Topham is delivering breakfast in bed to his wife when he sees a marvellous sight out of the window. The Fat Controller rushes to his wife's room and opens the curtains. Lady Hatt rushes to the window and is delighted. Outside, Percy has arranged for all the engines to line up with red balloons tied to their funnels. The railway staff have also painted a huge piece of card with flowers and hearts which reads "Happy Valentine's Day, Lady Hatt, from ALL your admirers". The Fat Controller gives a big sigh of relief; Lady Hatt has something special, after all.



  • The Fat Controller is said to meet Percy at Vicarstown, but they are actually at Knapford in the image.
  • Farmer Trotter is referred to as "Farmer Trott".
  • The Fat Controller is said to be travelling in Percy's cab, but the image shows him in Annie.
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