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“It isn't wrong, but we just don't do it.”
―Gordon commenting on Henry's whistling

Whistles and Sneezes is the twentieth episode of the first series.


One morning, soon after Henry has returned from Crewe in his new shape, Gordon is jealous that Henry now gets to pull the express and complains that he never needed a new shape and left them all his work as well as their own. He also claims that Henry whistles too much and too loudly at stations, saying that "it isn't wrong, but we just don't do it.". Henry is hurt at these words, but Percy tells him he is glad that he is back and likes his whistling.

Later when Henry arrives at Wellsworth, Edward tells Henry that he was glad to hear his whistle, cheering Henry up. Suddenly, the sound of a far-off and continuous whistle can be heard much to the engines' confusion. It turns out to be Gordon, whose whistle valve is jammed, causing the noise. He flies down the hill and through the station. Edward is surprised, while Henry tells him what Gordon had said about whistling.

Gordon speeds down the line, the awful noise from his whistle continuing even when he reaches the last station which causes everyone, including the Fat Controller to hold their ears. Gordon leaves the express behind and is taken to some fitters who hammer his whistle valve back into place, which causes the noise to finally stop. Gordon sneaks home that night to an empty shed, much to his relief. As the other engines arrive back, Henry whispers that "it isn't wrong, but we just don't do it.", but says nothing about whistles.

The next day, Henry takes an express train feeling as well as ever and soon approaches a bridge where three boys are waiting. Henry whistles in greeting, but the boys do not answer and instead throw stones on him and his coaches, breaking the coaches' windows.


Henry has plenty of ashes. Please keep all windows shut till we've crossed the bridge.

While unhurt, the passengers are furious. While they want to call the police, Henry's driver, however, has a better plan to get their own back. After getting everyone to promise to keep the plan a secret, the driver tells them that Henry is going to sneeze at the boys. The passengers are eager to see what will happen and on the way back from the other end of the line, the driver makes sure everyone is ready and to keep all the windows shut until they are past the bridge.

Soon Henry approaches the bridge where the boys are waiting with more stones. Carefully judging the moment, the driver has Henry sneeze at exactly the right time, causing the ashes that are built up in his smokebox to fly high into the air, covering the boys from head to toe in soot, much to their horror and the amusement of Henry and his crew .

Henry goes home satisfied knowing that, with a whistle and a sneeze, he was able to teach Gordon and the silly boys a lesson they will not soon forget.





  • Because stock footage is used, Henry is in his old shape in a close-up of himself before reaching the bridge and his coaches disappear and his red stripe on his cylinder is peeling away.
  • When Henry is seen puffing towards the bridge the first time, the branch of a tree on the bottom right hand corner of the screen can be seen wiggling. This was done to emphasise the fact that the boys were throwing stones, but two shots later, it is obvious to see how it was achieved, as the branch is clearly seen hanging over the line, where Henry could just run into it at the right moment.
  • In the wide shot of Henry puffing towards the bridge the second time, he is not moving for the first couple of seconds, and when he finally moves the telephone pole by him shakes.
  • In the shot of Gordon going down his hill, his wheels are moving slower than he is.
  • In the shots of Gordon entering and leaving Knapford, nobody is holding their ears even though the narrator says they are.
  • In the unrestored version, when Henry sneezes, a bush near the bridge changes shape. The restored version shows Henry with his wincing face as he is passing by before he sneezes with the bush in the same position, indicating a take of Henry passing underneath the bridge with his cross face was filmed after the shot of him passing with his wincing face.
  • When Henry sneezed at the boys, two of the boys are obviously already covered in ashes before getting blown by steam.
  • As Henry leaves the bridge to head to the next station, the boys have disappeared from the bridge.
  • In the close-up of Gordon's whistle when the hammer hits it, the shed beside Gordon is gone.
  • In a deleted scene, Gordon’s eyes are wonky.
  • Edward is present at the sheds when Gordon complains about Henry's whistling, so Edward should already know what Gordon said about Henry when he arrived at Wellsworth.


In Other Languages

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Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese Apitos e Janeals
Chinese 鸣笛和打喷嚏
Croatian Zviždanje i Kihanje
Czech Hvízdání a Kýchání
Danish Med et Fløjt og et Nys
Finnish Vislauksuia ja Aivastuksia
French Sifflements et Éternuements
German Pfeifen und Niesen
Hebrew שריקות והתעטשויות
Hungarian Füttyszó és Tüsszentés
Italian Fischi e Starnuti
Japanese きてきとクシャミ
Korean 기적소리와 재채기
Norwegian Fløyter og Nys
Polish Gwizdanie i Kichanie
Romanian Fluierături şi Strănuturi
Russian Свистуны и чихуны
Serbian Zviždanje i Kijanje
Slovak Pískanie a Kýchanie
Slovenian Piskanje in Kihanje
Spanish Silbatos y Estornudos
Swedish Vissla och Nys
Thai เฮนรี่จาม
Ukrainian Свист і чхання
Welsh Gollwng Stêm

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