Brendam is a town with a population of 5,000. It is the top station for Edward's Branch Line and an important harbour. Bill and Ben bring china clay from the nearby China Clay Workings, and it is shipped to the mainland.
The “white mountains” visible some two to three miles to the northwest of Brendam are spoil heaps of quartz and sand from the china clay pits. The clay is used in making porcelain, paper, paint, plastics, medicines and cosmetics. It is shipped from Brendam all over the world.
This is a recent development. Until 1949 Brendam was a quiet fishing village where apparently nothing much ever happened. In the early 1900s the Wellsworth and Suddery Railway extended to Brendam, and built jetties here intending to use it as a port, but after a few years they abandoned the project and transferred to Tidmouth in 1912. The fishermen were glad of the jetties and the railway, but carried on as before.
The village had grown up around the mouth of a small river. St. Brendan's Church (the only church on the island dedicated to the 6th century missionary), though small, has a conspicuous 15th Century tower standing slightly apart from the main building. It was erected as a landmark to guide boats along the only safe channel by which to enter the harbour.
Now the pattern of life has changed. Fishing has declined, and the majority of the (now) 4,500 inhabitants are employed in one way or another by the Sodor China Clay Company. The clay beds were discovered in 1948, and the Company was formed to work them. A new harbour, capable of accommodating ocean-going vessels, was built some one and a half miles south of the old one, and a private railway laid down to link the Workings with the harbour and the North Western Railway. This line is worked by the Clay Company’s own locomotives, Bill and Ben.
There has naturally been considerable housing development, not only round the harbour area, but also on the hillside above the old village. Great care has been taken to ensure that the new buildings shall harmonise with the old. The Clay Company and their architects have succeeded admirably in this. Much more difficult has been the establishment of a harmonious relationship between the two communities - ”the Villagers and the Clayboys”, the old inhabitants and the new; but now after over fifty years there are welcome signs that the two communities are at last fusing into one. There has been a Girl's School in the hills above Brendam since 1873.
In the Television Series
In the television series, Brendam Docks is one of the busiest dockyards on the Island of Sodor. Cranky is stationed here and he always loads and unloads cargo to and from the dock. Salty, who loves to work at the Docks and tell tales of the sea, was bought by Sir Topham Hatt to also work here.
A coastal branch line runs from the port and is mainly used for fish traffic. It also appears that the Express stops here on its way to Vicarstown, to collect passengers from the many ocean liners that come in here. In the fifth and sixth seasons, there was a large goods shed nearby Cranky, but after he accidentally knocked it over, it has not been rebuilt or seen since. The mail barge also docks here. The Docks here are large and extensive, with many warehouses, cranes, rail yards and canals.
In Main Line Engines and the second season, it is stated that the track and bridges on Edward's Branch Line do not support the heavier weight of the Main Line engines such as Gordon or Henry. However, in Wrong Road, Gordon and the Express were switched onto the Branch Line and ended up at Brendam Docks, though this was done by mistake.
- The Sodor Shipping Company has at least one large warehouse located here.
- Brendam is often misspelt "Brendham", particularly in merchandise and in the subtitles of DVDs.
- Since the fifth season, Brendam Docks has been portrayed as a main line station and also since the same season, Big Mickey and S.S. Vienna's models from TUGS can be seen here.
- In Baa!, Percy says that the docks are his favourite station, albeit while "too tired to think properly."