Christopher Awdry (born on 2 July 1940 in Devizes, Wiltshire, England, UK) is the son of Wilbert and Margaret Awdry, the nephew of George Awdry, brother of Veronica and Hilary, father of Richard Awdry, the great-uncle of Ruth Fortnam, the grandson of Lucy and Vere Awdry, the ex-husband of Diana Awdry, the brother-in-law of Alf Fortnam and Richard Chambers and the uncle of Rachel, Simon and Sara Fortnam. He has written sixteen books of the Railway Series and many other spin-offs. His other written works include non-fiction articles, children's railway books and heritage railway books.
Life With Thomas
The first few stories of the Railway Series were created for Christopher when he was two and a half years old and sick with measles. He later revived the series by taking over from his father, the Reverend W. Awdry.
Ironically, his stories too started out as bedtime stories for his son, Richard, which he submitted to his father for a look at. Wilbert thought them good enough for publication and suggested that he send them off to Kaye and Ward to see what they thought.
Kaye and Ward were very keen with what they saw when Christopher's manuscript for Really Useful Engines landed on their desk. The endearing stories were back and Christopher played a very active part in Thomas for many years. He was even asked by Britt Allcroft to produce a few stories for the second series of Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends, due to a clause in the agreement that stated that all stories put to film must be in print form first, as well as three episodes from the fourth season.
Not only this, Christopher was also the writer for many of the yearly "Thomas" annual stories from 1985 to 1994. Christopher went on to produce sixteen titles of the Railway Series.
Christopher was interviewed in 1993 on BBC Radio 2's Arts programme whilst at the Middlesbrough for Writearound 93 - Cleveland's annual festival for writers and readers. One year later in 1994 he was interviewed as part of a Thomas segment for WIN Television's Sixty Minutes series and was interviewed again a year later for the Thomas the Tank Engine Man documentary by the BBC in 1995.
His involvement in Thomas since both the sale of the copyright and death of his father in 1997 has been largely limited and not through his own choice, but that of the copyright holders. For a while Christopher was found to be touring promoting the real "Thomas" books and appearing at many different events and writing new Railway-centred material on his own publishing group, Sodor Enterprises, which he ran with his ex-wife Diana.
In 2007, Christopher's first Railway Series volume for over ten years was published - Thomas and Victoria - and the Awdry family opened their own online shop for selling Thomas-related merchandise, both Awdry and television series related. The shop, however, has been offline for quite some time and is believed to be defunct.