"Well, thank you, my dear. I knew this was my special birthday party, but I didn't know it was fancy dress!"
— Lady Hatt greeting her husband
Lady Hatt's Birthday Party

David Mitton


Britt Allcroft
David Mitton


Britt Allcroft
David Mitton


Michael Angelis (UK)
Alec Baldwin (US)

Air date

September 9th, 1998

Previous episode

A Better View
for Gordon

Next episode

James and the
Trouble with Trees

Lady Hatt's Birthday Party is the fourth episode of the fifth season.


It is Lady Hatt's birthday and the Fat Controller is leaving work early to attend the party at Kirk Ronan. When his car becomes stuck in a pothole, the Fat Controller hitches a lift in Caroline. But the small car breaks down and when George comes along, he is given the job of transporting the Fat Controller, who quickly becomes covered in oil from George's engine. George loses control and crashes into a pond, and the Fat Controller is catapulted into the waist-deep mud. Thomas is luckily nearby and the Fat Controller acts as Thomas' "relief" fireman. The Fat Controller arrives on time, and the amused guests are quick to make good humour of the Fat Controller's adventure.




  • During the scenes where the Fat Controller rides in his car and Caroline, music is heard in the US version but not the UK version.
  • In the US version, the sounds made by the Fat Controller's car, Caroline, and George are barely audible.
  • One of the flowers the Fat Controller buys is really a stem of broccoli.
  • George's driver is Jem Cole.


  • When Caroline overheats, she lurches backwards and overheats again in slow motion.
  • Bulgy's Bridge has rails underneath it.
  • When Lady Hatt says "I didn't know it was fancy dress" one of the people laughing is missing their eyebrows.
  • Nothing is said about the Fat Controller's car or George after their accidents.
  • The Fat Controller seems cleaner at the party.
  • When the narrator says that George was enjoying "rolling along the lane", he looks angry.
  • When George crashes, the Fat Controller falls head first into the mud, but in the following scene, he is sinking feet first.
  • Jem Cole doesn't have any eyebrows.
  • Thomas' driver looks happy when the narrator says, "I'm afraid our fireman is taken ill."
  • When the narrator says, "Later that day, the Fat Controller changed into his new suit", The Fat Controller is missing one of his eyebrows.
  • How did Thomas get to the water tower without his fireman?
  • Sir Topham Hatt should have swerved to avoid the hole in



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