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admin 13.02.2016

Thomas has appeared in at least 25 books in the Railway Series and in almost every single episode of the Television Series developing a sort of a 'Thomas addiction' among fans. It’s been a surprise to see Thomas the Tank Engine slammed in the media recently by Labour minister Mary Creagh.
Creagh described Thomas & Friends as responsible for setting a poor example to children and pointed out that the few female characters featured in the show are portrayed as annoyances, constantly disrupting the functioning of the railway.
The balance of male to female characters within Thomas & Friends may be somewhat outdated. Although there is truth behind Creagh’s claims, she is judging Awdry’s stories from the 20th century in relation to current social norms and gender standards. Hit Entertainment, which owns the rights to Thomas & Friends, recognised that there is a historical imbalance and in order to update it have announced female engines are in development.
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Sherman also noted that he felt taken advantage of by HIT Entertainment, which produces the show. It's unclear what this means for the future of the show or if the roles will be recast.
HIT Entertainment, which also owns such properties as Bob the Builder and Barney the Dinosaur, was sold to Mattel in 2011 for $680 million.

Join Thomas and Driver Sam on a fun-filled, sing-along, mini-performance adventure by helping Thomas find his way from Knapford Station to Brendam Docks using teamwork, friendship, and discovery. Technically he is not the first locomotive to arrive though because there were a fair number of engines from the Furness Railway and the Midland Railway also loaned there for the war effort. She stated the show should include more female engines to encourage girls to become train drivers. There is a clear shortage of female train drivers in Britain and with 95.8% of workers male, it’s natural to consider the reasons behind the statistics and for us to question whether job opportunities within the sector are equally advertised between genders. Cartoons are largely responsible for presenting images of gender that are somewhat stereotypical and traditional, examples of girlhood usually involving little ponies and supportive sidekicks. However, the show is fun and has been enjoyed by generations of children for what it is – toy trains puffing through the jaunts of locomotive life. Thomas & Friends has been running for decades and it easy to see how in modern viewing, certain principles and standards of the show become old fashioned. In this case it appears political correctness has got in the way of a simple children’s story.
After the war ended in 1919, the Fat Controller bought Thomas for use with another engine from the Furness Railway, Edward. Such a specific attack on the show is harsh of Creagh; she is imposing retrospective political correctness on a quaint children’s story from the 1940s.

Recent CBeebies remake of Topsy and Tim caused a media stir, the show, supposedly updated for the 21st century, was slated for reinforcing outdated gender stereotypes (Topsy inside decorating princess cupcakes, Tim playing outside with his quad bikes).
Thomas was used as a shunting engine at Vicarstown until after a near miss he was moved to Wellsworth during World War II. Is Creagh, as Labour’s shadow transport secretary, really addressing the matter at hand by singling out Thomas the Tank Engine as a contributor to negative stereotypes in the workplace today?
It’s unlikely that Creagh will tackle the issue of the shortage of female train drivers through publicly criticising a children’s television show.
This was a good call, because he witnessed the new engine James being pushed down the line by a rampanging train of Troublesome Trucks only to end up crashed in a cow's field. It is important to note that Awdry was writing in a very different time period, inspired to write the Thomas books by adventures of his own childhood spent overlooking a railway tunnel. As his reward for rerailing him with the Breakdown Train (which happened to be in Wellsworth Yard at the time), Thomas was promoted to be the main operating engine on the Knapford branchline to Ffarquhar (formerly the Tidmouth, Knapford & Elsbridge Light Railway). He still runs the line today Percy, Toby, Daisy and Mavis (loaned from the Ffarquhar Quarry Company).

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