Some residents may be unaware that popular children’s character Thomas the Tank Engine was created in Kings Norton. The Reverend Wilbert Awdry developed the first of the Thomas stories while Curate at St Nicolas during the Second World War.
Now, Kings Norton resident and local Councillor Simon Jevon has contacted the Birmingham Civic Society to see if there is any way of properly recognising Reverend Awdry’s work in Kings Norton.
Simon said: “I know that many of us are proud of where we live and that our local history makes up part of that pride. That’s why I think it’s appropriate to shout about such a great global export with a Kings Norton connection and also to thank Reverend Awdry for his service to our area and children all over the world.”
“I’d like to thank residents who have talked to me about Reverend Awdry and Michael Kennedy of Kings Norton Parish Magazine for his background knowledge.”
Birmingham Civic Society have confirmed that they would look at ways to commemorate Reverend Awdry and Thomas. 2021 would mark 110 years since Wilbert Awdry's birth.
He was awarded an OBE in the 1996 New Year's Honours List and died peacefully in Stroud, Gloucestershire, on 21 March 1997, at the age of 85.