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Sir Topham Hatt

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This article is about the person. You may be looking for the fifth season song, the 2010 song, the Story Library book, or the ship.
"You are lucky Gordon, to have a controller who knows how to run railways."
— Flying Scotsman, Enterprising Engines


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Sir Topham Hatt, the "Fat Controller"

Sir Topham Hatt, nicknamed "the Fat Controller" (previously "the Fat Director"), is the manager of the North Western Railway.

The Fat Controllers

So far, there have been three controllers in charge of the North Western Railway.

Sir Topham Hatt I (1880-1956)

OffTheRailsRS5

Topham Hatt was apprenticed at Swindon Works at age fourteen and seems to have struck a friendship with W. A. Stanier during his time there. He came to Sodor in 1901 and joined A. W. Dry & Co. at Tidmouth. On their recommendation, he became engineer to the Tidmouth, Knapford and Elsbridge Light Railway in 1909, the Tidmouth, Wellsworth & Suddery in 1912, and the North Western Railway upon its formation in 1914. On the North Western Railway, he rose to be general manager in 1923, managing director in 1936, and upon Nationalisation in 1948, he was created a baronet on his appointment as chairman of the Regional Executive.

He married Jane, sister of Mr. Handel Brown, and retired in 1954 in favour of his son Charles, whom the board had no hesitation in electing as his successor.

In the television series, Sir Topham Hatt remains controller.

Sir Charles Topham Hatt II (1914-1997)

HulloTwinsRS3

Sir Charles Topham Hatt was the Fat Controller from 1954 to 1984, when he retired in favour of his own son. During his period of office, he began improvements to the harbour at Knapford, planned by his father, and reopened the Arlesburgh branch in 1965/6, being responsible for the construction of the Arlesdale Railway and for establishing the ballast consortium which uses it.

He married Amanda Croarie in 1940 and they had two children, Stephen Topham, born 1941, and Bridget, born 1943. Charles inherited his father's baronetcy in 1956.

Sir Charles Topham Hatt II is not featured in the television series.

Sir Stephen Topham Hatt III (1941-)

StopThief!RS6

Sir Stephen Topham Hatt (who first appeared in Toby the Tram Engine while on a family holiday in East Anglia with his parents and grandfather) became the Fat Controller in 1984, succeeding to his father's baronetcy in 1997. In 1970, he married Helen Margaret, a distant cousin and granddaughter of the Reverend Nicholas Dreswick, the much-respected historian of Sodor. They had three children: Richard Topham, born in 1972 and no doubt destined to be Sir Topham Hatt IV (his father turned seventy-two in 2013, though he has, as yet, given no hint of retiring), Charles Nicholas (1974-) and Emily Helen (1977-).

He played a part in arranging the construction of the Arlesdale Railway's new locomotive, Jock, in 1990, a project which had been dear to his father's heart. With great skill, he masterminded the arrangements for the royal visit in 1995, when he welcomed the Prince of Wales on his visit to Sodor.

In the television series, Stephen Hatt doesn't age and his grandfather remains controller.

The Fat Controller in the television series

In the television series, the first controller, in the Railway Series, remains in charge of the North Western Railway. He can easily be described as combination of the three controllers from the Railway Series. He considers he's a gentleman of merit, with a railway exquisitely fine, and has no favourite engines.

Prior to his becoming Controller of the North Western Railway, Sir Bertram Topham Hatt owned a Sentinel steam lorry named Elizabeth, who notes that he wasn't the best driver. When he was a young man, Edward always took him aboard an old coach on his birthday. The Fat Controller later received his knighthood for his service to the railway industry. Sir Topham was also the controller of the Skarloey Railway, until Mr. Percival was hired to help him manage the ever-increasing size of his railway industry. In the Sixteenth season, he gained a track inspection car named, Winston, which is often used as a private transportation vehicle on the railway.

Sir Topham Hatt married Lady Hatt, and is the grandfather of Stephen and Bridget Hatt. He has a twin brother, Sir Lowham Hatt, and his mother is Dowager Hatt. According to the Official Website, "we have yet to met his children", presumably Charles Hatt, who became the second controller in the Railway Series.

As well as owning several engines, he owns a cat, two cars, and lives a mansion somewhere on the outskirts of Wellsworth. However, when the engines misbehave, it's Edward that the Fat Controller turns to in order to calm everyone down and restore order.

Persona

The Fat Controller is seen as a firm but fair character. He can be strict, but also shows a fatherly side to the engines. He is quite a strong character and will remind the engines that he is in charge when they start to rebel against his authority. He does not stand bullying and, even though he is usually serious, he does enjoy a good laugh. Despite his kindness and fairness, however, there are times where he berates the engines for things beyond their control.

Attire

The Fat Controller is a short, stout gentleman. He is usually dressed in a black suit with grey trousers, a cream or yellow waistcoat, a black tie, and a top hat. He is most often depicted as having thinning grey hair and blue eyes.

Appearances

Railway Series

Television series

Specials:

Magazine stories

Sir Topham Hatt also appeared in the magazine stories, A Colourful Christmas, A Friend's Party, A Hole in One, A Job for James, A Nice Quiet Day, A Perfect Garden, A Puzzle for Percy, A Really Useful Idea, A Special Story about Guards and Porters, An Old Friend, Arthur and Emily, Back-to-Front, Ben's Blunder, Ben at the Station, Bertie's Bad Day, Big Catch, Bill and BoCo, Blowing About!, Brave Thomas, Building Blues!, Bulgy's Back, Bulgy's Dream, Bulstrode the Engine, Bumpers and Buffers, Busy Bee, Catch!, Caught Out, Chiff Chaff, Christmas Puddings, Clever Carriages, Clever Climbers!, Clowning Around, Colour Quarrel!, Come back, Please!, Creaky Cranky, Daisy's Day, Diesel's Drums, Diesel's Nasty Turn, Diesel Causes Delay, Diesel Display, Doctors and Nurses, Dressing Up, Duncan Gets Upset, Edward's Scarecrow, Fair Scare!, Fast Food!, Feeding Time, Fish and Chips, Fish and Fog!, Fishy Business, Flying James, Frying or Flying, Fun and Games!, Funnels and Tunnels, Glider Rider, Gone Fishing, Gordon's Surprise, Gordon and Edward, Happy Holiday!, Harold and the Broken Tree, Harvey to the Rescue!, Hello, Skarloey!, Henry's Forest, Henry's Freight Cars, Henry's Secret, Henry's Soaking!, Hooked Hat, I Spy with my Little Eye, James and Edward, James and the Cheese, Jim's Jungle Ride!, Just Right, Keeping Dry, King Arthur, Lamp Light!, Lights On, Looking Splendid, Lost Luggage!, Lost and Found, Misbehaving, Mountains and Mess!, Name Fame, New Paint, Oliver's Mistake, On Your Guard!, On the Fast Track!, Party Time!, Percy gets Wet!, Percy's House, Percy's Plight, Percy and the Trucks, Peter Sam, Picnic Surprise, Pirate Passengers, Pot Luck!, Problem Passenger, Proud Percy!, Puzzles, Railway Open Day, Really Useful Edward, Retirement Time, Rhyming Engines, Road Ride, Road Train, Rushing Around, Rusty's Plan, Rusty the Diesel, Santa Special, Scaredy Puffer!, Sea-Bound Salty, Sea Sick, Seeing Steam, Ship Ahoy!, Silly Skarloey, Slick Trick!, Snap Happy, Snow Engine, So Much to See, Sodor's Strong Man, Sodor's Strongest Engine, Sodor Goes Pop, Sodor Rock, Sodor Rock, Sounds Useful, Special Treats, Spencer's Statue, Spotty Spencer, Spooky Station, Station Mystery, Steaming Along!, Stick with Steam, Stolen Apples, Stormy Weather, Summer Fun!, Sunny Smile, Super Splash, Take Off with Terence, That Caps it All, The Balloon Race, The Best Band, The Best Bridge, The Best Engine, The Brown Bear, The Cat Controller!, The Christmas Sacks, The Cliff Railway, The Craft Show!, The Flower Dome, The Flying Broomstick, The Flying Horse, The Grand Controller, The Great Statue Robbery, The Hallowe'en Special, The Haunted Mine, The Kettle Train, The Mystery Tour, The Open Top Bus, The Poorly Engine!, The Posh Coaches, The Runaway Percy, The Smugglers, The Unlucky Engine, The Very Important Job, and Think Pink.

Voice Actors

Trivia

  • Due to political correctness, the Fat Controller is always known by his Sunday name of "Sir Topham Hatt" in America.
  • The Fat Controller's television model from Lady Hatt's Birthday Party was used in the 2009 "Children in Need" charity single and was animated using stop-motion.
  • In Thomas and the Magic Railroad, Diesel 10 called him "Fat Hatt".
  • According to Elizabeth, Sir Topham Hatt was a bad driver in his younger days. In the seventeenth season, it seems his skills have not improved.
  • The Fat Controller's office set was part of an exhibit at the Hangaram Museum in Korea in 2010.
  • One of the Fat Controller's models is currently on display at Nitrogen Studios in Canada.
  • Throughout the television series, Sir Topham Hatt is accompanied by two men in standard blue railway uniforms. They are presumed to be his bodyguards.
  • The Fat Controller received his knighthood for his service to the railway industry.
  • In the book, Thomas-saurus Rex, it states that Sir Topham Hatt use to be called "Little Topham Hatt" in his youth. His grandfather also appears in the book too.

Quotes

"I never like these big engines. Always going wrong. Send for another engine at once!"

- Sir Topham Hatt, "The Three Railway Engines"

"This gentleman is a gentleman who knows how to speak to engines."

- Toby, "Toby the Tram Engine"

"Oh, it's you! Have you learned to drive properly yet?"

- Elizabeth, "Elizabeth the Vintage Lorry"

Merchandise

Gallery

Merchandise Gallery

See also

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