Sodor

More Manx "stuff" for you....



Anyone who has read the Thomas the Tank Engine books may be aware that the stories are set on the fictional island of Sodor, located in the Irish Sea.

The books' creator, Reverend Awdry, wished to create a setting for his books that would be within the British Isles but sufficiently isolated from the rest of British Railways to allow him to do as he wished with the location.


This explanation is copied from Wikipedia ....

Inspiration came  in 1950 on a visit to the Isle of Man, which forms the Diocese of Sodor and Man[1] . Awdry noted that, while there was an Isle of Man, there was no similar island of Sodor - (the name derives from Old Norse Su├░reyjar, "southern isles", a term that referred to the Hebrides and islands along the west coast of Scotland). 

Between them, Awdry and his younger brother George worked out Sodor's history, geography, industry and language ("Sudric").  By the time they had finished, they knew more about Sodor than would ever be used in The Railway Series stories.

The fictional native language of Sodor is "Sudric", a language similar to Manx.[3]

A lot of the place names on Sodor are clearly based on Manx forms, but often the nouns are inverted to match English word order. Some of the locations have quasi-Manx names, e.g. Killdane, which comes from "Keeill-y-Deighan" (Church of the Devil),[4] hills are called Knock and Cronk, while "Nagh Beurla", means "I speak no English",[3] a distortion of the Manx. The names of some of the 'historical' characters – used in the background but not appearing in the stories – were taken from locations on the Isle of Man, such as Sir Crosby Marown (Crosby is a village in the parish of Marown) and Harold Regaby (Regaby is a tiny hamlet on the parish boundary between Andreas and Bride).[5]


So there you have another little snippet of useless information from me!


32 comments:

  1. I really enjoy your pieces of information. I really enjoy your blog generally, it always brightens my day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, thank you Agatha. That is very kind of you. It makes blogging worthwhile to know that some people enjoy reading my waffle.

      Delete
  2. I love hearing about the island's history (and how of course, it became Sodor for the Rev. Awdry - I think I must have read every TTTE books to our son Danny!) In the grey days of winter I am known to frequent Frances Coakley's Manx Notebook - fascinating stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Her website can lead me down many a rabbit hole.

      Delete
  3. Boris Johnson could be the fat controller.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I once had a horrible boss at work who would fit that title to a T.

      Delete
  4. The Isle of Man Tourist Board have informed me that your latest cheque will soon be in the post. They are delighted that your blogposts are boosting tourism. Previously I thought that Thomas and his chums were chugging around The Island of Sod All. I stand corrected.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I was a lazy Mum who never read the Thomas books to the children as they were so long!
    But we liked the TV programme with Ringo reading.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't have children but my nephews loved the Thomas stories.

      Delete
  6. The thing about useless information is you never know when you are going to get the opportunity to trot it out in mixed company and make it look as though you are super-intelligent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Provided we don't forget it in the meantime.

      Delete
  7. I just picked up a set of the engines from those stories at a resale shop in town. My grandchildren were so thrilled with the colorful train cars that click together with magnets. Fun to learn more about them from you, JayCee!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do they know the stories too?

      Delete
    2. No, I don't know the stories either. I will have to watch for their books at the resale shops...

      Delete
    3. William loved those little stories. I miss the days of reading them to him.

      Delete
  8. I'd never thought about where the stories were set. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Fascinating stuff! I will pass it on to my grandkids who loved the stories and collected the train tracks and cars.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks. I had wondered where Sodor was placed. The sons and I loved the books and the trains. They had both the wooden and the metal ones and I still have them stored. I like the old names and not the new ones. Ringo Starr was the best narrator of the tv series.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ringo has a very distinctive voice, just right for those stories.

      Delete
  11. Thomas was a friend of ours. I watched him mainly with the grandkids. Our Thomas speaks fluent Greek! Your post doesn't mention it but he's got to have Greek roots. A great great vintage greek engine somewhere along the line

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I gather he gets around quite a bit - all over the world!

      Delete
  12. My nephew as a toddler was obsessed with Thomas. He is a father to a lad himself now - I wonder whether the lad is being introduced to Thomas - maybe I should post some books to him (Western Canada, I'm sure Thomas has lready been there for generations).

    ReplyDelete
  13. Yet another gap in my cultural knowledge!
    Not having children I've never read or seen the TTE stories on TV. I knew from friends with children how popular the little engine was. Sadly, those children are all too old now for me to impress with my new-found information!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah well, perhaps the next generation will benefit.

      Delete
  14. I am very familiar with the Thomas the Tank Engine stories ..... our grandson used to love them and we have lots of track and many engines here. We also have a big Thomas that speaks, whistles , goes forwards, backwards, turns and also puffs out real steam ! Our grandson is eleven now so is into gaming and is too old for Thomas now but, our youngest grand daughter loves him so we spend many hours playing on our make believe island of Sodor ! I never knew that the IOM was the Rev's inspiration . XXXX

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah well now you can think of me when you play on Sodor! xxx

      Delete
  15. I had all the Thomas the Tank Engine books I think but neither in my own childhood nor those of my children do I recall the details of the Island in which they are set. Oh dear.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The stories were perhaps too entertaining in themselves for you to notice the setting.

      Delete

Although I am quite used to talking to myself, any comments on my posts are very welcome, provided they are not abusive. I do reply to them so please check back. It's good to talk (!)