Sir Charles Topham Hatt (born March 14, 1914 age 105, died August 30, 1997, 21 years ago) was the second "Fat Controller" of the North Western Railway. He held this position from 1954 to 1984.
Charles was born in March 14, 1914 at Topham Hall on the outskirts of Wellsworth and his parents were Topham Hatt (1880-1956) and Lady Jane Brown (1878-1960) and he had a sister named Elizabeth (1916-2002). From a young age Charles seemed to be fascinated by trains and would occasionally go along with his Father and visit the Engines in their sheds. For his 9th Birthday his Father surprised Charles with Gordon's arrival on Sodor, before then Charles had never seen such a big Engine. Unlike his Father, Charles was quite educated and went to Imperial College London to study Mechanical Engineering in 1933. Then in 1940 Charles married Amanda Croarie (1916-), and had two Children, Steven (1941-) and Bridget (1943-).
Charles took over the railway in 1954 when his Father retired due to his age and severe diabetes, which he could not walk properly. Throughout his time he began improvements to the harbor at Knapford, planned by his father, beginning construction of a new harbor at Brendam, 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 also rescued Oliver from scrap in 1967.
Retirement and Later Life
At the age of 70 Charles decided to retire after 30 years of the position. His son, Stephen, took over at the age of 43. Despite being retired, Charles led Britt Allcroft and David Mitton's film crew around the Island, who were getting inspiration for the TV Series. Charles attended the premiere party along with his wife and son. In 1986, he went on a long, 4 month vacation around the world. The countries he visited were the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, China, India, Turkey, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, France, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Liechtenstein, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Netherlands, and Belgium. After returning home, he slept for almost 25 hours non-stop in his bed. Whilst on this trip, he made a documentary about the various railways he visited. Unlike his father, who was in poor health in his last years, Charles, despite being obese, was very active and often made frequent visits to heritage railways on the mainland. However, his weight problem became massively worse as he entered his late 70s. He overate to the extreme and never exercised.
By the time he was 80, Charles had reached almost 500 pounds. Doctors were baffled that he was still alive despite being in such poor health. In 1995, he almost never left his house aside from visiting the hospital. Though he did manage to loose about 50 pounds, it was too little too late, as the damage had already been done. On August, 30, 1997, Sir Charles Topham Hatt died of liver failure at the age of 83 after spending a month in the hospital. This occurred 5 months after the death of the Thin Clergyman. Charles's death was mourned throughout the Island, and Gordon pulled his funeral train. He was survived by his son and wife Amanda, who is 101 years old as of November 2017.