The Reverend Edwin "Teddy" Boston (20th August, 1924 - 1st April, 1986) was the former Rector of the Parish of Cadeby in Leicestershire. He was a good friend of the Reverend W. Awdry and in the Railway Series was known as The Fat Clergyman.


Thomas & Friends

Born in Solihull, on the 20th of August 1924, Boston was educated at Gresham's School, Holt, and Jesus College, Cambridge, before training for the ministry at Lincoln Theological College. From 1949, Boston served as curate of Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. He became Rector of Cadeby and Vicar of Sutton Cheney, both in Leicestershire, in 1960, remaining in post until his death in 1986. 

Boston first met Wilbert Awdry in 1949, while he was an undergraduate at Cambridge and the latter was Vicar of Elsworth. He had heard of Awdry's model railway from the local model shop and turned up at Elsworth Rectory, without warning, to see it; His enthusiasm was such that the two struck up an immediate friendship. On his first visit he watched Wilbert running Thomas alongside a new model, Percy. Boston would become a frequent visitor to Elsworth, helping to build the model railway and lending articles of rolling stock.

In May 1962, Boston bought a Bagnall saddle tank locomotive number 2090, named 'Pixie', and set about building a light railway in the grounds of the Rectory at Cadeby. U-shaped, with a total length of 110 yards, the line opened on 7 April 1963 and carried its first passengers a month later.

In 1967, Boston bought from Lilleshall Hall another narrow gauge locomotive, number 1695, which was an engine he had seen working a light railway at Lilleshall when he was young. After standing idle for twenty-seven years, it had been reported as 'rediscovered' in the Narrow Gauge News and was moved to Cadeby on 6 May 1967. There, 1695 was renamed 'The Terror', in reference to Psalm 91, "The Terror that walketh in darkness", as the engine was so hard to start that it could be dark before it was going.

Situated in the grounds at Cadeby was a large wooden shed which housed a very extensive OO gauge model railway depicting the pre-war Great Western Railway. It also contained a separate, smaller narrow gauge layout, a 4 mm scale, 12 mm gauge line based on the Isle of Man Railway. Latterly Boston also owned a canal narrowboat which had an N gauge model railway on board, narrow boats being an interest of his wife, Audrey.

Boston has been described as "a short, round, jolly man, much given to Anglo-Saxon language in times of stress, such as a close run race with his traction engine Fiery Elias". In his foreword to Font to Footplate, Rev. Awdry wrote: "In thinking of our Teddy it is important to realise that despite the impression that this book may seem to give, he was a Parish Priest first and a steam enthusiast second. He never forced religion on anyone; but his sincere faith and devotion was there for all to see, coupled with his impish sense of humour."

Boston passed away on April 1st, 1986. He left behind his wife, Audrey, who is still alive as of 2015.

"The Fat Clergyman"

Teddy Boston has appeared as himself in the Railway Series under the nickname "The Fat Clergyman". He made his first appearance in Small Railway Engines, in which he and the Thin Clergyman (Wilbert's fictional counterpart) visit the Arlesdale Railway to take photographs of the engines. In Duke the Lost Engine, he joins the Thin Clergyman and the Small Controller in their search for Duke, and ends up being the one who discovers him, albeit by accident.

The Fat Clergyman and his friend, the Thin Clergyman, once went to the Arlesdale Railway to take photographs of the engines for the upcoming book, Small Railway Engines. Bert liked the clergymen at first, but became uncomfortable when they continued squinting into their cameras without saying hello to him. The clergymen hopped back into their car and raced through a puddle, splashing Bert in the face with muddy water. Although the clergymen had meant no harm, Bert was still cross with them and managed to pay the Fat Clergyman out by splashing him with water from the overhead trees, though he got in trouble for this. The clergymen went to apologise to Bert and cleaned him up, telling him that they would feature him and the other small engines in a book[1].

In 1969, the Fat Clergyman had heard the story of Duke from the Thin Clergyman, and he, the Thin Clergyman and the Small Controller made plans to recover Duke and send him to the Skarloey Railway to be restored. Every morning they went on Bert's train and searched through the hills of Arlesdale, but they did not find anything. Their search finally ended when the Fat Clergyman accidentally fell through the roof of the buried engine shed and landing on his saddletank, who had been sleeping the whole time[2].

In 1984, Duke later mentioned to the Skarloey Railway engines that the Fat Clergyman and Thin Clergyman found him and dedicated a book to him about his adventures[3].

Thomas & Friends

The Fat Clergyman and his friend, the Thin Clergyman, reprised their roles from the Railway Series as they went to the Island of Sodor to take photographs of the engines as they went about doing their work. When they went to the Arlesdale Railway, they met Bert, who offered them a ride in his tender. Although Bert liked the visitors, he became uncomfortable when they continued squinting into their cameras without saying hello, and finally became cross with them when they unintentionally ran through a puddle and splashed him in muddy water. Bert managed to get back at the Fat Clergyman, though he got in trouble for it. Afterwards, the clergymen came to the shed to apologize to Bert, and they cleaned him down and told him that he would be featured in an upcoming book[4].


Physical Appearance


The Railway Series

  • Small Railway Engines - Tit for Tat
  • Duke the Lost Engine - Sleeping Beauty
  • Great Little Engines - Sir Handel Comes Home (mentioned)

Thomas & Friends

  • Season 4 - Sleeping Beauty (role replaced by the Portly Man)
  • Season 20 - Tit for Tat
  • Season 21 - Confused Coaches
  • Season 22 - Confusion Without Delay 

He will appear in the twenty-third and the twenty-fourth season.


  • 2016 - The Great Race (cameo)
  • 2018 - Big World! Big Adventures (cameo)

Music Videos

  • Season 21 - Set Friendship in Motion
  • Big World! Big Adventures! - We're Friends (cameo)

Voice Actors

  • Tom Stourton (UK/US)
  • Daniel Lacy (Latin American)
  • Nobuaki Kanemitsu (Japan; twentieth season-twenty-first season)
  • Ryuzou Ishino (Japan; twenty-second season onwards)


  • When the Thin and Fat Clergymen visited the Arlesdale Railway, they drove a purple car with the number plate "040 BMC".
  • In the fourth season episode, Sleeping Beauty, the Fat Clergyman's role was replaced by the Portly Man.
  • The Fat Clergyman's CGI render was modified into a Mainland Controller seen in The Great Race.
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