Post by Roland Perry Post by Trolleybus
Wiki suggests the Fat Director was used for a couple of books. The web
is scattered with references to the Fat Comptroller but on Wiki Talk a
chap suggesting (in 2006) that the name Fat Comptroller was ever used
was basically told to go away.
Fat Comptroller clearly WAS used, as a search for the term will show.
I suspect the name was changed to controller many years ago as
comptroller was an unusual word and controller almost a homophone.
Controller seems an odd title and not in common (non-railway) use. But
railways do have control offices. Were those working in control styled
I've posted evidence it went from Director to Controller in the early
The introduction to book 3, "James the Red Engine", first published in 1948,
(c) in this edition 2002, says:
Dear Friends of Edward, Gordon, Henry
Thank you for your kind letters; here is the
new book or which you asked.
James, who crashed into the story of /Thomas,
the Tank Engine/, settles down and becomes a
We are nationalised now, but the same
engines still work the Region. I am glad, too,
to tell you that the Fat Director, who under-
stands our friends' ways, is still in charge, but
is now the Fat Controller.
I hope you will enjoy this book too.
This matches my memories of the books from the early '80s.