Sir Topham Hatt

Sir Bertram 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 on the Tidmouth, Knapford and Elsbridge Light Railway in 1909, the Tidmouth, Wellsworth & Suddery Railway in 1912, and the North Western Railway upon its formation in 1914. Prior to his becoming Controller of the North Western Railway, Sir 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. 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 began improvements to Knapford Harbour, reopened the Arlesburgh branch line in 1965/6, being responsible for the construction of the Arlesdale Railway and for establishing the ballast consortium which uses it.

With great skill, he masterminded the arrangements for the royal visit in 1995, when he welcomed Prince Charles of Wales on his visit to Sodor.

Sir Topham was also the controller of the Skarloey Railway, for a short period, until Mr. Percival was hired to manage the railway. He later purchased a track inspection car named Winston, which is often used as a private transportation vehicle on the railway.

Sir Topham Hatt married Lady Hatt, sister of Sir Handel Brown I, and is the grandfather of Stephen and Bridget Hatt. He has a twin brother, Sir Lowham Hatt, and his mother is Dowager Hatt. He also owns a cat, two cars, and lives in a mansion somewhere on the outskirts of Wellsworth.

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