William loved the 'blue carpet' treatment and enjoyed telling 'The Fat Controller' all about his favourite stories.
|This image is courtesy of Hit. All other images of the day are our own|
At the end of the blue carpet we found an escalator that took us to William's absolute dream room - tables and tables of Thomas toys and a video wall!
|Where do I start?|
Ellie and Hope enjoyed the face painting, balloons and the lovely breakfasty food (which I enjoyed too!).
|taking a break at the video wall|
I decided to join in and get into the spirit of the day and have Thomas painted on my hand.
We saw a lot of familiar faces and I chatted with Sally Bercow and Stacey Solomon, who I'd met at other functions. The celebrities were all so at ease and very down to earth. Most were running ragged looking for children among the tables, just like I was. Thomas is a great leveller!
After an hour of fun it was time for the film and William was one of the first into the cinema to take his place. We had reserved seats with special 'Thomas and Friends' popcorn and water.
|Absolute delight when the film started!|
Percy soon falls under the trickery of Diesel 10 and the other Diesels, including two more new characters - Den and Dart - leading to Thomas's kidnap, the Diesels taking over the Steamworks, danger for everyone and, of course 'confusion and delay!' What can Percy do to save the day?
You can find out when the DVD is released on Monday, 26th September, or even before if you enter our competition. Details coming up at the end of this entry.
I was really honoured to find myself sitting next to one of the Rev W Awdry the creator of Thomas writer of the original Railway Series. We chatted about William as his sheer happiness was so infectious. I told her all about his autism and all Thomas has taught him. I also told her how Thomas had kept him going when he was so ill and after his transplant. She was so touched to know that. I'm hoping to talk to her again soon about Thomas and his friends and how they are so important to children with autism, so watch this space... 'The Day of the Diesels' was no exception and helped William understand that people (and engines) don't always mean what they say and are not always the way they appear. Someone may seem distant and that they no longer care when they do very much, they are just busy. Likewise, someone may seem a friend when they are tricking you. This film taught both these lessons - difficult ones for children with autism to grasp - with the usual simplicity, repetition and demonstration of what can happen when things go wrong and how they can be resolved.
After the film, we went back upstairs for another party, this time with Thomas biscuits and cakes. There were lots of children there this time but William managed really well. He was interviewed by the 'Hit' film crew who had fast seen they would get lots of material asking William about Thomas.
.After a fantastic time, and after being given an amazing goody bag which William made sure everyone knew he was, "so, so grateful, really grateful" for, we made our way home on the train. William couldn't wait to look through his bag. It was like Christmas.
William, Hope and Ellie have very kindly offered to share some of their goodies with you. to win a copy this week.
The 'Day of the Diesels' is out on Monday 26th September but, thanks to the generosity of William's sisters, you can see what happens in this action packed film this week. All you have to do is comment on this blog or our facebook page by 5pm tomorrow (Tuesday 20th) to enter our prize draw and a copy may be on its way to you on Wednesday so you can watch it over the weekend. We will also send a Thomas and Friends Magazine.
There will be more Thomas goodies up for grabs over the coming weeks as William is also donating some 'Take and Play' engines the children received that he already has. He was really happy to have some of the new characters as wooden engines, as well as some of the other toys that have been released to go with the film. I'll talk more about those another day.
Thanks so much to everyone at Hit for such a fantastic day. It was one we will certainly treasure forever.