City is twinned with fictional Island of Sodor from the preschool hit in celebration of International Friendship Day.
Thomas & Friends has revealed that Oxford is to be ‘twinned’ with the Island of Sodor, the home of Thomas the Tank Engine, after it topped its newly created Thomas & Friends Friendship Index as the UK’s friendliest city.
Launched to mark International Friendship Day (30 July), Thomas & Friends Friendship Index is the culmination of an in-depth study of 3,000 adults across the nations and ranks towns and cities according to the friendliness of its residents, with questions around kindness, encouragement and looking after others.
Wrexham was narrowly pipped to top spot by the Oxfordshire city, while Gloucester and Aberdeen also scored highly to take third and fourth spots in the Thomas & Friends Friendship Index respectively.
A twinning sign was unveiled at a special ceremony held at Oxford train station attended by Sir Topham Hatt from the show and Councillor Mark Lygo, Lord Mayor of Oxford.
“The gift of friendship is truly wonderful and something we have proudly celebrated in Thomas & Friends for over 75 years, so we would like to offer a huge congratulations to Oxford for being the friendliest city in our very first Thomas & Friends Friendship Index,” commented Claudia Caron, UK marketing manager for Thomas & Friends. “We are delighted to officially twin the city with the Island of Sodor, home of Thomas the Tank engine, in recognition of its incredible friendly status.”
The Friendship Index research has been carried out globally and has also named friendliest cities of Australia (Sydney), New Zealand (Auckland), Italy (Naples), Greece (Irakleion), Turkey (Izmir) and Poland (Kielce).