"The Small Controller"
Mr. Fergus Duncan, CBE, nicknamed "The Small Controller", is the former general manager of the Arlesdale Railway.
Fergus Duncan was born in 1936 to a Arlesdale family with long standing railway connections. His great-grandfather assisted in the founding of the Mid Sodor Railway, while his grandfather and father were drivers. Indeed, in the dying years of the MSR his father was considered the chief driver/engineer of the railway. Fergus very much enjoyed the railway, and planned on following in his father's footsteps into a railway career. Unfortunately, the MSR closed in early 1947 and the Duncan family was forced to move to Tidmouth a few months later.
Fortunately however, due to his considerable experience, Fergus' father easily found employment with the North Western Railway, while Fergus was now elegible to go to the prestigious Tidmouth Grammer School. Passing his 11+ with ease, his results quick showed that unlike his father and grandfathers, Fergus was destined for management. He passed his 0-Levels in 1953 with As in business, English language and mathematics.
He joined the North Western Railway in 1954, his skills and natural leadership abilities quickly caught the attention of Sir Charles Topham Hatt, who took him on as a protégé. By 1963, he was placed in charge of the Arlesburgh Branch Line. The same year, a search party for the MSR's Duke was formed, and due to his knowledge of the railway and local area, Sir Charles asked Fergus to be part of it. The other members of the Search Party were the Reverends Wilbert Awdry and Teddy Boston, and the mechanic Jem Cole. After several weeks of searching, the group found Duke in his old shed, which had been covered by landslides. Afterwards, Fergus went back to his role on the Arlesburgh Branch, ensuring Sir Charles' ambitious plans for the restoration of the line came to fruition.
In 1967, the Arlesdale Railway was constructed, and when the time came to pick it's controller, Sir Charles put Fergus' name forward. While the other investors were skeptical of putting a man so young in charge of the railway, Sir Charles arguments about his natural management and goods business skills convinced them to offer him the job, which he gratefully accepted.
Fergus Duncan was very passionate about his work, and never married. He preferred instead to devote his life to work on his railway.
His father was Michael Duncan, who worked as a driver and engineer on the MSR, and his mother was Sigrid Duncan, who worked as a tea lady at Arlesdale Green Station. He never married nor does he have children. He had a sister named Veronica, whose son Francis succeed him as controller.
The least formally dressed of the controllers, Fergus Duncan's attire consists of a yellow waistcoat over a white shirt with a red tie and a brown jacket over it, with orange chequered trousers. He wears a yellow flower on his jacket
- His nickname doesn't refer to his height, he was, in fact, the tallest of the controllers, but the fact that his railway is nicknamed the "Small" Railway.