Hilary Fortnam is the second daughter of both Margaret Awdry and Wilbert Awdry, sister of both Christopher Awdry and Veronica Chambers, and the second niece to George Awdry. She appeared in the documentary of The Thomas the Tank Engine Man published in 1995 by Brian Sibley. Then, she appeared with Christopher Awdry on BBC News and local BBC radio stations across the United Kingdom that Thomas and Friends is celebrating their sixty-fifth anniversary in 2010 being as the Railway Series in 1945. In August 2011, Hilary sent a letter to The Daily Telegraph in London criticizing HiT Entertainment's decision to rebrand Christmas as "the winter holidays" as of season eight narrated by Michael Angelis in the United Kingdom.

Her letter stated to them is: "I am dismayed at 'Thomas the Tank Engine' having to call a Christmas tree a 'winter holiday tree'. It is not what my father wrote. Those who now write his stories should not take Christ out of Christmas.