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The childrens tv character Postman Pat and other characters in Greendale, available to buy online
The beginning of Postman Pat
Postman Pat is one of only a few children’s TV programmes that have beaten the test of time. The hit children’s TV show was first produced by Woodland Animations in England and shown on BBC 1 in 1981. The producer Ivor Wood later went on to sell his company for £5.1m, and the programme is now produced by Entertainment Rights and Cosgrove hall.
John Cunliffe created Patrick Clifton (Postman Pat) and his little black and white cat Jess. He created the village of Greendale where Pat and his new friends would live and based this on the village of Longsleddale near to his hometown of Kendal in Cumbria. He had been writing the books for a little while when a friend mentioned that the BBC were looking for a new programme, and so he sent his books to them and so Postman Pat was born and has grown to how we know him today.
Postman Pat characters past and present
In the early days of Postman Pat there were only a few regular characters, namely being Pat and Jess who collected the mail from Mrs Goggins, and then delivered it to the various villagers such as Granny Dryden, Peter Fogg, Miss Hubbard, Sam Waldron, Ted Glen, and Thompson farm, Greendale Farm, Rev Timms, PC Selby and Dr Gilbertson. A few of these early characters (highlighted) have not been shown since 1997 when the show started to introduce a younger generation and Pat grew with the times and become a special delivery service.
The new Postman Pat
As this happened the new characters formed family units within the programme that young children could relate to easily. I have listed the characters below.
The Clifton household now includes Patrick (Pat), Sarah, Julian and Jess.
The Taylor household includes Ben, who is based in the sorting office at Pencaster, his wife Lauren (also a teacher) and their disabled daughter Lizzy who is in a wheelchair.
The Thompson household includes Alf, Dorothy and their son Bill.
The Bains household includes Ajay, who is the train driver for the Greendale Rocket and the Pencaster Flyer, his wife Nisha and their children Meera and Nikhil.
Dr Gilbertson and her daughter Sarah.
PC Selby and his daughter Lucy.
Jeff Pringle (school teacher) and his son Charlie.
Julia Pottage and her twins Tom and Katy.
Amy Wrigglesworth (village vet) and her Cheeky Welsh Mountain pony Pumpkin.
Mrs Goggins (post office lady) and her dog Bonnie.
Pat, being part of the new SDS service has had to have a new fleet of vehicles to allow him to deliver the various parcels to people on time. The old box van (Pat 1) does not take an active part in the series anymore, although it can sometimes be seen parked up at the sorting office. His new vehicles include the SDS Helicopter (Pat 3), a much bigger box van (Pat 2), a smaller eco van (Pat 4) and his motorbike complete with sidecar for Jess (Pat 5).
Postman Pat SDS toys by character
Postman Pats different vans
The future of Postman Pat
As Postman Pat has become more and more popular with children and Adults alike, new areas are being explored with new spin off programmes being tried such as “Guess with Jess”. In this programme Jess can talk and he has adventures with the other farm animals.
There was a movie done by Classic Media where Pat takes part in a ‘Got Talent-type’ TV show having discovered that he has an excellent singing voice. This was released in 2014.
There have also been live shows taking place around the country during 2010 called “A very Royal Mission”. This was an extremely well produced show and great to watch for old and young.
There is even a Postman Pat village at Longleat Animal Park which is well worth a visit for any Pat fan.
There have been more than 12million book titles sold worldwide and many DVD’s. As well as the reading books there are board games, computer games and of course the SDS vehicles and characters, all of which can be purchased so that you can form your own Postman Pat village in your own home.
As a parent of a Postman Pat fan and a previous fan myself in my younger days I hope that he will remain a household name for another 20 years or more!
A review of 'A Very Royal Mission'
Having not taken our son to a live show before I was a little worried as to whether he would be able to sit still for the length of time required, but thanks to Postman Pat and Jess, Ted Glenn, Bill Thompson, Mrs Goggins, Ben Taylor, PC Selby, and not forgetting the queen at the end, the whole audience, children and adults alike could not be off sitting still and enjoying this fantastic performance.
The show itself was slightly longer than most children's shows, but with a midway interval allowing for toilet breaks and nibbles nobody in the auditorium seemed to have a problem.
It is difficult to tell you much about the performance without giving the game away, but during the show you will see inventions from Ted Glen (don't sit on the front 3-4 rows), Pats van and his helicopter (both of which move on the stage a small amount).
I am obviously not sure what happens at other venues, but where we were, the organisers had a stand in the foyer selling Postman Pat merchandise. I must say I was pleasantly surprised to see that the prices here were the same as in the shops making it a much easier shopping experience for parents, grandparents and other carers.
All in all this show is a must see by any Postman Pat SDS fan of any age!