John Cunliffe

(See also Kendal)

Longsleddale head by Ann BowkerThe year 2006 is the 25th anniversary of the Postman Pat TV show. Postman Pat is the literary creation of author John Cunliffe. Cunliffe lived in Cumbria for six years but now lives in Yorkshire. He enjoyed walking the hills and mountains of Cumbria and exploring the countryside.

His home was a terraced cottage up a hill from Kendal's town hall. He became friendly with the postman at the end of Greenside street where he lived. A core of knowledge arose from their conversations that would serve Cunliffe in good stead when writing his Postman Pat books. He also gleaned information from local teachers and farmers. He used his travels in Longsleddale as background when inventing Greendale for his stories. Earlier in his life he had traveled Northumberland's countryside while running a mobile library.

Postman Pat first became a star in books before having a TV series. The TV series was first aired on the BBC in 1981. New series followed written by other authors. The books and series emphasized a community where everyone worked together as neighbours to help each other. As Postman Pat goes on his rounds he is always accompanied by Jess the cat. There are now many products based on the series for children to purchase.

The stately home, Longleat, has created a Postman Pat village for children under 14. It is open from April to the first week of November, 11am-5.30pm.

Postman Pat official website: www.postmanpat.com

Photo courtesy of Ann Bowker

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