POSTMAN PAT’S SAD DAY
jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk BLOG 29th September 2018
THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY
This week, sadly, the death of John Cunliffe, the author and creator of Postman Pat has been announced. Post Man Pat is one of my most favourite children’s characters and always has been since he was introduced to us. And as I love the Lake District I love the setting for Postman Pat.
John Cunliffe also created Rosie and Jim who I love too. But he also wrote a series of books before all these, yes, even before Postman Pat. These were the Farmer Barnes stories. You can see them listed at the end of this post. They are delightful stories.
We came across them in the early 1980s when introducing our pre-school daughters to the local library. Farmer Barnes and the Snow Picnic and Farmer Barnes at the County Show were very firm favourites that our girls borrowed again and again. The books had that important thing every picture book should have and that is to be entertaining for the grownups too.
All these books have long been out of print but if you enjoy searching the pre-owned bookstores and websites you often come across the little gems and it is so rewarding.
Now a quick reflection on John Cunliffe.
Cunliffe was born in Colne, Lancashire. He lived in Kendal, Westmorland, and it was the small towns and villages of that area which would provide the inspiration for his most famous character, Postman Pat. Greendale, where the character and series is set, is based on the valley of Longsleddale, near Kendal.
Cunliffe worked for many years as a librarian, and also as a teacher. He was commissioned by the BBC to write Postman Pat, which was produced by Ivor Wood and first aired in 1981. He created Pat and Greendale as an idyllic village where everyone was nice to each other, in contrast to the bullying he had suffered when growing up.
Following the success of Postman Pat, Cunliffe subsequently became something of a local celebrity, having a room dedicated to him at Kendal’s Museum of Lakeland Life.
In the 1990s, Cunliffe’s other well-known creation, Rosie and Jim, was also written for television. He scripted and presented the first 50 episodes, then turned some of them into books. Cunliffe intended to create a series closer to what he wanted overall, after being disappointed by some of the merchandising and tie-in books for Postman Pat, over which he did not have control.
In 2010 he released “Ghosts”, a children’s story for the iPad. He was also patron of the Ilkley Literature Festival.
Cunliffe died on 20 September 2018. His death was first announced in the local newspaper, The Ilkley Gazette saying that he “left his Ilkley home in a deluge of rain […] never to return”. His death was confirmed by his family on 27 September.
The Farmer Barnes Books:
Farmer Barnes’ Guy Fawkes Day
Farmer Barnes at the county show (1969)
Farmer Barnes and the Snow Picnic(1974)
Farmer Barnes and the Harvest Doll (1977)
Farmer Barnes and the Goats (1979)
Farmer Barnes Goes Fishing (1972)
Farmer Barnes Buys A Pig (1964)
Farmer Barnes And Bluebell (1978)
Farmer Barnes Fells a Tree (1977)
ROALD DAHL INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE FOR THE DAY
“There is no life I know to compare with pure imagination. Living there, you’ll be free if you truly wish to be.”
― Roald Dahl
INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE FOR THE DAY
Work hard, be kind, and amazing things will happen.— Conan O’Brien
Happiness is…imagining Rosie and Jim having a holiday at Farmer Barnes Farm and Postman Pat calling for tea
GRANDAD’S ONE LINER JOKE OF THE DAY
A senior citizen called her husband during his drive home, “Herman, I just heard on the news that there’s a car going the wrong way on Interstate 90, Please be careful!”
Herman said, “It’s not just one car. There’s hundreds of them!”
Love is…what makes the journey special
TRACK OF THE DAY
Rise – Gabrielle
Highest Chart Position: No.1 5th February 2000
©2018 Phil M Robinson