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Postman Pat

The series revolved around the adventures and mishaps of title character, Patrick Clifton, delivering his letters & parcels to the residents in the quaint fictional village of Greendale. It was a stop motion animation, initially running from 1981-85. Pat was voiced by Ken Barrie, who sung the title theme.

Each episode consisted of Pat and fluffy cat Jess, attempting to deliver his letters, only to be held up usually by the unpredictable Cambrian weather or the superficial issues of the villagers.

Childrens TV programming in the 80s always seemed to have a moral root to the theme of the show, Pat’s seemingly being that gingers with specs were ok to like! Pat also had a propensity to have an (annoyingly) cheery disposition, in spite of the daily troubles he encountered. A true British stiff upper lip hero.

Among the recurring characters testing Pat’s patience were:

Mrs Goggins. Scottish postmistress and work colleague of Pat. Always had her grey hair tied up in a bun, and showed concern for Pat before his heading out during perilous weather. Never ever complained that he was late. Did he take advantage of her kind nature?

Granny Dryden. An elderly lady who was hard of hearing and had Pat not only deliver her food, parcels & letters, but to read her letters too, as she was also short of sight! She was always kind enough to offer Pat a nice cup of tea though.

Miss Rebecca Hubbard. A bossy spinster who lived on her own. If not at choir practice, she liked church fates, bee keeping and the occult (I’m sure of it!). She rode her bike everywhere and was eerily similar to the witch in Wizard of Oz. And she had a tut tut attitude.

The Reverend Timms. As all good vicars should be, Reverend Timms was always available to his flock if needed. Was kind & good natured, if a little stuffy and damp. He had a tendency to be bullied by Miss Hubbard’s conservative whims.

Ted Glen. The local handyman could fix anything! A broken watch, a frying pan or a ladder. How about the Falklands dispute Ted?? Didn’t think so. Ted Glen looked like a typical tradesman; bunnet, dungarees and a bushy moustache. The only prop missing was the roll-up behind his ear. Ted helped Pat out most episodes sparing his blushes by seeing Pat was on time.

The Thompson family. Greendale was a rural community. And to that end, it was mainly farmland. Hardly an episode went by without the incompetence of Alf Thompson playing havoc with Pat’s delivery schedule. Pat’s rout often took him through winding roads blocked by escaped sheep from Thompson farm, along with troublesome goats and malicious poultry. A nice cuppa from Dorothy soothed Pat’s nerves. And Bill Thompson, the son, helped by handing school letters to the headmaster.

Sam Waldron. Sam Waldron was the mobile shop owner, whose job seemed to mirror Pat’s. They both helped one another with their respective deliveries. I could never shake the image of Sam being a cockney barrow boy. He seemed to be based on the likeness of the Only Fools & Horses character Mickey Pierce. Sam was a product of his time which, by todays standards, would equate to working as the Tesco express man.

Postman Pat was hugely successful in spawning a whole generation of posties as well as inferior knock offs such as Bob the Builder and Fetch the Vet (who? ..exactly!)

Reviewed by Steve McGlame.

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