Saturday, 6 October 2018

In Memory of Postman Pat

John Cunliffe, creator of Postman Pat and Rosie and Jim, has recently died. Those were the shows that my children loved - Rosie and Jim on BBC children's TV, and Postman Pat on a set of four VHS cassettes. It was so brilliantly animated by Ivor Wood, and told simple tales, full of charm of the countryside, of the small village, the rural houses and farms dotted around, and Pat with his cat Jess delivering all his letters and parcels. Later it was updated to reflect the modern world in ways which didn't really sit well with the concept of the series. It would have been better to have left it alone, a lost world, as post offices in rural areas closed, and even the job of a postman underwent changes.

And yet... we are in Jersey rolling out a scheme Islandwide after a 3 Parish trial of a new service:

Elsie (aged 81 years) has lived alone for over 5 years, Norma (aged 72 years) has lived alone for seven years and George (aged 78 years) has lived alone for most of his adult life. So what do these three people, along with many others, have in common? The answer is that they all have a visit from their postman, Ricky, two or three times a week to check how they are and if they are in need of any help, be it medical or social. This service is called “Call & Check” and was developed by Jersey Post.

A new service... well, yes, but one being done by Postman Pat, and other real rural postman for many, many years in times gone by. Perhaps the new service is more formal, but it is building on an honourable tradition. John Cunliffe would be pleased.

In Memory of Postman Pat

Oh, Greendale, those leafy lanes
My children so loved that place
But so little of that now remains
So hurried now, so rushed the pace

And Jess was his cat, on rural roads
Small cottages, chimney smoke
A past glory, we loved it loads
Little Post Van, and country folk

Postman Pat, time to rest in peace
And even Mrs Goggins has retired
It is a story’s end, a time to cease
Farewell John Cunliffe, so inspired

Postman Pat, dear PostmanPat
Delivers letters, stops to chat

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