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Tributes to Postman Pat creator John Cunliffe


John Cunliffe, the creator of characters including Postman Pat and Rosie and Jim has died, aged 85.

His passing was announced in a notice in today’s Ilkley Gazette, which read:

“Left his Ilkley home in a deluge of rain on Thursday, September 20, never to return. Even the skies wept for John the gifted creator of “Postman Pat”, “Rosie and Jim” and author of many earlier published collections of poetry and picture story books for children. John’s last poetry collection, significantly entitled “Dare You Go”, has now come to fruition for John has dared to go and he has gone.”

Born in Colne, Lancashire in 1933, he later moved to Kendal in the Lake District, which would inspire the Postman Pat adventures.

Greendale was based on Longsleddale and the post office itself was the Beast Banks post office in Kendal.

In total he wrote nearly 200 children’s books, with the Postman Pat series airing in more than 50 countries.

Director of BBC Children’s, Alice Webb, said:

“We are saddened to hear the news of John’s death. Postman Pat has been a hugely popular character on the BBC for nearly 40 years and was an absolute favourite from my own childhood.

“Postman Pat’s enduring popularity speaks to the genuine charm and warmth that John imbued in the characters that populate Greendale. It’s a world you’d like to be part of – a community that cares, is full of heart and full of fun – and that is a lovely thing to show audiences, both young and old. John created a real and relatable world that will continue to entertain our audience for a long time to come and I count myself lucky to be one of millions of children whose childhoods were enriched by John’s creations.”


He spent most of his life in Ilkley and was an important contributor to the Ilkley Literature Festival, becoming a patron when it started in 2003.

“We were honoured to have John as Patron of our Children’s Festival and I have wonderful memories of events he did with us. His work, particularly Postman Pat, was iconic for everyone who grew up reading, watching and loving those characters and will continue to delight children for generations to come,” said festival director, Rachel Feldberg.

His funeral was held yesterday.

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