Postman Pat, Postman Pat, Postman Pat and his black and white cat. Early in the morning, just as day is dawning, he picks up all the postbags in his van……
Who among the thirtysomethings of today doesn’t look back with a warm glow of nostalgia when hearing that tune? A tune so catchy I’ve probably had it in my head for the past thirty years, more or less. Throughout my childhood, Pat was there, reliably clumsy, driving his van, losing his glasses, being outwitted by his cat.
So it was with a frisson of excitement that I learned that Postman Pat was, indeed, STILL ON THE TELEVISION, and that one could simply flick through CBeebies on catch-up and find him, Jess, Mrs Goggins and the Reverend Timms, still letter-writing it up in the Greendale That Time Forgot.*
So what did I find? Well, my memories from the 1980s are a bit hazy, but Pat seems to have aged remarkably well and is presenting as someone even younger than he was in 1986, the Benjamin Button of the Dales. Jess is still the most sardonic cat I have had the pleasure of seeing on screen, although I do find myself wondering how in God’s name he is still alive. I’m no expert in cat-years, but I do find myself wondering if there has been a Jess 2 and 3 that we don’t know about, not to mention the stunt-cat that surely performs most of his scenes. The van is still pootling up hill and down dale and has pleasingly not fallen foul of any concession to modernity. I was also intrigued to see that Pat seems to have been rewarded for his longevity by starting his own successful parcel delivery business. So successful, in fact, that he now has a helicopter to help with those trickier deliveries. Clearly PP either has money to burn, or he is running a very expensive courier service. My dear old dad, who was for many years a postman himself, always said privatisation would be the ruin of the Post Office, but on the contrary Pat appears to have flourished. I even sat through two episodes where he didn’t lose his glasses or end up stuck in a tree.
In one of these new-fangled PP escapades, Pat took to the skies not only in his helicopter, but in Ted Glen’s home made rocket, which he was somehow able to safely fly despite apparently being a humble postman with no rocket-specific training. These millennial children clearly expect a bit more from their parcel delivery service than we did back in those innocent days of nationalisation. This new Pat also appears to have had a love life more fortunate than his 1980s counterpart, as he seems to be married, with a child. Perhaps my memory fails me on this one, but I don’t recall the Pat of 1988 sitting in a cosy kitchen eating breakfast with anyone other than Jess the black and white cat. The only ladies I recall from those golden days are Mrs Goggins the postmistress and Miss Hubbard the spinsterly cyclist, neither of whom seemed to enjoy any Pat-love-interest subplots.
And lo and behold, here he is, man of many talents, showing up to do some magic tricks. Just because. Because he’s Postman Pat, and not content with being a pillar of the community, known all over the Yorkshire Dales for his parcel delivery skills, he needs to be a magician too. Do this man’s skills know no end? I do hope he’s not planning on sawing Jess in half. I don’t think I could bear it.
So here we are, Postman Pat, 34 years on the Greendale rounds, and star of your own film and television series, CEO of overblown parcel delivery service, and, most importantly of all, owner of the world’s best cat. What’s next, world domination? Or maybe the future belongs to Fireman Sam.
*My 32 year old brother and I obviously didn’t actually do this. We’ve moved on, times have changed. It’s over Pat.