Friday 16 September 2011, 13:58
It's Postman Pat's 30th birthday today! It seems he's been around as long as the dales, but it was early in the morning (just as day was dawning) on this day in 1981 that he first set off in his little red van.
Many of you have sent us your favourite Pat moments for a special Pat's Birthday piece in the Pencaster Gazette* kindly reproduced here with their permission.
Pencaster's postal-hero celebrates the big 3-0!
If you've ever had to wait in for a birthday package, a replacement credit card, or a bottle of extra-concentrated sheep-dip liquid, you'll have had the good fortune to meet Patrick Clifton, Greendale's very own celebrity Postman.
It only seems like yesterday that Pat and his trusty black and white cat, Jess (now contesting the record for the UK's oldest cat) set off but they've been bringing us our post for 30 years!
On his very first day Pat averted a disastrous birthday for the Pottage twins by finding Katy's beloved lost doll Sarah-Ann.
Since then he's proved time and time again that he will stop at nothing to ensure the residents of Greendale get their mail.
In his long career, Pat's has located runaway sheep, battled snow, storms, mudslides, tamed misbehaving hot-air balloons and even confronted pirates.
Pat has never had an easy relationship with nature, within his first month as a postman he'd had his sandwiches stolen by hens, his keys stolen by magpies and was chased by a bull (an incident in which left local handyman Ted Glen with a twisted ankle).
In the harsh Greendale winters Pat had to resort to more uncoventional modes of transport.
Local resident Rose Grays remembers, '…the time Pat's van wasn't working and he ended up on Ted Glen's roller skates, then Miss Hubbard's bike!'
'And what about when he was sledging on the snow!' chips in elderly villager Scott Parry.
Pat's experience and ability to remain cool under pressure led to a promotion.
In 2008 Pat joined the Special Delivery Service, a sort of SAS for elite postmen where integrity and public-spiritedness are prized above timekeeping and targets.
The company is doing well despite the current economic climate, and Pat has an armada of vehicles including a helicopter, two vans and a motorbike.
Despite the hardware, Pat was soon beset by ever more challenging situations.
Greendale resident Valerie Maciejczyk Cox remembers when Pat rescued Daisy the cow in his SDS helicopter .
She says: 'I'll never forget how he conned that vet who is scared of heights and never flown into dangling from the helicopter to rescue Daisy the Cow.'
It's clearly a fond memory for many locals. Melissa says: 'My son Rowan still talks about the time Pat rescued the cow with his helicopter'.
Inhabitants of the dales have witnessed Pat on ice-skates, a snowboard and even a skateboard.
One villager (who wished to remain anonymous) said 'Skateboarding? A man of Pat's age? I ask you! Is this what goes on in Metrosexual Pencaster nowadays?'
Pat's wife Sarah was even allegedly overheard outside Sam's mobile shop muttering something about a 'mid-life crisis'
*The Pencaster Gazette is a fictional newspaper and the resemblance of any characters within it to real life members of the postal service, moustachioed handymen, or bicycle-riding spinsters is purely co-incidental.
Pat also took some time out from his rounds to pop into BBC Radio Pencaster and do an exclusive interview for them, have a listen!:
More Postman Pat :
http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/grownups/programme/postman-pat About Postman Pat
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-14939816 Creator John Cunliffe looks back at his conception.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/postmanpat Postman Pat on CBeebies
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