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24 September 2014

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Children's TV

"A ship in a bottle?" thought Bagpuss. "That's even more ridiculous than my show being set in Cumbria."

"A ship in a bottle?" thought Bagpuss. "That's even more ridiculous than my show being set in Cumbria."
Children's TV shows with Cumbrian links.

John Cunliffe
The author tells us about the creation of Postman Pat.

Bagpuss trivia
From BBC's I Love TV.
Bagpuss facts with links.


Official Postman Pat website
Ideal for children with good use of animation.

Postman Pat website
Good interactive sections and plenty of free downloads!

Official Thomas the Tank Engine website
Games and puzzles for children but fun time-wasters for adults too!

Map of the Isle of Sodor

Fellside Recordings
Successful Cumbrian small business in Workington.

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Postman Pat
Greendale, the village where Postman Pat delivers his mail, may be a model but it’s based on Longsleddale near Kendal. The narrow, twisting roads and sheep frequently featuring in storylines are a giveaway that it’s Cumbria.

Postman Pat's creator, John Cunliffe, dreamed up the stories while he lived in Kendal.

Postman Pat and his black and white cat. (Source: Visual Media)
Ey up!

John Cunliffe has become a local celebrity and had a room at Kendal’s Museum of Lakeland Life devoted to him. This was closed down but Cunliffe still has a presence in Kendal - you can see him in the centre of the Millennium Frieze on display in Kendal Library.

Postman Pat is now 20 years old. In November 2001, Ivor Wood sold his company which produced the show for £5.1m.

John Cunliffe tells us about the creation of Postman Pat.

Thomas the Tank Engine
Still successful, this series was created by Reverend W V Awdry in 1946.

When readers started to ask where the characters lived, Awdry needed to create a location. He ‘discovered’ the Isle of Sodor for Thomas and his friends to inhabit.

Awdry came across the unusual name one summer. He stayed on the Isle of Man and met the island’s bishop - the Bishop of Sodor and Man. ‘Sodor’ is an area in South-West Scotland but the name isn’t used any more.

The fictional Isle of Sodor lies between Walney Island and the Isle of Man. It’s huge - much larger than the Furness area of Cumbria.

The Awdry family website displays a map of the Isle of Sodor.

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Extremely tenuous link to Cumbria - currently the music rights for Bagpuss are held at Fellside Recordings in Workington. They produce the CD of music from the series. Sorry if we got your hopes up with this one.

Tell us what you think...
Did you know these shows were set in Cumbria?
Know any interesting tidbits of trivia about these shows?
Email us your comments at:

Gill - Carlisle
I knew the postman John Cunliffe based Postman Pat on.  He was one of three postmen who delivered to the Post Office my parents had in South Cumbria in the early 70s .

Chris - Penny Bridge
I know Cumbrian men who greet people with 'Ey up!' just like Postman Pat. Is that a Cumbrian thing or more Yorkshire?


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