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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 June, 2003, 02:13 GMT 03:13 UK
Postman Pat's post office closes
Postman Pat
Postman Pat was a favourite for millions of children
The post office which provided the inspiration for the children's television series Postman Pat is closing on Thursday because of a lack of business.

Beast Banks Post Office in the Lake District found itself immortalised by the series after author John Cunliffe moved to the area.

The idyllic world of Postman Pat and his black and white cat, Jess, became familiar to millions of children through the hugely popular books and television programme.

But the popularity of Postman Pat has not been enough to save the branch to which he owes his existence and locals say they are devastated it will now close.

Sad loss

The real post office is not run by the bespectacled Mrs Goggins, but by sub-post master Mike Molloy.

He has decided to shut down because the business is no longer viable.

Many villagers still recall how Mr Cunliffe often visited the post office to buy stamps.

But theirs is not the only rural community where the post office has had to close though lack of business.

With Beast Banks among the many branches on the set to close, Mr Cunliffe said it will be a sad loss.

He said: "The post office is a very important part of the community. You can exchange gossip, get personal help there and often you can get everything you need if a shop is attached.

"It's a very essential thing that is going."

Corporate image

Mr Cunliffe lived in the same street as the Beast Banks post office 25 years ago.

He went there when he started writing to see how the postman did his job.

Now living in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, he believes this could be the end of post offices as Postman Pat knew them.

The closure comes as a second blow to Postman Pat, whose public relations work for the Royal Mail was abruptly ended three years ago.

The cheery delivery was dumped because he no longer fits in with the company's "corporate image".

The postal workers' union has described the decision as a disgrace, saying Postman Pat stood for everything good about postmen.

Since his first series in 1981, the unassuming postman has become one of the BBC's most successful children's characters, endearing himself to two generations of children and appearing in more than 50 countries.

The BBC's Kevin Bocquet reports from Kendal
"There is great anger in the village"

Postman Pat's post office to close
25 Apr 03  |  Cumbria
Postman Pat faces update
21 Dec 01  |  TV and Radio
Postman Pat sold for 5m
08 Nov 01  |  Business
Postman Pat gets the sack
19 Nov 00  |  Entertainment

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