So here we are again (if somewhat delayed!) for Postman Pat character descriptions part 2. As promised here are the rest of the original descriptions of some of the characters that inhabited Greendale and beyond. Some are familiar faces, some are changed and some were never featured.
I must point out before we start that eagle-eyed follower Alex the Pensmith revealed that the elusive Mr Pottage was never actually seen in the show, as mentioned, but he was referred to which I didn’t realise. He is mentioned in “Pat’s Rainy Day” when Pat speaks to Ted Glen who is fixing a wall for none other than Mr Pottage. Great spot Alex!
Ted Glen – 35 – Black Moss Cottage. A slow speaking, lazy-seeming man; small, compact, somewhat untidy in his dress. He has great but hidden energies. A man of numerous part-time activities; odd jobs, blacksmithing, horse doctoring, poaching, building/repairs, carpentry etc. He is said to do very well for himself.
Ted Glen was always my favourite. Basically the valleys handyman. Nothing is mentioned about his family in this description so we’ll have to assume he is a bachelor…too busy for a wife. I love the way he also does horse doctoring which seems like a odd pastime amongst his more creative and laboured pursuits.
Granny Dryden – 77 – Black Beck Farm. Her son farms better land on the other side of Pencaster and her daughter is a nurse in London. Her husband died five years ago and she now lets her land to a neighbouring farmer, Jim Newton. She keeps bees and sells honey and home-made jam at Pencaster market. She dresses in the manner of fifty years ago and is an active and friendly old lady. Pat often brings her pension or a prescription from Dr Pepperell or a dozen eggs from Greendale Farm.
Mrs Goggins – 55 – a widow and the village shop-keeper and post-mistress. Another ample personage she is confessor and advisor to the valley and chief transmitter of Greendale gossip. What she doesn’t know, she says isn’t worth knowing when it comes to local life. Although she is plump she has a sharpness in her expression which shows a quick native wit.
These two in my childhood mind were interchangeable, one just seemed to live a greater distance away. It’s lovely to read about Granny Dryden’s backstory and where her family are. If I’m right in saying her daughter is mentioned a few times in the show when she goes off to visit her in London. A mention of a new character Jim Newton is surprising, bearing in mind we never hear from him again.
Mrs Goggins pretty much stays unchanged yet at 55 she certainly ages a bit in Ivor’s creation. This perhaps was to soften her and make her less of a gossip and more a friendly, cosy shopkeeper. Also nothing is mentioned about her Scottish accent, which would essentially make her not entirely local??
Mr J Pringle M.A. – 51 – Headmaster of Garner Bridge C.E. School. A rotund personage, he is the valley’s local historian and representative of the scholarly world. He took his degree at London University and publishes papers in the proceedings of the county archaeological society. Somewhat Pickwickian in appearance with his spectacle and watch-chain draped over an ample abdomen.
Mr Pringle looks to have been more included from the start but we only see him bought to physical life in the second series. He’s not as rotund as described and somewhat younger than mentioned. In a time when teaching was becoming increasingly modernised perhaps a stuffy old headmaster wasn’t seen as very contemporary.
Miss Rebecca Hubbard – 48 – Southlands Farm Cottage. The valley’s busy spinster. She keeps horses which she breeds for sale and hire and hens. It is guessed that she also has a private income. She works assiduously at all the valley’s activities and some town ones too- church choir, flower show, fetes, amateur drama, cubs and brownies, mothers guild etc. She organises collections for church and charities or for national and international disaster funds. She will not take “No” for an answer and is persistent and determined. This sometimes brings her into conflict with Mrs Pottage. She thrives on the close community life of the valley. She is tall and angular and rides a sit-up-and-beg bicycle in all weathers, though she could easily afford a car.
Mrs Hubbard was such a wonderful character full of personality. Always seen bustling here and there in her own little world. You can certainly see from her description where her personality comes from. She certainly doesn’t change at all and continues to be at the centre of community life in the valley.
Last of all is P.C. Selby. It’s short description but gives enough reference to build a fuller character.
P.C. Selby – Police House, Garner Bridge. A foreigner in valley terms, he comes from East Yorkshire and has lived in Greendale for only ten years. He is well like and knows when to (reasonably) turn a blind eye.
That’s it for this week but believe it or not there is still one more part to this post. We’re yet to delve into the lives fo Reverend Timms, Sam Waldron and Dr Gilbertson!
All the quotations are taking from the BBC Written Archives with permissions given from the latter.