The world has learned of the passing of the creator of Postman Pat after his death notice appeared in his local newspaper.
Author John Cunliffe, who was also known for creating children’s TV show Rosie and Jim, died on 20 September aged 85.
But news of Mr Cunliffe’s death did not reach the wider world until a notice placed by his family in this week’s Ilkley Gazette was picked up on Twitter by Harrogate International Festivals chairman Fiona Movley yesterday.
The notice, which said Mr Cunliffe had “left his Ilkley home in a deluge of rain” last Thursday “never to return”, was subsequently cited in national and international coverage of his death as Fiona’s tweet went viral.
Sad news for #PostmanPat fans. Gifted creator John Cunliffe has died. The way the notice reads in the #Ilkley Gazette, this morning, is very fitting. #books #children #author pic.twitter.com/xlsDjARmUr
— Fiona Movley (@movley) September 27, 2018
Newsquest Yorkshire group editor Nigel Burton told HTFP: “Through his work Mr Cunliffe brought joy to several generations of children, and no doubt his stories and characters will continue to do so following his death.
“Postman Pat and Rosie and Jim are classic children’s literature characters that millions of youngsters have loved for decades, through the books and television adaptations.
“The fact that the news of his death has attracted so much attention around the world, since it was revealed in the Ilkley Gazette, demonstrates the high esteem in which he was held.
“He will be greatly missed – both locally and much further afield.”