14/11/2017 12:00 GMT

Dad's Search For Old-School 'Postman Pat' VHS For Son With Autism Is A Success After Tweet Gains Online Support

'I didn’t imagine that it would gain quite so much momentum.'

A dad who desperately tried to find a ‘Postman Pat’ VHS for his son with autism for Christmas has been overwhelmed by the support he received online. 

James Dutton, who lives in Ruislip, London, tweeted the request on 12 November, explaining his severely autistic son Thomas, 19, had asked for the ‘Postman Pat Prize Postbag’ film on VHS.

“Does anyone have or know of anyone who may still have this VHS?” he wrote.

Nearly 4,000 tweets later, including celebrity support from Strictly’s Brendan Cole, Dutton told HuffPost UK a VHS has been located.

“I didn’t imagine when I posted my original tweet yesterday that it would gain quite so much momentum,” the dad told HuffPost UK. 

Dutton explained: “My son Thomas loved watching ‘Postman Pat’ as well as many of the other children’s characters when he was smaller.

“Now he is always watching them on YouTube but loves having the old VHS boxes as well. He’s been obsessed since he was 18 months old.” 

Thomas Dutton, 19. 

The dad explained that a few days ago, Thomas wrote his Christmas list.

He and Thomas’ mum, Cindy, were able to get everything on the list apart from ‘Postman Pat’s Prize Postbag’ on VHS.


Dutton explained: “I have very few followers on Twitter so I asked my brother Julian (who has over 10k) to retweet it yesterday morning, and ever since then it’s gone mad. So many wonderful offers to look in attics, garages and charity shops.

“I picked up a message from someone in Littlehampton who believed they may have a copy in their garage, but another was found in Bournemouth!

“Hopefully his mum and I will go and pick it up on Saturday [18 November]. What was rather lovely as well was that she saw my retweet via Brendan Cole from ‘Strictly’.

“I also had messages from someone who works for the company that makes ‘Postman Pat’ to see if they can help, and others who work for the BBC. It was very heartwarming!” 

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