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Hugglets Festival 2014

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by Bryony Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
Discover the Bear Necessities of Life
hugglets festival
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Did you know that the name for a group of bears is a hug? Very fitting, isn't it? Those big furry arms couldn't definitely give you a squeeze. Of course, if you tried to hug a real wild bear, you'd probably come away with your back shred to pieces.

Teddy bears on the other hand, were just made for hugging. A teddy is often a baby's first soft toy, and can become their most treasured and loved for possession. Many people keep their favourite teddy bear well into adulthood.

My first toy was actually a rabbit, and although I had teddy bears as a child, I never had a particularly special attachment to them. It is strange, therefore, that upon reaching adulthood, they became an obsession. For the last three years, I have been a bear collector, and my hug has reached over a hundred and thirty.

Most of the bears I buy are online, but there is nothing quite like seeing a bear in the fur. You get a much better idea of what they look and feel like that way. There are not many businesses I know in London that specifically deal in collectible bears, so I was happy when I discovered a company called Hugglets.

Hugglets was set up by Glenn and Irene Jackman in 1985. As well as making their own bears, they also publish guidebooks about other bear manufacturers, and most exciting of all, run a bi-annual festival. The next Hugglets Teddies Festival is on the 14th September at Kensington Town Hall, and will feature over ten thousand teddy bears by a hundred and seventy exhibitors. You will be able to discover bears of every shape, size, and style, including new, vintage, children's, and adult collectibles.

There are a number of ways to get tickets to the show:

1. Register to the Hugglets website for one free ticket.
2. Order the Teddy Bear Guide 2015 for two free tickets.
3. Buy at the door for 4 adults and 2 children

If you want to attend, here are a few tips:

1. The festival doors open at 10.30am. If you queue up early, then you've get free chocolates.

2. If you are buying a ticket on the day, pick it up from reception before joining the queue to avoid delays.

3. No dogs (except guide dogs) are allowed.

4. Before entering, don't forget to enter the prize draw for a chance to win 50 to use at the festival.

There are lots of great reasons to go to the Hugglets Teddies Festival:

1. Lots of beautiful bears
2. Many exhibitors are from overseas, so it is a chance to get bears otherwise not available in the UK.
3. If you have a teddy that has clearly been loved for many years, then a bear repair doctor will heal any boo boos.
4. If you are thinking about selling some of your bears, there are dealers who might make you an offer, or auctioneers who can advise you.
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Why? Over 10,000 bears under one roof
When: 14th Sept
Phone: 44 (0)1273 697974
Where: Kensington Town Hall
Cost: 4 adult, 2 child, free when registering
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