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 goo.gl/Ta4oAX.
Published July 25th 2014
Please Look After This Bear
On the 13th October 1958 a very rare thing happened. An illegal immigrant was welcomed into the country with open arms. He was discovered by the Brown family, who named the little Peruvian stowaway after the train station he was found on. Paddington.
Like a lot of illegal immigrants, he hasn't had an easy life. Paddington lost his parents when he was just a few weeks old, after they were killed in an earthquake. After that he lived with his Aunt Lucy in Lima until she had to move to a retirement home. Aunt Lucy sent Paddington to England on a lifeboat, with nothing but marmalade sandwiches for sustenance. This is an astonishing tale for one so young, but it is not the most astonishing part. You see Paddington is no ordinary migrant. Paddington is a bear.
Please Look After This Bear
Created by author, Michael Bond, Paddington is as popular now as he was fifty-six years ago. In 2000, Bond unveiled a commemorative bronze resin statue of Paddington Bear on Paddington Station, which was designed by sculptor, Marcus Cornish.
Most people know about Paddington's statue, and it is a popular with locals and tourists alike. What people may not know, however, is that on the floor above is the Paddington Bear shop. The only shop in the world that is exclusively dedicated to Paddington Bear.
Mrs. Brown says 'It's nice having a bear about the house' and, as an avid bear collector, I have to agree. If your house is lacking such a companion, could you look after a bear called Paddington? He is a handful, I admit, but definitely a rewarding experience.
The Paddington shop stocks all sorts of Paddington Bear toys, from hand-size to life-size to vintage style. You will also be able to buy the complete collection of books in either paperback or beautiful hardback covers. I have recently just completed my collection, but they are all mismatched editions, and I was tempted to buy them all again for uniformity.
My introduction to Paddington was not actually through the books, but through the television series, which are available on DVD in individual volumes or a complete collector's set.
Since I first saw Paddington in a black hat a blue duffle, I am rather particular about his presentation. I only ever want him with a black hat, but unfortunately 90% of merchandise has him in his later red hat. There are also a few things of Paddington in a yellow hat, which is what the original teddy bear Michael Bond bought looked like, and used as his inspiration.
If it was not for this fact, I would have bought an amusing cushion that said 'Keep Calm and Eat Marmalade Sandwiches'. Other things I was tempted by include a china mug, notepad, and canvas painting. But I have so many of these things already that I really couldn't justify it.
Also available are children's aprons, greetings cards, puzzles, coasters, personalised chocolate, and other such knick-knacks.
The shop had a television in the corner showing the trailer for the Paddington film which is due to come out in September. No doubt when that comes out on DVD, you will also be able to buy that here too.
Whether or not you want to buy anything, the Paddington Shop is a must-go place to go and visit.