This morning, while on my shopping round, I paused at the local farmers market and there was a stall that had a display of vintage Teddy Bears,
These were not the modern fluffy organically grown, politically correct, CFC free, internet ready, bio-degradable bears that may contain apples, but the coarse furred, padded pawed bears from my past.
Like most children growing up I had a Teddy, (and by some weird co-incidence his name too was Teddy). I do not recall what he looked like originally, but by the time he ended up in a suitcase on the wardrobe he was almost bald, his eyes were loose and his limbs were no longer as tight as they had been originally. I have no way of knowing where or when he was bought, and I do not remember what eventually happened to him. It is probable that mum gave him away as she did during one of her cleaning sprees where anything is game.
The bears at this stall were the of the same style; they were play worn, and looked and felt so different but yet so familiar, but it was a texture that I recognised from my “days of youth”.
The price tags were steep, ranging from £40 upwards, and the oldest bear there was supposedly from 1908. I was tempted, but common sense was on my side this morning.
Two weeks after this nostalgic encounter I bumped into the stall again and this time came away loaded with pics and a name for future reference. The stall was run by Marjorie’s Bears (since renamed http://www.bluebellcottagebears.com) and the images were taken with permission.
However I could not help but think about the Teddy that I had, and the Teddy that was the unsung playmate and that silently kept vigil, ensuring that monsters under the bed remain under the bed and do not sally forth into the bedroom when children are asleep. Their presence alone is what what keeps children safe from monsters under the bed. They are however powerless against monsters that lurk elsewhere, looking to lure children into the seedier side of the underworld.
I still have a teddy bear amongst my collection of plushes, I bought him in 2013 in Salisbury and he is really a generic sort of Ted, with no real personality. If it wasn’t for the monsters under the bed I would probably have disposed of him awhile ago.
His aviator friend is a new addition, although he does appear to be missing his biplane. I do have other plushies, and I am particularly proud of this mob.
The LGM from Toy Story I bought in Hong Kong in 2010, and almost everybody knows the Minions. The pink dog is Courage the Cowardly Dog and the odd fellow next to him is a Zombie from “Plants vs Zombies”. Given this mob I really need more teddy bears! I also used to have a large doll collection, although that has been seriously cut down. I have since disposed of some of my plushies too… but I see I have acquire others.
I do have a Paddington Bear that I bought in 2008 when I was in London.
It was quite a thrill to see the Paddington Bear statue on the station with the same name in June.
And I seem to recall a whole host of assorted dogs, cats, dragons and city stomping monsters, but that is a different story altogether.
When we grow up we forget our old teddy bears and toys, but a part of us really would like them back; to remind us of the days when the biggest thing we had to worry about were the monsters under the bed and whether we could eat as much peanut butter as we could without getting ill. Never mind peanut allergies, those weren’t invented when I was young.
So all hail the Teddy Bear, protector and companion of children, and friend to adults who really miss the simpler days of growing up
© DRW 2016-2020. Created 08/10/2016, updated 22/10/2016