50 year old bear seeking identity ....
by Matthew Barnes
(Chesterfield Derbyshire UK)
50 year old bear
I distinctly remember choosing this bear from a display of bears in what I feel was a department store in England; it was the first purchase (consumer choice) I can actually remember making. It was a tortuous decision with so many to choose from and so it ended up being a fairly rushed decision as my parents began to lose patience with me. No regrets - this bear has seen me through the ups and downs of life very well - we've laughed and cried together - been frightened and comforted together - the full range of human (and bear) emotion. I'm wondering if choosing a bear is like choosing a wand in Harry Potter, more that the bear chooses you that the other way around?
Anyway, as I recall the bear (that I named Winnie the Pooh - but it was not sold under that name) came with me to school on my first day so it must have been purchased about 50 years ago, 1970(ish). To everyone else I guess this bear is fairly indistinct and indistinguishable but just out of chance that someone may be able to identify him or let me have a little more information about him I'd be grateful. I removed his jumper which my Aunt knitted for him and he has worn all his life for photographing – he certainly didn’t look comfortable during the shoot and was pleased to be reclothed as soon as it was over.
He's stands at about 29cm high and his arm-to-arm reach is 24cm. The bow tie is original; he has a plastic nose and firmly fixed eyes which are probably plastic also. He is fully stuffed; his joints are static. He is extremely well made with strong seams that have never needed repair – consequently I have no idea of the stuffing material, he’s never shed innards – he remains ‘solid’ to the feel after all these years and so that might tell an expert something.
He's been a good friend over the years despite being ignored for years at a time, that said, he lives in a cupboard next to my bed and so I guess he's been in close physical proximity to me more than any other object in my life. I feel I now owe it to him to see if there's anything more I can learn about his history or origin. If anyone can help then I’d be very, very grateful.