Sunday, 4 May 2014

BEAR WITH ME...

I've had my old teddy ever since I can remember... in fact, it's older than me. Along with a few of my adult friends, I'm telling all about my favourite childhood toy...

Cathy says:
My teddy was hand-made by a friend of my dads. He had golden fur and glass eyes and soft leatherette on his paws. His nose and whiskers were stitched on in black wool yarn and when you turned him upside-down, he growled. Over the years, he was loved and hugged so much his fur wore away completely and sawdust began to leak from little holes in his skin. One ear came off and had to be sewn back on because that was how I carried him about when I was small. His paws wore away and his whiskers came loose and he stopped making a noise at all, but I loved him. His name was Big Ted - imaginative, wasn't I? When I left home to go to art college, I took him along and he used to sit on my dressing table wearing a big floppy vintage hat, looking cool. These days he sits on a bookshelf in my workroom and wears a friendship bracelet my husband gave me when we first met, a vintage scarf bandaged around one broken arm and a tie-dye bandana my son once wore as a bib. Over the years a mismatched crew of other vintage toys have joined him, mostly rescued from jumble sales and junk shops. Toys that were once loved deserve to be loved still, not thrown out with the rubbish. Is there such a thing as a Vintage Toy Rescue? I think there is. I think I might actually run one...

Alison says:
I don't remember when I first had Jim. He was my first teddy and therefore my favourite. People would often ask why he was called Jim and I would reply, 'Because he's got red legs!' When I was in the infants, I used to read the Nurse Nancy stories from Twinkle comic to him, then acted them out with Jim as my patient. He endured injections, plasters, bandages and slings. My favourite game was schools, and Jim was my star pupil - I taught him to read with miniature books I'd made him. At eighteen, I went to university to study for an English degree, and left Jim behind; I then trained as a primary school teacher and went on to teach children to read. When I bought my first house, I took a box of my old things from the loft of my parents' house and in it was Jim. I now train primary school teachers and Jim sits on my bookshelf along with favourite books like Mick Inkpen's 'Threadbear' and Jane Hissey's 'Old Bear'.

Che says:
I still have Pinky, a rather flat and dull looking teddy I found in a puddle in Cork when I was a child. Pinky is so flat I could fold him up and he hid in my pocket for years - at school, at home, everywhere. When i was upset I could put my hand in my pocket and feel he was there. These days, he lives in a drawer with my knickers and bras and still smiles up at me first thing every morning!


Natalie says:
When I was eighteen months old I got seriously ill with bronchial pneumonia and in those days, parents were not allowed to stay with their kids when they were in hospital. I felt very alone and as well as being ill, I missed my parents terribly. I was in hospital on and off for over three years, and these two teddies, White Ted and Blue Ted, were my lifeline - they became substitute parents in a way. I wouldn't be parted from them, and once I left one behind by accident and we had to drive fifteen miles to the hospital to get it back! These days I am in good health and run my own juice bar, but I still have these teddies and couldn't bear to ever throw them away, even though they're completely mangled now! They meant the world to me back then, and I will never forget that.

Do YOU have a soft toy or teddy that you loved to pieces when you were little? COMMENT BELOW to share your stories, or tell us which of the teddies/ stories above you liked best!

8 comments:

  1. When I was a baby and young child, I had a green and white striped bunny toy with a friendly face stitched on with pink thread (Mr Bunny - I didn't have any sources to draw inspiration for cool names from!) and we were inseperable. Apparently, I sucked on his ear whilst I slept which was probably adorable but meant his ears were always soggy. I loved him though. Even when he started to fall apart, Mum sewed a little flowery patch of fabric over the hole. When I was 3, I had an operation to correct my squint and Mum made sure to pack Mr Bunny in my hospital bag and tuck him into bed next to me so he'd be there when I came round from the anaesthesia. Natalie's story rings a bell - I once left Mr Bunny at Gran's house in Yorkshire but it wasn't until we got home to Scotland and unpacked all the bags that we realised Mr Bunny wasn't there. We had to drive back to Yorkshire to fetch him because I had a tantrum and wouldn't go to bed (and COULDN'T go to sleep) even though it was a 5 hour round trip. My sister's childhood toy was a green cuddly crocodile called Croccy and my brother had a white and brown dog called Floppy. We weren't the best with names. Mr Bunny is the only one not still with us. Mum threw him away because he was falling apart. I was inconsolable for a week. My sister bought me a pink and white bunny toy but I hated it and threw it to the back of the wardrobe. Kids, eh?
    Blue :-)

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  2. My special toy was a panda called ling. I got him from my grandma when I was born, and ever since we've been inseparable. My beautiful grandma died when I was 6, and even now I get torn up in tears thinking about her. For a long time i carried ling with me everywhere, seeing as she was my only piece left of marnie. Even now I snuggle down with ling every night, and i've invented countless lands for us to live in. It's coming close to 5 years of marnie's death,
    but with ling, I will NEVER forget her.

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  3. I've had a teddy bear called Harrison from when i was born. It came from a special teddy bear shop in York and he has soft leather paws and used to be really frizzy but now his fur has fallen out a bit. I love him to bits. Blondie

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  4. I have no extremely interesting story about my old teddy, but the picture of cathy's is sooo cute
    Emma :)

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  5. I've have a teddy called Mudge for as long as I can remember! She was initially my sister's teddy but then my sister gave her to me cause I was so clingy with her! I actually left Mudge at home when I went to France and I found it really hard to sleep. I had to wrap the duvet round my arms!

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  6. I used to have the cutest yellow teddy with big puppy dog eyes.He used to belong to my brother. On holiday, in Isreal, I took Teddy with me, and we were staying at someones house for the last few days. Then, tragedy struck. It was the last day, and I woke up with out him in my arms. I looked everywhere, and got the whole household, (including the people who owned the house,) looking for it. Nobody could find it. I was heartbroken. when we got to the airport, my dad, my brother, and me went to a toy shop. We found a red teddy holding a heart which said 'I Love You'. It had the same eyes, which made me a little more upset. After, we went to a shop called Laline, which had toiletries, and... teddies! I hurried around, and found a basket full of grey teddy bears. There were big/little girl ones with white dresses, and big/little boy ones with white dungarees. They all had the word Laline stitched in grey at the bottom. There was a small one with grey fur covering her eyes, and one floppy ear. I asked for it and got it. Her name is Shaney, and sits on my pillow, waiting for me to cuddle her when I go to sleep. When I am worried, or have a secret, or I am scared, I cuddle and whisper to her. She is a great teddy. Whenever the post comes, I sometimes get hopeful that Teddy come. I miss him, but Shaney is great.

    Miri :)

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  7. I have two teddies one called teddy and the other called two and there really cute.

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  8. I have a small white & lilac cat called Kat-Kins. I got him as a newborn from my Grandma. I used to carry him EVERYWHERE which made my parents really worried! Now, he pretty much stays in bed but I still love him to bits! As his fur's falling off he now wears a cute little red coat!
    Miriam
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