Paddington Bear Ty Hafan drawing after charity theft

Paddington Bear R. W. Alley produced the new drawing after learning of the charity store theft

The illustrator of the Paddington Bear stories has helped a charity which had a rare model of the children's favourite stolen from one of its shops.

Staff at the Ty Hafan store in Cardigan, Ceredigion, were upset when a thief took an original Paddington, with a wardrobe of outfits.

The news was picked up online by US-based R. W. Alley, who painted and signed a watercolour for the charity.

Mr Alley said he had been "distressed" to hear about the theft.

After receiving the picture, the store's retail manager Alan Drury said: "You can imagine everyone's excitement."

The thief struck at the store a few days in to the new year, taking the Paddington, complete with hat, from a window display.

Start Quote

I have noticed that my drawings tend to travel much farther and much more widely than I ever have, or am likely to do”

End Quote R. W. Alley Paddington Bear illustrator

The bear, with a complete wardrobe of his outfits, had been on display since before Christmas and was valued at £79.99.

Ty Hafan is the only children's hospice in south Wales, providing support to families as well as palliative care to children.

The theft was noticed by Mr Alley via a web alert.

He put ink and watercolour to paper and signed a new drawing of the famous Peruvian bear and sent it to Ty Hafan.

Mr Drury said: "It is an extremely kind and generous gesture by Mr Alley and I have contacted him to thank him on behalf of all the families and staff of Ty Hafan."

The charity said the drawing will be framed and hung at the hospice for the time being.

'Soften the blow'

In 1997, Mr Alley began re-illustrating the Paddington Bear book stories, based on the classic 1958 children's novel A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond.

Mr Alley told BBC Wales: "When I learned that Ty Hafan's three dimensional Paddington had gone missing, I was most distressed.

"However, since I had just completed the drawings for Mr Bond's new novel, I thought I could easily do one more drawing and send it to Cardigan.

"I have noticed that my drawings tend to travel much farther and much more widely than I ever have, or am likely to do.

"I hope the picture will somehow soften the blow, even if it does replicate only two of the original's three dimensions."

He added: "One of the very nice things about working on Paddington projects is being able to lend hopefully useful support to good causes such as Ty Hafan's."

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