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PLEASE LOOK AFTER THIS BEAR
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Paddington Bear banner
Saturday 1st March at 10.30am
Michael Bond holding a Paddington Bear toy
Radio 4 is celebrating 50 years of Paddington Bear. Find out how to join in below.
(Right: Paddington's creator, Michael Bond, with one of the bears released into railway stations on Tuesday 22 January)

Please Look After This Bear
Saturday 1 March, 10.30am

It was a whole half century ago that Paddington Bear, in his trademark duffle coat arrived from Darkest Peru, and was found at Paddington Station in London.

Fifty years of marmalade sandwiches later, he still remains one of Britain’s favourite bears!

To celebrate this very special 50th birthday, BBC Radio 4 are placing 50 Paddington bears in prominent places in train stations around the UK wearing the label ‘Please Look After This Bear’.

The bears are being 'released' on Tuesday 22nd January.

Anyone who finds one of the fifty Paddington bears is more than welcome to take him home.

All that is asked in exchange is that the finder calls the freephone number 0800 043 9993, leaving their name, number and a message about where they found their Paddington and what they love about him.

A selection of these messages will form part of a programme going out on March 1st at 10.30am on BBC Radio 4 presented by children's author Michael Morpurgo.

In addition to this, anyone who wants to leave their memories and favourite stories about Paddington, is more than welcome to call the freephone number 0800 043 9993, to email paddington.bear@unique.com or to write to
 
Paddington Bear,
Unique,
50 Lisson Street,
London,
NW1 5DF
 

We hope to publish a selection of your memories and stories on this website. Please ensure that your submissions are under 150 words long.

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments that are submitted.

*********************************************

I really love Paddington Bear, even though he arrived when I was growing up. He is so funny, engaging and endearing and the stories are just brilliant. I particularly like the one where he was persuaded he'd found oil (it was actually a puddle) and the one where he was trying out topiary, watched by the neighbour, and chopped the bush right through. I used to commute to Paddington Station and was always pleased to see that absolutely everyone smiled when they saw Paddington in his glass case. He brings happiness. My nickname is The Bear, so I feel we must be related!

Patricia Powell, Windsor


I loved listening to 'Please look after this bear' (thanks to 'listen again'). When I was a child my uncle bought me and my brothers our first Paddington book and we used our pocket money to buy each new book as they came out, loving each adventure. I was thrilled when I could share the stories with my own children and hear them bellow 'Bear' in imitation of Mr Curry as we had done as children. How wonderful to learn my affection is shared by so many others. I am sure Paddington would be surprised but honoured to know he is a National Treasure.

Joy Townhill


My parents bought me a bear when I was young. I pleaded for a Paddington with all the right clothes, to match what he wore in the books. What turned up on my birthday was a perfect bear - complete with brown coat, yellow boots - not the right colours at all! And why? Because this particular Paddington, one of many in the shop, had been turned to face the wall by mistake, and my parents felt sorry for him. I couldn't have cared less what he was wearing - the moment I saw him, I loved him. I made a cardboard bed for him in time for his first night's stay with us, and he is still with me today, minus a hat but still with his label attached. We recently moved house, and I decided he should have a wash before being packed. I soaked him in the sink, whereupon he gained about a stone in weight! I am 46 this year, so he is a very old bear, and they didn't half make them sturdy in those days! His stuffing took nearly 2 weeks to dry out, by which time he was definitely disgruntled. You could tell by his face.

Jane Podgorski, Bishops Stortford.


The December before the BBC gave the 50 Paddingtons away, I sent a Paddington Bear to a friend of mine in the states, as I send her British things, and I thought she might like him. So he is having adventures in the US, as well.

Ian Lister


Many years ago I published a highly academic paper on the results of a study of the teeth in teddy bears in the Dental Journal entitled "Dental Disease in Brunus Edwardii" and as I took care of Michael Bond's grandchildren sent him, via his family, a reprint. I was delighted to recieve a letter from Michael Bond appointing me the Dentist to Paddington Bear. Paddington having read my paper and, no doubt after discussing it with the children requested it specially. It was the proudest moment in my long career. I hope now that he is grown up he is still taking good care of his teeth.

Barry Scheer, BDS,LDS,M.Paed.Dent.RCS


I have just listened to your programme celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Paddington Bear and I wanted to thank you so much for this lovely programme. It brought back wonderful memories of my childhood and also how we shouldn't forget how to be childlike. I thought it was a very clever idea to leave 50 Paddington Bears for people to find and look after. The snippets of telephone messages from new Paddington Bear owners were gems and although short, were quite profound in their memories of childhood. So...thank you once again, it brought tears to my eyes that in a busy, fraught, adult world, we still have Paddington Bear and the wonders of childhood which we should never forget. The programme meant a lot to me and has inspired me, as I am also an author. Well done, for an imaginative programme - Radio 4!

Alicen Geddes-Ward


I remember coming across the full, unexpurgated Paddington Bear stories in 1965 when I was eleven. I was delighted with this character and found the tales very funny and of course, naively wanted to share this at school. My form teacher in year one at the local convent grammar was one small and very severe nun, Sister Mary Dominic. Suffice to say that she was not impressed - I can see her expression now and remember the smart I felt as she queried the sort of reading matter I had. She openly doubted whether it was sophisticated enough for me or indeed anyone half my age. I wonder if Paddington ever had an encounter with a small, severe and, dare I say it, very unpleasant nun? I'm sure he would have got the better of her unlike myself who probably has been scarred for life by that particular teacher. Happy Birthday Paddington - you are a hero!

Marianne Stay


In my youth I was an avid Paddington fan, and my parents gave me a Paddington Bear for my 16th birthday. I didn't know he was coming to live with me, but when I woke up, there he was, waiting in my bedroom door. He still lives with me now, in my daughter's bedroom, keeping safe for me the key from my 18th birthday cake and the champagne cork from my engagement bubbly. When I was 17, my younger brother gave me a tiny little PB, about 2" tall, which I kept in a safe place ever since. My youngest daughter went to Peru last year, and took dear old Paddington with her for me, and when she reached Macchu Picchu, she took him out of her rucksack and let him have a look around. He now lives on the 'Peru shelf' in my display cabinet, amongst the various llamas, condors and traditionally dressed women my daughter collected while she was in his homeland. He looks very happy, I'm so glad she took him. Just wish she'd taken a photo!

Tina, Ilchester


Like many other people, I grew up with Paddington. I remember having to go into hospital for a operation when I was 8, and the children's ward had the biggest collection of Paddington books I had ever seen! My mother would read these to me while I waited for my time to to to the operating theatre, and i'm sure this greatly reduced both our nerves.

The next day when recovering from the operation my mother again started to read some Paddington stories to me, but they were so funny and humorous that my laughing made my stitches sore and she had to stop! Paddington helped me get through my operation, every childrens ward should have a well stocked library of Paddington books.

David Goldthorp


 When working in a children's library a small boy was being taken through the alphabet frieze (Dick Bruna) by his slightly older sister. At B he said "Paddington" with which his sister agreed.

Judy Excell


My Dad bought me a Paddington Bear when I passed my driving test 34  years ago. He's much chubbier than the later bears, with a nicer  face  - I wonder how many of these were made?

Gill Wyatt


I am deaf Peruvian and really so proud of this good tale as he travelled from Peru to London. It sounds like what I did. I am from Peru and now in London (near Paddington station). What a funny!

I Camacho


My sister and I came across Paddington Bear in a public library and have loved him ever since. Our favourite part is where he learns to say "My grandmother fell off the carriage" in French from an outdated phrase book when the family travels to France. The best thing is that the phrase actually is useful when their car breaks down! When I was in England in July 2007, I tried to buy a small bear as souvenir, but was disappointed to see they were all made in China and seemed overpriced. How I wish I could have picked up one of Mr Bond's 50-year bears... Thank you for the many laughs.

Swapna in Cochin, India


I was born at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington in 1975, but I grew up in Devon. My Paddington Bear has always been with me, carrying the name of my birthplace. I have always thought of him as connecting me to and representing where I was born, as being an unconditional friend who is looking after me and my family are looking after him. He has stood in his coat and wellies in many family rooms, wearing an outfit of mine from when I was little - not a dress though! Thank you for this opportunity to honour my Paddington.

Rebecca A'Court


Our son, Issac Doughty was a very fond fan of Mr. Brown (as Mr. Gruber and Issac referred to Paddington), loving at first the abridged picture books and later working through all the stories in order. Sadly our son died on the 21 November 2007 aged 9, having been poorly for sometime, as he had a rare condition called Niemann Picks Syndrome type C. Issac had been a very healthy boy able to run, dance, sing, and read, especially Paddington stories. So much so on his 6th birthday we brought a duffle-coated wellington wearing 18" high bear that arrived by knocking on the front door, to met by an amazed Issac. As Issac got more ill he had to be admitted to the Paddington Childrens ward at Northampton general. Issac like Paddington was a real individual who would not follow but lead. Sorry for such a sad story, but Paddington was so such part of Issacs short life that feel we would like to share it with you.

Simon and Wendy Doughty


My partner remembers having a duvet cover with Paddington on and used to watch him on the TV many years ago, as did I. My Aunty made me a Paddington when I was younger and I have strong memories of his green (not red!!) coat and brown hat!! Loved him! we all wish him a Happy 50th Birthday! Hasn't he aged well!

Karen, Ray and Hannah


As someone else who is 50 this year I feel a close connection with Paddington!!! The stories of that wonderful bear were read to me by my late mother who loved him as well. She wrote to Michael Bond to express our appreciation , and they exchanged letters, pawprint cards etc. I have some signed first editions of the early books which I am very proud of.

When I became an infant teacher my Paddington books came with me - and I really enjoyed reading them to my class of 8 year olds. They learned to love Paddington as well and when their reading ability allowed, read the books for themselves. One of my favourite stories was about Paddington's visit to the dentist - a great one for playing up to the “ooohs” and “aaahs” as Paddington clenched his teeth around the dentists hand!! Still makes me smile!

Bridget Hayward, Surrey


Thank you, thank you very much for reminding us about Paddington. I fell in love with Paddington when I first read one of his books to my children. All of us are Paddington fans now. Some of the passages in his books have become household jokes since then.  Your celebration inspired us: we are holding our own celebration, down in the flat pampas next Sunday. With bear-shape cookies, bear-shape cakes et al. And to tell you the truth, we'd simply love to be able to fly to England and try to find one of those bears. Is there any chance of Paddington coming down here on his way to a visit to Perú????

Maria Teresa La Valle, Buenos Aires


Please, please please read the bit where Paddington, on holiday inFrance with the Browns, goes out on his tricycle to buy some bread and inadvertently wins that leg of the Tour de France! I am 52 years old and can still hear with absolute clarity my father reading it to me while my mother and I cried with laughter. I'm laughing now just thinking about it. I am sure Mr Morpurgo won't take it amiss - in fact he might almost take it as a compliment - if I say that I am sure he will read it nearly as well as my father!

Juliet Bothams


I am holiday here in Peru and just mentioned to my friend that Paddington Bear came from here but no one seemed aware of such an important bear as him. Then we turned around and there he was in the next shop - which happened to be a toy shop. I was catching up with the news on the BBC web site and saw that Paddington is 50 years old soon. He looks very well on it and I hope will be pleased to hear that they do still remember him here, far far away in the land of his birth after all these years....

Sheila Forde, on holiday in Lima, Peru


I have a great photograph of my son as a baby dressed in my actual Paddington bear's clothes!

Katrina, Ipswich
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