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Tuesday, 30 December 2014

London's Paddington Bear Trail

The Paddington Bear trail across London ended today, much to the sadness of some fans still trying to track down all 50 statues of the famous creation. Yesterday I came across a middle-aged couple, making the most of a seat by Ant and Dec’s creation Bear Humbug (left) in Oxford St. Despite their best efforts they were only half-way through the list of locations.

 It has been fascinating to see how celebrities, artists and fashion designers have re-interpreted the bear from darkest Peru. Frankie Bridge, singer and Strictly Come Dancing contestant, covered her creation with coloured glitter.
Musician Liam Gallagher went for Parka Paddington.
Model Kate Moss chose gold. Her Paddington, surrounded by jars of the bear’s favourite marmalade, was tucked up safely in a Selfridges window, to the delight of passing children.
Michael Bond, author of the Paddington stories, chose to stick with the blue duffel coat and battered brown suitcase he first dreamed up in 1958. Fittingly, Bond’s creation was placed at Paddington Station where in the first book he was found by the Brown family with a note attached to his coat that read: “Please look after this bear. Thank you.”
While the trail has finished, Paddington fans can still catch the movie, or find out more about his journey from page to screen at the Museum of London's free exhibition, A Bear Called Paddington. This has proved so popular it's been extended to January 25, 2015.

There's also the opportunity to bid for one of the trail bears at an on-line auction. Thirty-six of them are being sold to raise funds for charity with prices so far ranging from £1,200 to £5,000.
The auction continues until January 7. Details at