Paddington Bear, visiting his family in darkest Peru. © J. Ashley Nixon
The story about the lovely little bear who turned up at Paddington Station, all the way from “deepest Peru” has been with me for a lifetime. Sadly, Paddington Bear’s creator, Michael Bond, passed away at his home in London this week. He was 91.
My first age with Paddington was as a child when I first read A Bear Called Paddington, taken out of the old public library at Haworth, Yorkshire. The cartoon series on the BBC was a fun thing to watch and I can still hum the tune. But my relationship with the bear who loved marmalade sandwiches didn’t stop there.
In 1997, when I went to live in Peru, I joined the local Hash House Harriers social running club in Lima. The club gave me Paddington as my Hash Handle (name) and it was an honour. As part of our final hash run with the club in 2001, we celebrated with Paddington tee-shirts specially printed for the occasion.
The love for this precious bear was passed along to my own children and he (a small stuffed version) joined us on a tour through Peru including Machu Picchu in 2011.
Paddington still hangs out with us at home and is usually on display. Thank you, Michael Bond, for bringing Paddington Bear into the world. Rest in Peace.