A SPECTACULAR stately home is helping visitors relive their childhood by showcasing one of the world’s largest collections of teddy bears.
Gifted to Newby Hall by Gyles Brandreth, the collection has some of the world’s best loved bears, including the original star of the Paddington 1970s animated TV series, Harry Corbett’s 1950s Sooty and Muppet Show’s Fozzie Bear.
Other notable bears include the original Pudsey Bear, Tony Blair’s Lynton, Francois, the teddy bear of French ex-president Francois Mitterand and a range of literary-themed bears.
There’s even one bear made entirely of moss.
The extensive collection was assembled by teddy bear enthusiasts Brandreth and his wife, Michele Brown, over many years and was previously housed at the former Teddy Bear Museum in Stratford-on-Avon.
At Newby, the collection will be on permanent display in a new purpose-built Bear House where visitors can get up close and ‘pawsonal’ with the bears from Saturday May 28.
They will be displayed in a series of specially commissioned tableaux ranging from a classic picnic and a library scene (books include Macbear, Paw and Peace, Jane Bear, The Merry Bears of Windsor, and the Encyclopedia Beartannica) to a church wedding and even an Olympics scene to celebrate the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
Entry to the exhibition is included in the garden entry price, although teddy bear visitors will be admitted free of charge.
Address: Newby Hall and Gardens, Ripon, HG4 5AJ
Opening times: Open Tuesday to Sunday in April, May, June and September, open daily in July and August. Gates open at 11am, last admission 5pm.
Prices: House and gardens - adult £15, child £12. Gardens only - adult £11, child £8.50.
Telephone: 01423 322583