Please meet my teddy Fred, who currently lives on a bed in the spare room in Melbourne. He is a very old English bear who (not “which” – he is definitely a person) was given to my mother for her first birthday in May 1930.
Fred was made by Farnell in the UK. He was in fine condition when he was given to me. He had a growl that worked, soft padded paws of pale felt, with decorative stitching and a full coat of fur. He had his original eyes and snout. By the time I had finished loving him to death he was almost bald, had no nose and badly mangled pads. His eyes had been replaced numerous times. He was taken for some TLC to the “doll’s hospital” in the Block Arcade in Melbourne about 10 years ago. He is the fine specimen of bear-hood that you see above, thanks to their help.
I named Fred after Fredd Bear from a children’s TV show, the Magic Circle Club (1965-67) on Melbourne’s ATV Channel O. Fredd (Tedd Dunn) was a silent, big, cuddly bear, who I loved dearly. Mum took me to see the cast doing a live show at the Myer store at Chadstone. I was so thrilled to see him but too terrified to go on stage when they asked for children from the audience to participate. All the kids who went up received prizes. I have remembered and regretted my shyness of that day, ever since!
Fred came with me on an outing to the Jam Factory this year. We had gone for a morning treat but as the cafe didn’t have any pots of honey we decided to skip the Teddy Bear picnic and grab a few booth snaps instead.
It may be noted that I have written a good deal more about this loved creature than I have about my sister and brother. This is definitely due to the fact that teddy bears do not have good computer skills and thus he is unlikely to reprimand me for the quality of the pictures or for saying anything which may embarrass him.