Tuesday, 15 October 2019

The Bear Necessities

Making memory bears this summer has got me thinking about our own family bear collection. My own teddy is very old - in fact much older than me, he is pre WW2, and as yet has never appeared on the blog. The Bear which Liz had as a child was a "Prayer Bear". Although they were advertised in magazines in Spring 1982, when I was pregnant, I could not find them in any toyshops [this was pre-internet-searches, remember] So I contacted the company. They'd decided not to sell them in the UK after all - but kindly gave us one of the sample bears for our new baby. In 2016 I knitted a new sweater for Prayer Bear, who is now Rosie's bear.
Steph, on the other hand, had "Grumble Bear" - a gift from my Mum. He had a grumpy expression, and a growl to match. But Steph loved him. Two years ago, I got interested in smocking, so made Grumble Bear his own authentic, linen Dorset Smock
It was something of a learning curve, and I abandoned any idea of making a full size smock for Bob [although he would have looked good in one at last week's Barn Dance]
Grumble Bear currently sits on the spare bed. But...come next April, he will have to go and live in Manchester. Steph and Gaz are expecting a baby!! [Pause for excited cheering]
But I was concerned- his 'growl' hasn't worked for years. I unpicked his back seam and did a 'growlectomy'
The growl had come to bits - a plastic tube, sealed with a cardboard disc, containing a lump of concrete. As the concrete slides down the tube, it should force out the air, thus making the growling noise. but the seal was broken, and the
concrete was degrading into grey dust. 
New growls cost around £7 and I wasn't sure if I wanted to replace it anyway. I cannot remember how old Steph was when she got Bear - and did the growl frighten her at first? and I don't like the idea of plastic and concrete dust in a toy. 
And it is so heavy
So just I filled up the large hole in his back with fresh wadding and restitched the seam with some lovely Leicester Thread. He is much lighter and even more cuddly. He still looks grumpy though!
So I shall be busy crafting baby stuff again- my nephew Robin is now the proud father of a baby boy. Over the weekend, Gillian gave birth to James Geoffrey, so I am now a great-aunt twice over.


  1. Congrats on the new arrivals and on repairing grumpy ted.

  2. Growlectomy!! My mum had one with a Growl. He was unoriginally called Growler! I'm glad that the girls' bears are still in use!

  3. What wonderful news - congratulations to everyone!

  4. Congratulations! I am sure Grumble Bear will be loved by a new baby! My teddy bear when I was a child was old and worn, but I never thought about that it was inherited from my oldest brother. When my brother got his first child, the first grandchild in the family, the bear was given to the baby. That was the first time I realized that the teddy I had loved all my childhood was not really mine, it was my brother's! I was a little shocked :)

  5. Congratulations! What wonderful news! How lovely that Grumble Bear will have a new baby to look after!

    1. Perhaps I should follow your example and start work on a quilt

  6. I'm so pleased about Steph and Gary's lovely news.

    1. Thanks Nicky - you are always so kind and encouraging in your comments


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