Do any of my readers watch the BBC television series, The Repair Shop? In July 2013, while camping in the New Forest, I took my intrepid teddy bear, Edward, to a wonderful little shop in Beaulieu where Amanda and Julie, the teddy bear ladies from the show, once sold new bears and repaired older ones. Edward met their original Bartie Bristle, a unique teddy bear created by the ladies. My elder son bought me one of his cousins from the mass produced range. And Edward had tea with the residents of the Bear It In Mind Hotel and Spa, who were awaiting repair.
I also came away with a little book, written by Julie and beautifully illustrated by Jill Fry. It tells the story of the shop and of Bartie Bristle. The author kindly signed it for me. I have watched with pleasure as these lovely ladies have found success doing what they so obviously enjoy.
I mention all this because I thought at the time I might have some old bears who would benefit from their care and attention. Almost a decade later, with Amanda and Julie now having closed their shop and become television personalities, I was delighted to come across Flump Bear Care on Instagram.
From his base in Leicestershire, Dr Flump takes in bears of all types and ages, offering necessary repairs and rejuvenating spa treatments. Patients stay in welcoming accommodation where they may interact with other guests and permanent residents. Some of the bears are sent by their humans. Others are seeking adoption in new, loving homes.
Having contacted Dr Flump to book my bears in for treatment, I carefully packed them in a large box ready for posting north at the end of last month. Here they are pictured shortly after checking in, a tad nervous but knowing they are in good paws.
After initial assessment, they were each added to the schedule for operations. I was kept well informed at every stage that I may provide agreement to what was being recommended. I was also happy to see pictures appearing on Instagram of them playing, chatting and taking tea with the other patients and residents at Flump Bear Care.
My three little bears were very brave as they faced a plethora of repairs as well as enjoying their deep cleansing spa treatment.
Joints were mended and tightened, eyes and paw pads replaced, many darns were added and stuffing sorted as needed. The most obvious repair was to Fluffy’s muzzle, returning to him the signature shape of the Chiltern Bear from the 1950s. Don’t they all look so much happier now? Blanche can dance again. Goldie can kick a ball around. Fluffy is simply delighted to be able to see!
Blanche was particularly pleased to be offered a complimentary, knitted waistcoat with sparkly threading. Fluffy was feeling so chipper after his treatment he decided he no longer needed the cardigan, that has helped hold him together for many years. The only accessory he has requested is a new, shiny ribbon. I will be happy to provide this.
These three bears are my and my siblings childhood teddies. Fluffy (early 1950s) belonged to my brother. He was left behind when Andrew emigrated to Australia in the mid 1970s. Blanche (early 1960s) was my sister’s. She and Fluffy lived in my parents’ dark and dusty attic until I realised and brought them to live with me. Goldie (mid 1960s) is my first bear and required work on her limbs at the joints as the younger, tomboy me used to play quite demanding games with him. I’m not sure his memories of parachuting out my bedroom window will be good ones…
Flump Bear Care offers a skilled and friendly service. Repairs are carried out with the aim of retaining original character and features where this is possible.
To anyone with a bear who would benefit from a clean and repair, I can highly recommend their services.
I am delighted to have my three bears back home where they belong but know they will be sharing tales of their big adventure for many years to come. Thanks to Flump Bear Care these years may now be spent more comfortably – with working joints, secure eyes and paw pads, and adequate stuffing.
For repairs, contact Dr Flump via direct message on Instagram
Bear adoptions are arranged via Instagram or Etsy
This post represents my thanks to Flump Bear Care and was not sponsored in any way, shape or form.