When we were in London last weekend, whizzing across the city in a black cab (which made the Madhouse kids feel like we were stars !), Juliette was most confused by all the road signs saying Paddington. "Isn't he a bear?", she asked ! Stifling a giggle, I explained to her that he was indeed a bear, but he was named after Paddington Station, in an area of London called Paddington, which is where he was found.
If you're a fan of Paddington Bear, now is a great time to head to London because, to tie in with the UK release of the Paddington film on 28th November, there are a whole series of Paddington statues dotted all over the city. We managed to find this one in Kensington Gardens near our hotel (and we'd absolutely love it if you could pop across and vote for us here !). You can find out about "our" bear here - he's called Paws Engage and he's by Canterbury of New Zealand and is signed by all the players of the England rugby team.
We also spotted this fabulous display with a gold Paddington bear, gold taxi and dozens of jars of marmalade in Selfridge's window (along with some other beautiful Christmas window displays, more of which you can see on my daughter's blog, Sophie's Bilingual World). This is another of the Paddington Trail bears, designed by supermodel Kate Moss - you can find out more about him here.
In an ideal world, I'd have loved to have followed the trail to see all 50 bears but there are never enough hours in the day to do and see everything in London. If you're heading to the capital in the run up to Christmas, it's definitely worth going to have a look though. I'd like to draw your attention to a couple of special bears, designed by the lovely Davina McCall and world acclaimed British portrait and fashion photographer Rankin, both of which are raising awareness (and hopefully funds) for Action Medical Research, a charity I've told you about before (and whose mascot is Paddington Bear).
All of the bears will be rasising funds for charity. Rankin and Davina’s statues will raise funds for Action Medical Research for Children for whom Paddington has been the official mascot for over 35 years and the remaining 48 bears will be auctioned by Christies from 10th December to raise funds the NSPCC.
There are a couple of competitions for you to enter too, if you do go to visit. If you’d like the chance of winning a 'Paddington at Large' book signed by the author, Michael Bond, then take a picture with the bear designed by Rankin from 4th November near St Paul’s Cathedral and tweet to @actionmedres with #PaddingtonTrail by 8th December.
And if you’d like to be in with a chance to win a set of Paddington Bear books signed by the author, Michael Bond, then take a picture with the bear designed by Davina from 4th November at Horse Guards Parade and tweet to @actionmedres with #PaddingtonTrail by 8th December 2014.
Have you got any plans to go to London on a Paddington Bear hunt? Or maybe you've already been? If so, I'd love to hear about which of the statues you managed to spot !
Other blogposts you may be interested in :