Farewell Paddington! Time for St Albans stalwart to say his goodbyes
- Credit: Mary Duke
It will soon be time to say goodbye to a much-loved figure in the local community.
For decades, a stuffed Paddington Bear toy has looked out at passers-by from a window in Brampton Road, St Albans, changing his outfits according to the season, celebrations and events.
But the sad passing of his owner Jim Robson in April has meant the house has been sold and Paddington will soon be bidding his friends a fond farewell.
He first appeared back in 1987 when Jim's daughter Sarah Hayman left home and mum Julie put her toy Paddington in the window to watch out for her.
Flash-forward 35 years and over this time he has been dressed in a Santa suit, in assorted Halloween costumes, and clad in outfits for Wimbledon and Glastonbury, many made by their cousin Jane Bateman, with a whole drawer filled with his various clothes.
He even wore a special outfit for the wedding of Julie's other daughter Mary to Stephen Duke, appearing in lots of the photos as a guest of honour.
After Julie died her son Nigel Robson has continued to dress Paddington, but now the time has come for him to move on.
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Mary said: "Lots of children like to stop and wave to him, and many adults remember seeing him as children. The neighbour says that when she is telling people which house she lives in she simply says 'the house next door to Paddington'.
"He has received dozens of letters and cards over the years, and lots of people have kindly offered to take him in and put him in their window, but our daughter Dorothy really wants him to come to our house.
"Since the For Sale sign went up, people have looked in even more, and while we have been clearing the house, they've stopped to say how much Paddington has meant to them."
She has also been inundated with comments on social media.
Helen Killner said: "We have loved seeing Paddington over the years and seeing his various costumes."
Rupa Patel mused: "It's going to be so sad not to see PB peeking through the window."
While Tammy Goffee said: "Such a part of all our childhoods."