Airport teddy bear mystery solved as the owner comes forward
The owner of a battered antique teddy bear which was abandoned at an airport has finally been found after nearly two years.
The mystery of a 100-year-old battered teddy bear, with a missing eye and floppy ears, which was found abandoned in an airport departure lounge has finally been solved after nearly two years.
Airport staff discovered the antique bear, which had lost much of its fur, in a bag with a black and white photograph of two little girls with the teddy, dated March 1918.
A message on the back of the photo read: “With dearest love and kisses to our darling Daddie from your loving little daughters Dora and Glyn.”
After public appeal launched last summer, the bear’s owner Robert Glyn Baker has come forward.
After finding the bear in 2012, staff at Bristol Airport spent 14 months trawling through flight records to try and spot any passengers matching the names on the photo.
They then launched a public appeal, but were unable to find any living relatives until a story was run in The Mature Times, a newspaper for the over 50s.
Mr Baker was sent a copy of the article and recognised the teddy as a family heirloom he had lost while travelling through the airport on his way to Cyprus.
He said, “I was stunned when I got a cutting of the Mature Times in the post and saw my bear on the front page. I thought it was lost forever, I was convinced it had been destroyed.”
Airport staff were able to date the picture after they enlisted the help of a number of experts and a second message was discovered, which said, “Taken on Baby’s birthday March 4th 1918, one year and five-months-old.”
But, despite identifying the children they were unable to find them.
Launching the appeal last year, Jacqui Mills, an airport spokesman who had kept the bear on her desk, said: “He’s well-loved, that is for sure.
“He looks a bit battered but I think that’s because he has been given so many cuddles over the years. We were certain that someone would claim him, but when they didn’t he was passed over to the airport police who tried every means possible to find his family.”
Robert spotted the bear, which had been nicknamed ‘Bristo’ by staff, after his former wife sent him a cutting of the Mature Times front page from January.
He said, “I’m an only child and my auntie Dora didn’t have any children either so I am the only person that could have got the bear. My mum gave him a different nose, he has pads on his arms too. I think I gave him a rough time when I was a kid. It’s the sentimental value really, my hands were so full with what I was carrying I thought I had left it in the toilet. I had so much with me, but like a fool I left it in the airport. I would love to have it back.”
By Miranda Prynne, News Reporter
A teddy surrounded by mystery,
Was found to have quite a history;
It was missing an ear,
Being lost caused a tear,
It was found after some publicity.
The bear was really quite old,
When it fell from the family fold;
Lost at an airport,
Without a bear passport,
It was worth its weight in gold.
Officials began a vast search,
On a desk the lost teddy did perch;
It took quite a while,
To bring back a boy’s smile,
Once the bear was removed from the lurch.
The lost bear tale was sent to the press,
The owner was anyone’s guess;
A print message went out,
Finding him was in doubt,
But they’d soon see an end to the stress.
A man recognized his heirloom,
Putting an end to his gloom;
To some it’s a toy,
Lost by a young boy,
When he found it his smile lit the room.
© 2013 Ronald J. Yarosh
All rights reserved.