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How Paddington Bear got his wellies

Cover of  by Shirley Clarkson

"It was Shirley Clarkson, Jeremy Clarkson's mum, that first gave Paddington Bear his famous wellington boots, no less than 14 years after the character was originally created. Each Christmas she would hand make a toy to sit on top of her children's stockings, and in 1971 she made their favourite, Paddington Bear.

Shortly after this her small company went into production and she gave the Paddingtons small children's Dunlop wellies to solve the problem of how to make him stand up. The toy was a sellout and the back bedroom company that had once produced tea cosies for sale in Doncaster escalated rapidly and was hailed a British success story. But as the seventies went on they hit hard times and eventual decline.

Shirley has now released a book telling her rollercoaster story of how a simple bear became a worldwide icon. Jeremy says of his own motherĂ¢??s book: "A heart-warming, inspirational tale of a woman trying to run a business while having me as a son." 'Bearly Believable' is now on sale at all major book retailers."

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