Bearing the test of time

Britain’s oldest remaining teddy bear manufacturer is celebrating nine decades of business in 2020 with the launch of a limited-edition bear to kick off its 90th year.

Shropshire-based Merrythought, which still handmakes each teddy in the same Ironbridge factory to which it first opened its doors in September 1930, is starting the landmark year by releasing a unique 90th Anniversary Commemorative Teddy Bear. The special bear, of which only 300 will be available, blends the ruby and golden anniversary year colours throughout its design and has Merrythought’s 90th anniversary logo embroidered on its paw.

Managing director Sarah Holmes was keen to emphasize that the bear is just the start of a number of commemorative events planned for the year, saying, “We’re holding a specialist collectors’ event in September for our keen Merrythought fans and a teddy bear’s picnic for local school children in Ironbridge in the summer.”

Sarah added, “Our teddy bears are still produced by hand in almost the same way that they were when my great-grandfather started the company all those years ago, and that’s a key reason that our bears have stood the test of time – and continue to do so.

“Merrythought is a legacy that has survived generation after generation, and I’m proud that the company continues to hand-make the finest quality teddy bears here in Britain as it reaches 90 years in business.”

The firm has worked with other leading British brands on some highly successful collaborations over the years, as well as providing bears for celebrities and even royalty. Merrythought also been active in working with charities over the years; the Children’s Air Ambulance and Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust each have a bear who raises funds for their causes.

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