Paddington Bear creator dies: 8 things about the well-loved character

Cinema still from the movie Paddington. PHOTO: SHAW ORGANISATION

Michael Bond died on Tuesday (June 27) at the age of 91, but his legacy lives on in the well-loved character he created - Paddington Bear.

The bear - with its hat, suitcase and coat - from Peru, first appeared in books written by Bond, but was later featured in television shows and movies.

Here are eight things to know about the polite character.

1. It was named after a train station

A jar of marmalade is left at the foot of a Paddington bear statue at Paddington station on June 28, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

Bond saw a teddy bear "left on a shelf" on Christmas Eve 1956 and bought it as a present for his wife.

He named it after Paddington Station, which was near where he lived at the time.

A life-sized bronze statue of the bear was installed there in 2000.

2. Google incorporated it in a doodle

On Paddington's 50th birthday in October 2008, it was included in a Google Doodle.

The bear is illustrated in its signature outfit, and the "L" in Google is replaced by a pole with signs pointing to London, where Paddington lives, and Peru, where it came from.

3. Paddington multiplied

For one month in 2014, more than 50 individually-designed Paddington Bears were scattered across London.

This was in celebration of the city's art and culture.

The bears sported different coats and hats, and toted varying designs of suitcases.

4. Imaginary address

In the stories, Paddington Bear lives at 32 Windsor Gardens in Notting Hill.

But while Windsor Gardens exists, there is no number 32.

Tourists who attempt to find it instead find flats. Bond came up with the address by combining his address with his parents'.

5. Paddington arrived in England with only his hat

Merchandise for sale at the Paddington Bear shop in Paddington station on June 28, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

Most know Paddington with three classic items - its hat, coat and boots. But when it first arrived from Peru, it only had a hat.

It was later given its blue duffle coat and boots.

The hat travelled with it, originally beloning to Paddington's uncle Pastuzo.

6. Increase in sales of Wellington boots

The popularity of Paddington Bear led to an increase in the sale of Wellington boots, which it was dressed in.

The wellies were produced by Dunlop before Gabrielle Designs took over because the demand was too much to handle.

In 1978, Gabrielle desings sold 87,000 pairs of boots.

7. Representative of British culture

The original Paddington Bear, which starred in dozens of BBC television programmes, sits on a stack of marmalade sandwiches. PHOTO: REUTERS

When the Channel Tunnel between Britain and France was linked in 1994, Paddington Bear was chosen as the first item to be passed to the French.

8. Paddington and Piracy

Paddington had become so popular by 1975 that the first producers of the stuffed bear, Eddie and Shirley Clarkson had to issue warning letters, legal correspondence, and take an advertisement in the newspapers warning others against producing or purchasing counterfeit Paddington bear stuffed toys.

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