Getting a new teddy bear as a four-year-old little girl will always be a joyous occasion, but how about being gifted that very same bear again 96 years later?
This is exactly what happened to Pulborough resident Jen Jennings.
At a few days short of her 100th birthday, Jen is still very much involved in village life and among other things she regularly attends the weekly Village Hub, Lunch Club and Wednesday Club and the Tea Spot Craft Café held at the United Reformed Church.
Recently, Jen brought her 96-year-old much-loved, but rather battered, teddy to Craft Café to ask if anyone might be able to patch him up.
The club members all agreed that such a distinguished old bear deserved professional treatment and offered to make some enquiries.
Having tracked down Sue Pearson of Bygone Bears in Lewes the decision was made to have the teddy restored as a birthday present for Jen.
On hearing the story, Sue, who has been restoring bears at her teddy hospital for over 40 years, immediately agreed to carry out the work as a matter of urgency and had the teddy ready to be reunited with Jen at this week’s Craft Café on Tuesday.
Janet Batt presented the beloved teddy bear to Jen who was left overwhelmed by the surprise.
She said: “I can’t believe it, my dear old Teddy looks as good as new. I can’t imagine a better birthday present!”
Liz Sollom, craft group organiser, said: “We had been trying to think of a suitable gift to mark Jen’s special day and what could be better than this?
“Jen’s reaction when we presented her with teddy was priceless. Let’s hope she can enjoy Teddy for many more years to come.”
Jen will celebrate her centenary on Wednesday September 19 with her family and friends at the Lunch Club and Wednesday Club in Pulborough Village Hall.