Old Bears Everywhere


In 1926 the English author A.A. Milne, published a book with his premier collection of stories, inspired by his beloved son Christopher Robin with illustrations by E. H. Shepherd. That book was Winnie-the-Pooh, followed in 1928 by The House at Pooh Corner. The world had now been introduced to the lovably friendly Pooh, the melancholy Eeyore, the happily bounding Tigger and the anxiously shy Piglet who all reside in 100 Acre Wood, where they meet up with their friend Christopher Robin.

The characters are based upon Christopher's own beloved, cuddly collection, whilst Pooh (who like the others, had a different look before Disney) was an Alpha Farnell Bear named Edward. This however would soon change after a family visit to London Zoo, were a young Canadian Bear now called home. This Bear in herself was a remarkable part of history. She had been purchased by a Harry Colebourn from the 2nd Infantry Canadian Brigade for the sum of $20. The idea was to bring moral to the troops as they travelled during WWI, so she came to England with the group. When the troop received orders to go to France, Winnipeg was left at the zoo, with the mind that at a later date she would find a home in a Canadian zoo. However, due to her immense popularity and her gentle spirit she was so well received, that Henry decided to let her stay where she had settled.

Christopher changed Edward to Winnipeg, Winnie for short, whilst Pooh came from the name already given to the family's pet swan.

Many animated films along with the recent CGI releases, have insured that the public's love for the iconic characters never wanes, whist imagery on merchandise covering every aspect of our lives, still remains as popular as it ever was.