There are some toys that are so special, it’s hard not to personify them. Teddy Climas is one of these. With over one hundred years on the earth, Teddy Climas’ story is a good one, and it starts and ends in Sussex.
The early years
Teddy Climas is a 1909 Steiff bear, complete with the humpback, ear button, and long arms that are recognisable as a Steiff creation. He was gifted to Mrs Elizabeth Bennett when she was around three years old in the early 20th Century. He was the one thing she had taken from her home in London during the Blitz as she ran for shelter, and he stayed with her throughout her life.
Joining a new family
In 1977-1978, when Mrs Bennett was in her late 70s, she came across an advert placed in the local paper asking “where are the teddy bears?” The ad was placed in a bid to rehome old teddy bears. The authors of the advert were the Neher family, who had travelled from Canada to spend the academic year in Brighton. Mrs Bennett answered the advert, expressing concern for Teddy Climas’ future as her daughter didn’t want him. A meeting was organised between the Neher family and Mrs Bennet, after which she approved the Nehers as the new guardians of her beloved bear.
In the same year, the Nehers bought Big Ted in Hove. Big Ted is thought to be a Chad Valley bear, created circa 1920, and he has been with Teddy Climas ever since. The two joined the Neher family on their travels back to the USA and Canada, and have been together ever since.