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Merrythought celebrates Olympics teddy bear contract

Telford | News | Published:

A Shropshire toymaker is celebrating after Olympics bosses decided a bear was a necessity for London 2012. A Shropshire toymaker is celebrating after Olympics bosses decided a bear was a necessity for London 2012. Merrythought, which has been hand-making teddy bears at its former foundry base in Ironbridge for 80 years, has been given the job of making the official range of commemorative bears for the Olympic Games and Paralympics. Bosses at the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games say they wanted a British-made bear as a symbol of the event. LOCOG commercial director Chris Townsend said: 'We are delighted Merrythought is on board to produce this exclusive range of memorabilia. To us there was no question that the great British teddy bear could become a symbol to mark London 2012." Full story in today's paper

A Shropshire toymaker is celebrating after Olympics bosses decided a bear was a necessity for London 2012.

Merrythought, which has been hand-making teddy bears at its former foundry base in Ironbridge for 80 years, has been given the job of making the official range of commemorative bears for the Olympic Games and Paralympics.

Bosses at the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games say they wanted a British-made bear as a symbol of the event.

LOCOG commercial director Chris Townsend said: 'We are delighted Merrythought is on board to produce this exclusive range of memorabilia. To us there was no question that the great British teddy bear could become a symbol to mark London 2012."

Merrythought was set up in 1930 and its 25-strong workforce still makes each mohair bear by hand. The family business is now run by Oliver Holmes, grandson of founder Gordon Holmes.

The fourth generation — Oliver's eldest daughter Sarah — joined the company last year.

She said: "When the Olympics people approached us, at first we rather thought it was probably more suitable to a mass-producer in the Far East. But London 2012 were very keen that the bear should be made in the UK.

"We will start off with a run of 2,012, to be launched around Easter. It should retail for about £69.95. There isn't a name for the bear yet, but I understand the London 2012 people may decide to run a competition to come up with a name."

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