The 100-year-old dog-eared teddy bear found abandoned in Bristol Airport’s departure lounge has finally found its owner, the Airport said in a release.
Staff at Bristol Airport found the antique bear, which has one eye and a floppy ear, in a bag with a frayed black and white photo of him with two little children, dated March 1918. The toy had no name tag, but a message in faded ink on the back of the picture read: ‘With dearest love and kisses to our darling Daddie from your loving little daughters Dora and Glyn.’
The bear, nicknamed ‘Bristol’ by staff, was found in 2012 and staff spent 14 months searching flight records to see if they could find any two passengers with the same names as mentioned on the picture.
A public appeal was issued to try and trace the owner earlier this year and a campaign was launched by The Mature Times, a newspaper for the over 50s.
Robert Glyn Baker saw the story and recognised the bear that he lost while travelling through the airport on his way to Cyprus. He said: ‘I was stunned when I got a cutting of the Mature Times in the post (sent by his former wife) and saw my bear on the front page. I thought it was lost forever, I was convinced it had been destroyed.
‘I’m an only child and my auntie Dora didn’t have any children either so I am the only person that could have got the bear,’ Robert said. ‘It’s the sentimental value really, my hands were so full with what I was carrying I thought I had left it in the toilet. I had so much with me, but like a fool I left it in the airport. I would love to have it back.’
Robert is the son of Glyn Baker, born in 1916, who is pictured with his sister in a photograph found with the bear.
Jacqui Mills, public relations manager at Bristol Airport, said: ‘We are delighted that the owner of ‘Bristol Bear’ has been found. The Bristol Airport team was determined not to give up on the search, and we always hoped we could reunite him with his family.
‘Finding out that the father in the photograph served in Mesopotamia (now Iraq) during the First World War and received the picture of his family shortly before his sad death, really brings these lost property items to life. The little bear has been on an amazing journey and we are now making plans for his final flight home.’