A well-worn teddy bear cherished by its owner for nearly a century is coming up for auction in September.
The cuddly toy, simply named ‘Bear’, belonged to the late Ida Goring and was by her side during a diverse century of historical events which included two world wars, the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, the invention of an electronic television in 1927 and man walking on the Moon in 1969.
Born in 1913, Ida, who had three children, eight grandchildren and seven great grandchildren, died shortly before her 102nd birthday in 2015 – and her teddy was with her for 99 of those years.
Main image: Jenny Pickett with Bear, top left with her mother Ida. Bottom left, Ida with her son David.
Her daughter Jenny Pickett, 62, a school dinner lady from Burton-on-Trent, Staffs, said: “My mum was given the bear when she was three years old in 1916 by her father, Joe Webb.
“She treasured it until she died in 2015. It used to sit on a chair and she’d sometimes dress it up in baby clothes. When my dad died, she’d put Bear on his side of the bed when she went to sleep. I think it brought her some comfort.”
Ida, who was born in the village of Overseal, South Derbyshire, during the First World War, married Wilf Goring in 1945 but lost her husband after 46 years of marriage in 1991. The loss hit hard but her treasured childhood teddy could never be taken away from her.
Ida kept Bear on her bed after she lost her husband; Ian in the 1920s.
“My grandad was given the bear by a nurse when he was invalided out of the army during the First World War,” said Mrs Pickett. “He had hydrocephalus, water on the brain, and was sent to St Bartholomew's Hospital in London. A nurse asked him if he’d like the teddy for Ida and he said yes.
“We’ve got a wonderful picture of her with it when she was about three years old and it crops up in various pictures taken during her life.
“The teddy’s just been sat in a box in my spare bedroom for the last four years so I decided it was time to part with him. He just needs a little bit of love – someone to care for him and put him on show.
“I have no emotional attachment to him and my three daughters and four granddaughters didn’t want him so I thought it would be nice for him to go to a new owner who could cherish him as much as mum did.”
Joe and Ada Webb, Ida's parents. Ida with a doll circa 1917.
Mrs Pickett hopes money raised from selling the toy at Deryshire’s Hansons Auctioneers can be put to good use. Ida’s son and Mrs Pickett’s brother, David Goring, died at the age of 67 in 2016 and any money raised will be used to help his family.
“My niece can’t afford a headstone for David as they cost thousands of pounds,” said Mrs Pickett. “I want to give her some money to help and anything I raise from selling Bear will go towards it.”
The antique teddy, which is around 104 years old, will be sold at Hansons’ Etwall saleroom, near Derby, on September 19 with a guide price of £70-£100.
Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons, said: “I was incredibly touched by this story. To think that Ida had a teddy to cuddle for 99 years is special. I’m sure she would have been proud of what her daughter is doing to help her brother’s family and I’m happy Hansons can play its part.”
Bear sitting comfortably. Hansons' toy valuer Steve Fulford with Bear.
Steve Fulford, toy valuer at Hansons, said: “I’m not at all surprised Ida kept her toy for life. People have a very strong attachment to teddies because, often, they’re the first toy they’re given as a child. I’m 62 and I still have my first bear, John. He was given to me as a present when I was two.
“I’d never part with John so I understand why Ida kept Bear. Toys like these are a treasured part of our childhood, reminding us of happy family times and parental love.”
Bear will be sold at Hansons, Heage Lane, Etwall, Derbyshire, DE65 6LS, on September 19. To find out more, email [email protected].
To arrange a free toy valuation, please email: [email protected]