Big Bear brings a touch of whimsy to Chobham lockdown

PEOPLE passing a house in Chobham during the coronavirus crisis have been entertained by a giant teddy bear appearing in everchanging costumes.

Big Bear has been dressed up differently by Sue and Tony Hallam on every day of the lockdown – nearly 50 times at the time of going to press.

Sue and Tony Hallam with Big Bear as a gardener, along with newly planted Teddy Bear Sunflower seeds. They intend to give plants raised from the seeds to local children. Photo by Rob Searle

Sitting in their drive in Burr Hill Lane, he has been a snorkeller, gladiator, gardener, cleaner, snooker player, footballer, baker, rambler, shopper, cyclist, artist, treacle miner and golfer, among many other guises.

Sue is secretary of Chobham Agricultural and Horticultural Society, so he has also been dressed as a Chobham Show judge.

As Tony is a member of the Chobham Morris, Big Bear has appeared in the dancers’ blue and white costume, complete with a traditional stick.

He has sent best wishes to NHS fundraiser Captain Tom on his 100th birthday, urged people to stay at home and protect the NHS, taken part in the VE Day 75 celebrations and been seen at a sewing machine making scrubs for health workers.

“We thought it would be a nice idea to use the bear to amuse people as they pass by on their permitted walks,” said Sue. “We’ve managed to keep changing the theme and there have been a lot of smiling faces, especially when children see him.”

Sue and Tony won Big Bear in a raffle at a Children With Special Needs Foundation fundraising event four years ago.

“It was a dinner at the Beijing restaurant in Guildford and his actual name is Bearjing,” added Sue.

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