The teddy bears of Bishop’s Cleeve showed great intrepidity in their resolve to jump off the tower of St Michael’s during the Street Fair on Sunday. Conditions were against them: the gentle South-West breeze presented a real challenge. However, the sun shone brilliantly, the spectators numbered some hundreds, the teddy owners had designed and produced ingenious parachutes, the Brownie paramedics were ready on the ground, the launch team on the roof were there to give each teddy jumper the best chance, and another team on the lower roof were ready to help the brave teddies on their way down. Malc the compere was full of encouragement and the crowd was ready to cheer. A record number of 101 teddies had entered.
They all piled up to the top of the tower and waited excitedly 'til their moment came.
Some dropped onto the lower roof and were helped to the ground. Others plummeted earthwards, with no air to open up their parachutes. Several went into a flat spin with the excitement of it all. Poor number 64 (Tankie), was caught by a gargoyle. Number 41 (Noddy) had an impressive and intricate triple parachute design, but was stopped by a gutter. A few landed on the lower South-East roof and performed a roly-poly action to get down.
Among those that successfully flew and landed, there was fierce competition for the prizes and awards.
The first main award, for flight, went to number 15 (Lady Gillian Red) - a tiny bear who made a lovely flight across School Road.
The second main award, for costume, parachute and design, went to Number 61 (Party Girl) - who dressed well and travelled well.
Well done, 15 and 61!
Several others won a consolation prize of a chocolate orange:
- Number 4 (Para Teddy) looked very distinctive with a red spotted parachute and made an exemplary flight and landing.
- Number 5 (Daisy) had a graceful flight onto School Road.
- Number 10 (Macca Pacca) was particularly elegant in his landing.
- Number 20 (Poppy) was very prettily dressed.
- Number 28 (Super Stunt) had a very fine parachute which brought him safely down, through all hazards.
- Number 43 (Flap) showed quiet expertise.
- Number 48 (Spencer) landed to a round of applause.
- Number 49 (Pepper Pig) had an excellent flight.
- Number 52 (Mr Bump) performed a very neat and ambitious flight.
- Number 65 (Pepper) had a narrow escape but landed well.
- Number 66 (Charlie Bear) had a spectacular flight.
- Number 73 (Lulu) was deftly caught by a skilful fielder on the ground.
- Number 77 (Fuzzy), in his distinctive spotty parachute, landed well.
- Number 90 (Esmee) was pretty in her design and beautiful in her descent.
- Number 99 (Tattie Mattie) went for efficiency and good design with his big parachute.
If your number was 4, 5, 10, 20, 28, 43, 48, 49, 52, 65, 66, 73, 77, 90, 99, you were awarded a chocolate orange. If you did not come and claim yours on the day, we are keeping it safe in church for you for the next week.
If your teddy is not mentioned in this article, we still think he/she is very courageous to attempt such a difficult adventure. We have not got room to describe all 101.
See you again next year!