So, last weekend I took a trip to the lovely British little seaside town of Lyme Regis. I’ve been a few times (I’m a Weymouth regular holiday-er and like to venture out now and again).
Whilst wondering down the quaint cobbled streets I came across a shop I hadn’t recognised before. Maybe I was too young to remember before. Or maybe we didn’t wander down that particular part last time. Either way, for me, was the kind of place that if you were to remember one thing in particular about the visit, this would probably be in the top three things about Lyme Regis.
I am talking about this place:
Looks like a teddy bear / toy shop no?
Wrong. Not only does this shop sell vintage teddy bear collectibles and all kinds of cute cuddly things, it also has a Teddy Bear Hospital at the back of the store. Like ACTUAL teddy bears in ACTUAL patient beds with ACTUAL injuries and ACTUAL sets of patient notes.
I was so intrigued by this that I asked the guy about the damaged toys in these patient beds. He confirmed what I saw. Yes. This was in fact a teddy bear hospital in which people from across the world send their worse-for-wear toys to be mended. The guy in the store was currently ‘working on a patient’ at the time (stitching round a dolls ear) and went on to explain that for him and his wife, this is their full time job. They usually get a few sent to them each day so it keeps them busy. Some of the toys are WAY BEYOND repair, but this guy can literally put anything back together. He says it’s more about the sentiment of the toys and most of the bears actually come from adults whose childhood bears have become worse for wear over the decades. They also get in ‘accidents’ – toys ripped apart by pets, run over etc. it was fascinating to think that this guy brings such happiness and contentment back into people’s lives in such a cute and caring way. Amazing. I literally had one hand over my mouth in aww-ment and the other over my heart in amazement. Literally melting. Wow.
I think the fact that makes it even more wow is that it wasn’t even a well-known attraction of the town. Never seen anywhere quite like it.