Ready, teddy, go! The county’s own special day now has it own mascot.
Northumbear, a jointed mohair teddy bear, is the new ambassador for Northumberland Day.
Proudly sporting the county’s colours, he was created by Sooz Perry, from BearTonBorough, who was commissioned after event organiser Jane Hunt spotted some of her creations at the recent tourism fair in Alnwick.
Sooz said: “I was really surprised when contacted and asked to make the official Northumberland Day mascot, which is a real honour. I have loved creating Northumbear and am so glad to see and hear the reaction of those who have already got to know him. Hopefully, this will be a big boost to my part-time business, as well as Northumberland Day.”
Northumbear is not alone in his new Northumberland Day home. His best friend is another Sooz creation – NElephant – who never forgets Northumberland Day.
He also has a litle brother, who the public are being asked to name, in order to win him. Whoever wins Northumbear’s brother will feature in a children’s storybook, to be created for Northumberland Day 2020, which will see all three of Sooz’s creations playing a part in the story.
In the run-up to Northumberland Day, which takes place on Sunday, May 26, Northumbear will be setting social media followers a challenge, thanks to support from the Saltwater Café in Beadnell, which has put up a prize.
Beadnell was the perfect place to launch Northumbear. The village has been a staunch supporter of Northumberland Day from day one, winning the Northumbie Award for Best Dressed Village in 2017 and the Northumbie for Best Community Involvement in 2018. The village’s Katie Archer also won the 2018 Above and Beyond Northumbie, for her outstanding contribution to Northumberland Day.
Northumbear will now be heading around Northumberland, to be photographed in a variety of different places, teasing Northumbrians, via social media, to guess where he has been, over the course of the week leading up to May 26.
The winner of the competition will be treated to a special teddy bear’s picnic afternoon tea at the Saltwater Café, the sister business to both the Craster Arms and now also the Black Swan Inn in Seahouses, recently acquired by owners Chico Gomes and Michael Dawson.
The café and pub have been the hub of Northumberland Day celebrations in the village, being packed with visitors and local residents on each occasion they have hung up the bunting, fired up the hog roast and welcomed local musicians. Chico said: “We are proud to have staged the official launch of the new Northumberland Day mascot here in Beadnell, where we are passionate about Northumberland Day, which has helped bring various community groups in our village together and showcased the essence of our community. We hope that whoever wins our afternoon tea prize will bring their own bear along to celebrate the fact that they know their county inside out.”
Jane added: “We felt it time we had our own mascot, but wanted to find a cute and loveable character who would appeal to both children and adults alike and be the face of Northumberland Day.
“When I discovered Sooz and her bears, I knew that I had found the right mascot maker. We are planning lots of exciting things for this year and next, now we have Northumbear in our team.”
There’s still time to put on some sort of activity to celebrate Northumberland Day or arrange to decorate windows or fly a flag. Events take place in the two weeks around the day. Visit www.northumberlandday.co.uk