Places: Paddington (Store) at Paddington Station

Paddington Station is a Central London railway terminus and London Underground station complex, located on Praed Street in the Paddington area. Dating back to at least 1838, the iconic junction has transcended transportation for one very small reason: Paddington Bear!

The children’s book character Paddington Bear was named after the station. He first appeared on the 13th of October 1958, and in the books, by Michael Bond, he is found at the station, having come from “deepest, darkest Peru” with a note attached to his coat reading “Please look after this bear. Thank you“.

On our recent trip to England, my wife just had to visit the Paddington store at Paddington Station:

This retail outlet isn’t necessarily large but does contain just about everything you’d want featuring the little brown bear. The t-shirts were particularly nice.

A statue of Paddington Bear by Marcus Cornish, based on the original drawings by Peggy Fortnum, is located under the clock on platform 1. We didn’t get to see that but did ‘meet’ two slightly different versions within the store.

And then there is the merchandise or souvenirs:

Smashed Pennies and pins, magnets and stuffies, all lined the shelves. We did buy a nice plush Paddington along with several keychains for friends and family. My only regret and criticism is that there wasn’t a Paddington Bear with the Paddington Station logo on him. It seems a logical thing to have being as it would be exclusive to this location.

But we couldn’t stay for long and soon it was time to board a train to other stations.

Another iconic spot that we’ve visited in England was the focus of a Disney song Portobello Road from the animated feature Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Why not visit there before you leave?

FUN FACTS: Michael Bond based Paddington Bear on a lone teddy bear that he noticed on a shelf in a London shop near Paddington Station on Christmas Eve 1956, which he bought as a present for his wife. He was also inspired by the sight, during World War II, of Jewish refugee children from Europe arriving in Britain and of London children being evacuated to the countryside, the evacuees bearing labels perhaps similar to that attached to the bear Paddington “Please look after this bear”.

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