The Oxfordshire Museum is on a bear hunt!

23-0235 OM bears carouselChildhood cuddly toys and much-loved family teddy bears are the focal point of an upcoming exhibition at the county council’s Oxfordshire Museum, with residents encouraged to enter their own teddy and tell their story.

The display will be featured in an exhibition titled ‘Archie and the Poet’, which focuses on the poet-laureate John Betjeman and his lifelong companion teddy bear, Archibald Ormsby-Gore (also known as Archie), and Jumbo the elephant.

The exhibition will delve into the use of Archie as an alter-ego by former Uffington resident Betjeman, using original material and audiovisual content. It will also look at the archaeology of Archie and his fascinating history of repairs and change.

Councillor Neil Fawcett, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community and Corporate Services, said: “In celebration of the Archie and the Poet exhibition, which will be on loan from the Tom Brown’s School Museum in Uffington, the museum is looking to tell the tales of teddies that were born or lived most of their lives here in Oxfordshire.

23-0235 OM bears carousel3“It’s an opportunity to tell the story of your much-loved teddies. My own teddy is Australian, as my grandparents were on holiday there when they heard that I had been born. He's been my companion ever since. I look forward to hearing about other people's teddies too."

People have until 28 November to enter their own teddy for the exhibition and bears must be received by 4 December. They will be displayed in the Garden Gallery, a purpose-built exhibition space, between 13 January and 25 February 2024.

To enter a teddy bear, residents should email oxfordshire.museum@oxfordshire.gov.uk to request a submission form.

People can find out what’s on at the Oxfordshire Museum throughout the year by visiting the museum’s website.

Archie and the Poet is hosted at the Oxfordshire Museum in partnership with Tom Brown’s School Museum.

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