Paddington and Portobello

Paddington Bear and his Portobello adventures comes to life on the big screen in the new Paddington film and our neighbourhood is looking good. Paddington, Paddy to his friends, lived nearby and so spent a lot of time in Portobello Market. He came to life when his creator, writer Michael Bond lives near Paddington and working as a BBC cameraman when he bought a toy bear on Christmas Eve, 1956. He called him Paddington and started writing stories about the bear for fun. After 10 days realised he had written a book.

It all begins when Paddington Bear leaves darkest Peru and ends up on  32 Windsor Gardens in Notting Hill, and although there is a Windsor Gardens off the Harrow Road,  the address was apparently made up by Bond and is a mix of his parents’ address at Winser Drive, Reading, with his own in Arundel Gardens. Paddy spends a lot of time in Portobello Market and there are some great shots of our lovely Portobello Road. Alice’s has been turned into Gruber’s antique shop and there are sure to be Paddington tours coming soon. It is on at the Kensington Odeon (which is still waiting to be turned into luxury flats) and a really joyful film to watch, Paddington is adorable and so funny, plus the house is gorgeous. Great for a wet afternoon. To book click here … odeon and for more Paddy info … paddington

PS Local flat owner and part time resident Jeremy Clarkson was given one of the first manufactured Paddington Bears when he was around 12 and living in Doncaster. His parents, who made tea cosies, started making Paddington Bear stuffed toys in 1972. Called Gabrielle Designs the small bear business was run by Shirley and Eddie Clarkson who dressed the stuffed bear in wellies to help it stand upright.

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