The hunt to reunite a dog-eared 100-year-old teddy bear found abandoned in a departure lounge has finally been solved – thanks to the Mature Times.
The antique bear, which has one eye and a floppy ear, was found last year in a bag with a frayed black and white photo, dated March 1918, of him being cuddled by two little children.
Unlike Paddington Bear, the toy had no name tag but a message in faded ink on the back of the picture read: “With dearest love and kisses to our darling Daddie from your loving little daughters Dora and Glyn.”
Staff at Bristol Airport made a public appeal to try and trace the owner earlier this year and after spotting his beloved bear in the Mature Times Robert Glyn Baker stepped forward to claim it.
“I left the bear in the airport on my way to Cyprus,” Robert said.
“I was stunned when I got a cutting of the Mature Times in the post and saw my bear on the front page.
“I thought it was lost forever, I was convinced it had been destroyed.”
Staff at Bristol Airport spent 14 months trawling flight records to see if they could find any two passengers with the same names as those mentioned on the back of the picture.
When they could not they appealed for help from the public and a number of experts stepped forward to help with the search.
Robert spotted his bear after his former wife sent him a cutting of the Mature Times front page from January.
The gobsmacked dad-of-one, who is still in Cyprus, was so shocked when he realised his bear was still out there he immediately rang the paper to try and get him back.
“I’m an only child and my auntie Dora didn’t have any children either so I am the only person that could have got the bear,” Robert said.
“It’s the sentimental value really; my hands were so full with what I was carrying I thought I had left it in the toilet. I had so much with me, but like a fool I left it in the airport.
“I would love to have it back.”