Paddington, Pudsey and Pooh? Follow the White Bear to Fickleshole
Buckingham Palace? Tower Bridge? St Paul’s Cathedral? Granted, there are many wonderful photo opportunities for tourists in this green and pleasant land we call England...
But, if we’re completely honest, do any of them really have the character and charm of our synonymous White Bear, who stands reliably outside our country inn like Winnie-the-Pooh at the honey shop on release day?
Okay, maybe we’re a little bit biased, but our friendly bear is definitely on the verge of becoming an Instagram sensation if he doesn’t stop photobombing pictures. He’ll be on Strictly Come Dancing in the build up to Christmas at this rate! Now, there’s a thought...
Can an inanimate object become an ‘influencer’? Well, let’s test this theory shall we? A live experiment, if you will! Raise your hands if you’d like to meet our unnamed bear. Now, book a table with our friendly team on 01959 573166 and, when you visit, make sure to take a group picture with our mascot outside.
Then, post your pics to us via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (making sure to tag us and use the hashtag #followthewhitebear) and we’ll share our favourite photos. And, voila! A brand new and influential food and drink social media star bursts on to the scene.
In all seriousness, our White Bear has a fascinating history all of his own and one he’d like us to share with you all – to ensure you treat him with kindness and respect he deserves while enjoying your photo opportunities. It’s been a tough life after all.
Our namesake and mascot has stood proudly outside our countryside inn here in Fickleshole for more than 100 years, in one form or another.
The original wooden bear was acquired at auction in 1905 from a London coaching inn that once stood near the bustling Piccadilly Circus.
Piccadilly never quite had the ring of ‘Paddington’ and so our bear remains officially unnamed today – although we’re sure a few of you have your own nicknames for him (keep them clean people, keep them clean).
During World War Two, our bear was abducted by revelling Canadian troops from the West Nova Scotia Regiment who were stationed nearby in Woldingham. It was never found and, sadly, we’ve yet to receive any postcards from his travels.
Our present White Bear is a far heavier chap, either through smart security-minded thinking or from enjoying too many of our generous dinner portions at the inn.
Bar enjoying a few dressing up opportunities on special occasions, he has largely been relaxing with his view across the fields, watching passing horses (with what he insists are friendly eyes) and their riders, and greeting our delightful visitors ever since.
So, while he may not have the fame or acclaim of Paddington, Pudsey or Pooh, the White Bear is our favourite and he’s waiting here patiently to meet you.