Belfast Telegraph

Charlie reunited with the teddy he couldn't bear to be without

By Amanda Ferguson

It's a fairytale ending for a little boy who was reunited with the beloved teddy bear he dropped at a National Trust site over the Easter break.

An online campaign was launched on Thursday to find the one-armed bear's owner after he was discovered at a boathouse in Castle Ward, Co Down, looking lonely and unloved.

The power of newspapers and social media ensured his forlorn image was shared countless times. Thankfully, the ragged and worn-looking cuddly toy is now back with little Charlie Cleland and his family.

On the Castle Ward Facebook page, Charlie's mum Olivia posted a photograph of the recognisable teddy, who is missing an arm and has an upside-down smile, safe at home with her son.

Olivia also posted a series of pictures showing the little boy distraught when he was separated from his bear - and then with the happiest of smiles when they were reunited.

Mother-of-three Rachel Logue discovered the bear with her children as they enjoyed a day out and handed it into the office at Castle Ward.

She said her little girl had a teddy quite like it, and that if it had been lost, she would hope it would be handed in too.

Parents took to Facebook to express their happiness at the news. "I'm so glad they were reunited," one mum wrote.

"I showed the photo to my son the other day as he has a very similar-looking bear and I can only imagine what we would do if the bear was lost."

Another Facebook user added: "I'm sure there have been many sleepless nights in his house this week. Delighted to hear they've been reunited."

But it is not always a happy ending when children become parted with their favourite teddy or toy.

"This is so cute," another mum remarked. "My daughter lost her teddy in PortAventura a few years back and we were not so lucky."

Castle Ward was absolutely packed with visitors over the Easter break because the weather was particularly good.

The 18th-century mansion, famed for its mix of architectural styles, rests on a rolling hillside and looks out over the tranquil waters of Strangford Lough.

Fans of the great outdoors often walk and cycle along the estate's trails, and through its sheltered woodlands, to spot butterflies, rabbits, ducks and swans.

A popular destination with families, it has also been used for filming on the hit HBO series Game of Thrones.

Belfast Telegraph


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