The Repair Shop guest in tears as childhood teddy finally restored ‘Always by my side’

The Repair Shop: Emotional moment guest reunited with teddy bear

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During an episode of The Repair Shop, Amanda Middleditch and Julie Tatchell welcomed guests Steph and her husband Graham to the BBC show, where the two presented them with a worn-down teddy bear. Steph explained that the teddy had been with her since she was a child and had got her through her medical operations. Amanda and Julie had the mammoth task of restoring Fred the Bear and bring him back to life.

 

“Fred came into my life on Christmas Day, 1961, when I was four months old, I was born with spina bifida.

“So, I spent a lot of time in hospital, particularly in my early years, and Fred was always by my side,” Steph explained.

Julie asked Steph: “Can I ask what does it mean to be born with spina bifida?

Steph explained: “It can cause varying degrees of disability. For me, it means I can’t walk at all.”

Steph explained that Fred has been with her throughout her whole journey whenever she went to the hospital to have operations on her legs.

“He would come back from theatre with the same leg bandaged by the theatre staff, so we shared the same experiences,” she told Amanda and Julie.

Julie asked: “So as you moved on into adulthood, did he remain this constant companion, or did he get a bit side-lined?”

“Oh no, he’s always been there, when I got married, he’s been there for the birth of my children, he comes on holiday with us, he’s travelled the world,” she said.

Julie picked Fred up to give him an inspection and see the work she had ahead of her when she noticed his head was hanging on by a thread.

“Oh dear, okay, my next question was going to be what would you like us to do for him?” Julie asked.

“I’d like his head to be more secure, you can see where I’ve attempted to sew it, he’s lost a lot of stuffing over the years,” she told them.

“Eventually, I’d like to pass him on to my children and my grandchildren, but I’m not confident in his current condition that he’d last very long.”

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After parting ways with her bear, Amanda and Julie got to work restoring Fred and the first thing on his list was to bathe him.

After shampooing Fred back to a cleaner colour, the ladies noticed there wasn’t too much damage and started to rethread where there was fabric loss.

“We have decided we’re going to use sub stuffing, it’s actually sort of felted, almost like cotton, cotton waste.

“It’s more in keeping with the age of the bear rather than putting a polyester filling inside, we don’t want to overstuff him.”

As they unveiled a fresh looking fresh, Steph gasped in shock, bursting into tears at the sight of her beloved Fred.

“Hi, Fred! Thank you,” she told the ladies as she sobbed. “Just looks how I remember him, he’s going to last a lot longer now.”

Speaking to the camera outside, Steph said: “When I saw Fred with his makeover, I was overwhelmed, he just looks like the old Fred.”

The Repair Shop airs Wednesdays at 8pm on BBC One. 
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