Christmas shoppers in Bury St Edmunds were thrilled last night (Thursday) to meet Paddington, who was paying a visit to the town to meet his fans.
The star of ‘Paddington 2’ spent more than two hours in the town centre at the invitation of the Business Improvement District (BID) organisation Our Bury St Edmunds.
Shoppers flocked to Paddington’s own special grotto outside Moyses Hall Museum, on Cornhill, to see the celebrity bear. Other attractions for late night shoppers included a baby reindeer with its mother as well as the vintage dodgems, carousel and Father Christmas in his grotto in Charter Square.
Among those meeting Paddington, who also stars in the Marks & Spencer (M&S) Christmas advert, was the winner of a social media competition organised by Our Bury St Edmunds to mark the occasion. Eloise Trett won a talking toy Paddington bear.
Chief executive of Our Bury St Edmunds Mark Cordell, said: “The night was a huge success and it was wonderful to see so many happy Paddington fans who managed to meet and take pictures of him. The town centre was really busy and I know from talking to some of our visitors that they had travelled from far and wide to see him – in fact one delighted family was visiting from Australia. Bury St Edmunds always offers Christmas shoppers something special and the free parking from late afternoon on Tuesdays and the Thursdays before Christmas makes it even easier to enjoy all we have to offer here.”
Garry Easter, store manager at M&S Bury St Edmunds, added: “With Paddington starring in our Christmas advert this year it was fantastic to have him spreading festive joy in Bury St Edmunds, as well as popping into our store to say hello to customers and colleagues.”
Further information about Christmas activities in Bury St Edmunds can be found by visiting www.ourburystedmunds.com.
Pictured above Paddington meets Maggie Cohen from Bury St Edmunds and her grandchildren James (five) and Evie (nine) Cleghorn with their father Nick, who were visiting from Australia.