Hello, Editor Des here. If anyone knows about Teddy Bears it’s moi, because….well I am one! And I do love a picnic.

Teddy Bears picnic for two.

Editor Des and friend  Milly enjoying a picnic on the lawn.

John-Paul Bernet and his dear wife Bevie are very special people. For them, the term Teddy Bears covers all manner of comforting, cuddly creatures. I am very proud to introduce John-Paul’s story.


The title conjures up thoughts of teddy bears sitting around on a blanket in the woods tucking into jam sandwiches and soda pop. However, this is a far cry from what is going on here, but before we go into what this title offers, I think a little background about Bevie, who is the proud owner of an amazing, eclectic collection of all types of soft toys and the probable reason for collecting them.

Over the twenty years that I have known my wife Bevie she must have collected and donated hundreds of these little friends.  The thing is that as a child such things were regarded as of not monetary value and therefore of no worth and she should be using her allowance on better things. Her childhood was marred by many traumas and parents who were matter of fact people, more her father than her mother, but soft toys were definitely frowned upon. After she left home however she was mesmerized by the tiny characters made by Ty Warner, and these were called Ty Beanie Babies and for reasons unbeknown to herself she began collecting them and soon she had a massive collection of them.

Bevie worked at Moses Cone Hospital in North Carolina as a radiology transcriptionist and one day whilst walking through the children’s ward she saw so many kids just laying there with nothing to play with so she went to the head of the children’s  department of the hospital to ask if she could bring a few plush toys in for the kids and she was pleased to find out that she could. The following day she took her entire collection of every beanie baby that was produced at the time which was way over 100 and delivered it to the very person she had seen the day before and soon every child in the entire department was the proud owner of a beanie baby. A seed was planted that day, a seed that has grown into many different charity shop gifts, old folks homes gifts and anyone who visits our house always leaves with a plush toy.


Bevie does not stick to one kind of plush which is the normal way of people who collect such things. One of her oldest pieces is Boneless Chuck, she has had him over forty years and bought him at a book fair when she was in grade school.

The newest one is a plush she has been looking for over many years and only a month ago did she find him on Ebay. His name is Edric and is a monster made by Stief. She has had his best friend Nrommi who is a Yeti also made by Stief for quite some time and now they sit proudly together on the racks.

Bevie has several pieces by Stief, Stief is a German company begun by a German woman called Margarete Stief who as a child was crippled with polio and spent her time making little teddy bears. After a while her little bears became sought after and today Stief is the best-known maker of plush toys in the world. Margarete Stief was born in 1847 and died in 1909. All Steif toys have a little button on a yellow tag and the words ‘knopf Im ohr’ written on it which translates to ‘button in ear.’ Stief are Bevie’s favourite toys as she admires Margarete Stief for overcoming adversity and the quality is always first class.

In between Boneless chuck and Edric hundreds and hundreds of plush friends have come through Bevie’s life especially after she met me, because to me it was obvious that she was kind of reliving the childhood that was stolen from her. Her plush collection has brought her so much joy as she knows every single one of them and can tell you their name, when she acquired them, and who made them.

Teddy Bears and other soft toys with Bevie.

Bevie and her sweet friends,


The photographs show the collection now, but I can assure you it will look different by the time the next Teddy bears ‘picknick’ comes around.


A collection of this size gathers a lot of dust over a year. It would be impossible to keep the dust off unless I covered the face of the shelves with Perspex. Most would think that to be a good idea but not Bevie. Her little friends need freedom for when one of them goes for a ride with her on her mobility scooter. This means that once a year all the toys have to be taken down, dusted off, and placed in bags until they are all clean. This takes a few days as it can’t be all done in one go. Once they are clean again and bagged up for the night, I spend the following day cleaning down the racks and repainting whatever needs doing. Then it is a case of placing them all back onto the shelves and they all go in a different spot to the one they came from. Once they are all back out of the bags and onto the shelves Bevie is as happy as she can be. And that is what we call our teddy bears picnic. Bevie says it sounds so much better than just cleaning the toys.

Our room is Bevies special place, whenever she is in that room with her teddies, she feels total peace, so it isn’t just a collection for Bevie, it’s a way of life.


NOTE  – I really hate the indignity of being cleaned. I’m sure John-Paul and Bevie would be far more gentle and sensitive.

Being cleaned is no Teddy Bears picnic for De,

Good grief, this in no PICNIC!






















  1. Love the story of “The Teddy Bears’ Picnic” Pauline and Bevie’s plush beanie friends.

Leave a Reply

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.