(Jewish News UK) – The iconic Paddington Bear is being immortalised in a new set of 10 Royal Mail stamps.
Beloved of millions of adults and children alike, Paddington is the marmalade loving bear from Peru and the creation of writer Michael Bond who died in 2017 at the age of 91.
He was inspired by the stories of Jewish refugee children arriving at Reading train station during the second world war.
As reported by UK Jewish News, an interview with The Telegraph in 2014 saw Bond recall “their labels round their necks and then I remember going to the cinema and seeing on the newsreel that Hitler had moved into some new country and seeing footage of elderly people pushing prams with all their belongings in them. Refugees are the saddest sight, I still think that.”
The release of the stamps coincides with the 80th anniversary year of the Kindertransport, the British scheme which saved the lives of more than 10,000 German and Austrian Jewish children fleeing Nazi persecution.
It also marks the 65th anniversary of the publication of A Bear Called Paddington in 1958.
Six stamps include images from Ivor Wood’s cartoon strips of Paddington from the late 1970s, while a further four stamps, presented in a miniature sheet, capture moments from the 1970s BBC TV series, Paddington.