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Toddler reunited with teddy bear 10 days after it falls in Roath Park lake

03 Feb 2022 4 minute read
Arthur and his teddy

A toddler has been reunited with his teddy bear 10 days after it fell into Roath Park lake in Cardiff before rising again “like a character from Welsh mythology”.

Arthur, from Llanishen and his teddy bear best friend named “Teddy”, had visited Roath Park on January 17 with family when tragedy struck – Arthur accidently dropped Teddy into the water as they walked around the lake and watched helplessly as it appeared to sink to the bottom.

Teddy had been given to Arthur by his 90-year-old great-grandfather as a special gift for his first great-grandchild.

Jane Burgoyne, Arthur’s grandmother, said: “Teddy goes everywhere with Arthur and as you can imagine the little lad was absolutely distraught when the teddy fell into the lake.

“I knew it was a long shot, emailing the Parks team, but I was hoping maybe they could retrieve him with a net or something. He’s a very precious bear, given to him by my dad – his great-grandfather – and we have honestly all been surprisingly devastated by this loss. Teddy even has Arthur’s name on his paws.”

Jane emailed the Cardiff Council Parks Department and Ian Protheroe, Principal Administrative Officer, who asked Jane to provide details of the exact location where the teddy bear was lost and how far out it was on the lake before it sank.

Jane replied with a photo of the teddy floating on the lake and all the information she had to help with the search.

Ian said: “It was one of the saddest pictures we’d ever seen. It was such a shame there wasn’t a Park Ranger on scene or I’m sure they’d have done their best at the time. However, we were hopeful that the teddy would rise again from lake like some character from Welsh mythology!”

‘Dirty and smelly’

On January 28, ten days after Jane’s email was received by the Parks Department, the missing teddy was found by Simon and Josh, two members of staff, who were clearing debris from the grate by the waterfall in Roath Park. Teddy had travelled approximately 175metres from where he originally sank.

Mike Hopson, Urban Park Ranger Supervisor, immediately contacted Jane with the good news and they decided to keep the surprise from Arthur and his parents. They were reunited with Teddy during a family walk in Roath Park.

Mike said, “I can’t believe he travelled so far in 10 days. The teddy was in a  very dirty and smelly condition after living in the lake, so I took him home and put him through the washing machine and he came up lovely and clean.

“As the teddy had such sentimental value, we decided to build a boat for him to be reunited with the family. The boat was built by Mark Plant, Urban Park Ranger, Ellie John, also an Urban Park Ranger, made Teddy a superhero cape  and another colleague Edmundo Ferreira-Rocha, has written a poem about his journey during the ten days that he was in the water which we have framed for Arthur to keep.”

Shampooed and hairdried it sits now like a mascot aboard HMS Rangers’ Rescue, under the limelight and holophote.

Jane added: “I am truly blown away by the kindness and work everyone has put into returning this precious bear to my grandson and it was wonderful to see the reunion take place today!

“My 90-year-old father David Burgoyne, Arthur’s Great Grandfather, who lives in Devon, is delighted to hear this news as he originally gave the bear to Arthur after he was born. We are so grateful to everyone involved!”

Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure, Cllr Peter Bradbury, said: “A great job once again by the Urban’s.

“It’s incredible that the team were able to find Teddy in Roath lake, but what’s most inspiring is that they have all gone so far above and beyond for Arthur and his family.

“When a child loses their special toy, it can feel like their whole world has caved in, so the team should be incredibly proud that they have put a smile back on Arthur’s face.

“Thank you to all of the team for achieving such a happy ending to this bear hunt.”

The poem

They Found my Teddy

Around Roath Lake on a family stroll

Rambling away they lost control

The teddy so lovely a precious gift

Harrowing scene they saw it adrift

Unfazed by the fuss a curious swan floated by

Regal bird in white plumage swam away bye bye

Just as the family accept that loss in late January

A message of hope was posted in by a Parks Emissary

Making sure they all knew their heirloom had been found

Entrapped by the weir very soggy but sound

– Edmundo Ferreira-Rocha

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2 years ago

A wonderful and uplifting story of lost and found. Thanks be to all staff at Roath Park, who helped to put a smile back on a youngster’s face. Human nature at its best.

Ed Jones
Ed Jones
2 years ago

Da iawn Teddy, the Jacques Cousteau of Llanishen, enjoy your next adventure but be sure to involve Arthur! Da iawn to all concerned, thanks for the smile, 😀👍

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