Teddies for Tragedies Blessing service -November 2013

A Mountain of special knitted Teddies, in their own special bags, are on their way to bring hugs, love, hope and comfort to children in Malawi, courtesy of Queensferry Parish Church.

These teddies were blessed during a special service in the church on Sunday 3rd November.

Queensferry children helped to build the mountain, before the teddies were spread around the church in readiness for the service. During the service the congregation were invited to give each teddy a hug to take to the children in Malawi, before popping it into it’s special bag.

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Volunteers from Queensferry, Linlithgow, Bo’ness, Blackness, even Ireland and Sussex have contributed to this year’s total of 475 teddies and bags, 84 Blankets, 148 hats, 42 scarves and several other knitted items.

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The teddies are transported by The Raven Trust, Argyle and are mainly distributed through the hospitals to children in Northern Malawi. The teddies are greatly prized in Malawi and bring comfort and joy to children who have so little. In some cases, one of these teddies may be the only possession a child has, and the draw string bag to keep it in has many uses. It has been proved that children feel much better, and recover faster if in hospital, when they receive one of these special teddies, made with love.

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The blankets, hats, scarves, etc will be sent to Eastern areas of Europe by Blythswood Care, Glasgow, to help to bring warmth to children and the elderly, during  cold winter months.

‘Teddies for Tragedies’ is a knitting pattern!

Queensferry Parish Church has been involved in this initiative since 1999 and to date has contributed over 3,610 teddies and 299 blankets (which we started donating slowly, in 2005), including this year’s total.

Norma Brown, Queensferry’s Co-ordinator, would like to thank everyone who has cared enough to make all these wonderful items this year and to remind everyone this is an ongoing project, so please keep knitting and crocheting. If you are thinking about it, it’s never too late to start. You don’t need to live in Queensferry and you don’t need to be a church member. This project is open to all!

Mary Bear in the Isle of Wight – August 2013

In August I was invited on a tour by bus to the Isle of Wight with a couple of friends.

We went on Big Pete’s coach! it was fun, I didn’t get travel sick and we sang lots of songs!

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When we got there the sun was shining and I wanted a bucket and spade.

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 There were too many to chose from!

I made lots of new friends

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I would like to go back one day please, but

My next adventure is just around the corner!

Ferry Fair 2013

August 10th 2013 saw the end of the celebration week of the annual ‘Ferry Fair’, culminating in the crowning of the Ferry Fair Queen. This was preceded by a procession including decorated floats, through Queensferry.

This year there was a ‘Teddies for Tragedies’ float!

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This was to spread awareness of the way in which ‘Teddies for Tragedies’ is helping children in distress or suffering from some sort of trauma caused by man-made or natural disasters.

Almost a year of planning and preparation went in to this float.

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One evening, with plenty ‘helpers’, went in to the actual creating of the float, followed by early morning, last minute preparation on the day and again plenty ‘helpers’.

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The float, donated by the Scouts (their trailer) was decorated with over 100 knitted Teddies, and blankets, hats, scarves and puppets all knitted by generous donators for charity, and posters showing children receiving teddies.Image

The main tableau was several large teddies dressed as ‘people, eg an old lady with grey curls, an old man with waistcoat and ‘bunnet’, a schoolboy with squint tie, a lady with flowery hat and necklace.

 All were busy knitting teddies, although the ‘old man’ had fallen asleep trying to put teddies into the ‘teddy bags’.

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On the back of the float were two giant knitted teddies waving to the public, and on the front were a set of giant knitting needles and a giant ball of wool.

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The car, a Discovery jeep,  donated by  for the day,  was decorated with knitted blankets, an attempt at ‘yarn bombing’ which was difficult, due to the need to have access in and out of the car, and awkward sizing, however it looked good on the day.

After the event, the knitting was made into 6 blankets for donation.

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Leading the float, was, seated precariously a large teddy clutching some teddies and displaying some of the knitted items, eg Beanie hat, scarf, and teddy puppets.

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300 information leaflets were handed out during the procession. Only 4 people responded to these and were contacted, however one wanted to learn to knit and another already knew of the cause and had teddies to donate. The other two wanted more information. No new volunteers came forward which is a bit disappointing.

However we all had a great day and the sun shone for us!

My Adventures in Ireland, By Mary Bear

In July, I was invited to go to Northern Ireland
with my friend Sheena.

We went to the Giant’s Causeway. It was very interesting!

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I was exhausted after climbing on the Giant’s Causeway,
some of it is so high, those giants must have been BIG!

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Sheena took me on the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. I am glad she is holding on to me tight as I was a bit wobbly up there, but I didn’t like being on the edge and looking down.

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I sat on a cannon on Derry’s walls. I’m glad no-one comes to fire it!ImageImage

We visited an old church in the the Ulster Folk Museum and after sitting in the pew, I went to have a look from the pulpit.
It was high up. Maybe I could be a minister!

I also visited the Titanic Dry dock. It made me think about all the  people who drowned. I hope there were no teddy’s on that ship!

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I am glad Claire Bear always comes home safely from her cruises!

Thank you Sheena for a lovely adventure!

Scott’s Tour of Europe, June-August 2013

At the end of June I departed on a big adventure! 6 weeks in Europe visiting, London, France, Spain and Italy! I was invited by a local family and their children. I am so glad all the other teddies were busy, this is a chance any Teddy would jump at!
I had my own teddy with me and one of the children kindly named him ‘Stitch’.

Our first stop was in London where we did a whistle stop tour and decided that on our return, we would be on the London Eye. I’m not sure, it looks very high!

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We went to see Big Ben, I don’t know what that man is doing up a ladder!

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There were lots of visitors at Downing Street.

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After this we started on our Continental journey.

We arrived in Paris!

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Our first visit was to the Louvre, I love the glass Pyramid outside and I couldn’t wait to see the Mona Lisa, only to find out the gallery was closed! As was the Eiffel Tower, what is going on here? We have come all this way to find everything shut! Oh well we live to try again another day!

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At least the Notre Dame was open for us,

and I walked up the  Champs Elysee to the Arc de Triomph!

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It is nice to see places I’ve only heard about!

Eventually we managed to get in to climb the Eiffel Tower, it was very high.

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One of the children, ‘Chopster’, said it was like a giant Lego city below, he was right!

After that exiting adventure, it is time to pack as we are setting off for Spain tomorrow!

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Now I’m on the train to Figuerres, from where we journey to Barcelona, then Tarragona.

We took the rack railway to Nuria, a small village high in the Pyrenees

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It was beautiful, nestled in the mountains, and the air was so fresh!

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After our stay here, we returned to Barcelona.

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I took a trip on the cable car which was quite high

Later we went to the mountains of Montserrat where we had a lovely time

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Our next stop was Italy!

We eventually arrived in Cresti, a tiny Alpine Hamlet, which was another beautiful place. We had a restful stay here. (Thank goodness, I’m exhausted with all this travel!)

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We took a day trip to Stresa, a lakeside town

Stresa looks on to Lake Maggiore and is encircled by the Alps. Another beautiful place!

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Sadly however, all too soon it seems, it was time to make our way back to the UK and the London Eye.

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Well I should be safe enough in one of these pods, they look quite roomy!

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This has been an experience of a lifetime, to see so many countries on one trip and I was not even on a cruise!

Initial calculations show that we have been on 47 trains, 74 metro or underground trains, 22 buses, 2 ferries, 6 funiculars, 3 trams and 7 cable cars!

The travelling was tiring but the whole, experience has been uplifting and one we will remember forever!

Thank you my friends, for taking me with you, and thank you to your children for looking after me so well!

Benji Bear’s Adventures with the Scouts in Austria – July 2013

I was invited by the 21st Craigalmond, (South Queensferry) Scouts along with some Scouts from 1st Craigalmond (Kirkliston) Scout Troop to go to Scout Camp Austria, Sankt Georgen near to Salzburg.

I jumped at the chance, but I had to get a scout jumper and a kilt to look the part. I decided to go the whole ‘hog’ and get a set of bagpipes, but hoped no one would ask me to play, as I don’t know how!

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I had a last look at the bridge before we leave – oops, my sporran has slipped!

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A Young Leader is fixing my uniform, I am a bit untidy.

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When they said Euro Tunnel I thought we were going by train, not walking!

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Well we have arrived in Austria, now to go to the campsite! It all looks nice, but I wonder where I am sleeping, I hope it is in the building!

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 I thought this was the food prep Table….what are you doing to me?Image

Oh, it’s a climbing harness and my own climbing rope, now I can practise absailing!

Well it is an adventure camp so I have to be adventurous!

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………. I am exhausted already and it is only the first day!!

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I wonder what my next adventure will be?

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Oh, oh, what does this mean, you do know wet teddy bears smell TERRIBLE?

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Whew, saved. Thank you! I didn’t want to go on the River Salzach.

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I’m glad they left me behind for this, I’m not as adventurous as I thought I was.

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This is how I prefer to view the water!

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With all my new friends outside Salzburg Cathedral, can you spot me in the middle?

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At least we are going home on the train, and not walking!

I am totally exhausted but I had a great time, can I come with you all again please, maybe?

Mary’s Visit to Aberdeen University- May 2013

In May, I was invited by Kirsty to experience Student life in Aberdeen University. She is studying English and Anthropology!

I thought I was going to be drinking beer and eating beans, but it was not like that at all! Kirsty is a sensible student, or maybe she was warned not to lead me astray!

First I had to help Kirsty write a religious essay. I have been working so hard my ribbon has come undone and I am ready to drop!

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We went to Bridge of Don Baptist Church, where I made some new friends. I found their welcome magazine very interesting.

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Kirsty said I should join the Role Play Society.
It was fun, but don’t ask me what I was meant to be doing!

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Here we are outside Kings College, in Aberdeen, it is huge!

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I found Joe on the beach. He is a Buddhist Monk! He was so happy to meet me!

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Thank you Kirsty, for a lovely time. I found it very interesting. Bears don’t normally get to go to University! Anytime you need more help with your essays, just call me!