Ted is well over a hundred now. He first belonged to Molly, who was born in 1904, I think. Molly eventually passed him on to her cousin, who was my Mum. One day in 1954, when I was six, my Mum took Ted off her bed and handed him to me. She said “You might as well have him now”. I immediately decided that Ted needed a scarf and, as I was just learning to knit, I made him one straight away. He has worn it ever since. He’s a Black Country bear originally, then he lived on a National Trust Estate in Buckinghamshire. Nowadays he lives with me in a boring bedroom in Milton Keynes but, now that he is stronger, he’ll be able to get out more. He needed help in the toy hospital because I realised that his pirate-style eye patch was scaring my youngest grand-daughter. He lost an eye many years ago (I can’t remember how) and has worn a patch ever since. As soon as I realised that she was scared of Ted, I removed the patch, sat her on my knee and explained all about Ted and his great age. He immediately became “the cherished one”, but I realised then that he wasn’t in a fit state for all the cuddles. He is old and decrepit, and needed a full overhaul in order to withstand the loving attentions of my young grandchildren. I took off his scarf before sending him to the hospital, but he is of course wearing it again now! He has helped me through many difficult times, and is stuffed full of tears and secrets. Ted represents the strength and continuity of my wonderful family and one day, he will belong to my grand-daughter Juliet, who is now 4.