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Teddy bear picnic...at a building site

PUBLISHED: 02:12 17 May 2003 | UPDATED: 13:52 03 March 2010

TEDDY bears have set up camp at an Ipswich building site to raise money for the children's ward at Ipswich hospital.

The unusual scene at the Jackson Constructions building site in Friars Street started off as a prank when one of the builders brought in an unwanted teddy to throw into the skip.

TEDDY bears have set up camp at an Ipswich building site to raise money for the children's ward at Ipswich hospital.

The unusual scene at the Jackson Constructions building site in Friars Street started off as a prank when one of the builders brought in an unwanted teddy to throw into the skip.

When his colleagues saw it they did not have the heart to throw the loveable toy away so it took up residence on the site.

Workers at nearby Willis insurance brokers heard of the teddy's plight and launched a campaign to save it. They also began leaving presents of food and clothes for it.

The builders latched on to this idea and placed a collection bucket next to the bear which earned £10 for Comic Relief in March.

Shortly after the bear was stolen. Undeterred, the builders replaced it with new ones bought from a car boot sale.

Construction worker Mark Flewitt said: "We have taken some stick over the bears but they bring a smile to peoples faces and makes the site look less intimidating. It's great as it is on a busy bus route and lots of people see them.

"We try and keep the scene topical. If there is a big football match coming up we add footballs and soon the bears will be wearing their tennis gear for Wimbledon."

Yesterday a collection bucket was installed for donations to the children's ward at Ipswich hospital and many people stopped to admire the bears enjoying sausage rolls and jam tarts.

The bears will remain there until work on the residential flats ends in September.

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