Merrythought recently had the pleasure of welcoming a rather unique collectable teddy bear into our family… Bartie Bristle! This much-loved character was originally created by renowned teddy bear restorers Julie Tatchell and Amanda Middleditch, who together are known as ‘The Teddy Bear Ladies,’ and perhaps most notably as stars of the BBC’s The Repair Shop. He is also the lead character in their new book, ‘Bartie Bristle and Other Stories: Tales from The Teddy Bear Ladies'. As part of our collection, Bartie promises to bring loyal companionship and endless adventures!

In 2006, Julie and Amanda embarked on a joint endeavour from their teddy bear shop in the New Forest, applying their creativity, passion and sewing expertise in order to skilfully transform people’s cherished but tired soft toys back to their former glory. Through commitment to their craft, the pair became a celebrated repair force, entrusted with the nation’s precious companions – which hasn’t changed to this day!

Merrythought’s special relationship with The Teddy Bear Ladies began over ten years ago. Prior to becoming the soft toy specialists for The Repair Shop, Julie and Amanda were Merrythought’s recommended restorers, extending their talents to our customers, and reviving their well-loved Merrythought bears. Alongside them, we hosted regular restorative workshops from our historic home in Ironbridge, Shropshire. Their incredible expertise and very personal approach left a lasting impression on those who attended, with each event fully-booked many months in advance.

Whilst gaining a huge following for expertly bringing people’s treasured childhood bears and soft toys back to life, alongside their specialist repair work Julie also designed and Amanda created their very own trademark bear. First imagined by Julie, who had sketched the original logo for their restoration business – Bear It In Mind – which featured a little teddy bear character they initially called ‘Logo’, the pair went in search of a more worthy name for this loveable fellow. Aided by a community of bear lovers, he was re-named Bartie Bristle! Of course, his story did not end there as Amanda, a talented teddy bear artist, was able to bring Julie’s drawing to life and create a dear little bear with a magical thread of kindness in each stitch! We were honoured that Julie and Amanda chose Merrythought to exclusively produce their Bartie Bristle bear in our historic British factory, and we have worked closely with them to bring you this charming character.

Following their original design and patterns, Bartie is hand-made from short-pile sandy-gold mohair plush and soft toffee-coloured velvet, and features embroidered stitch detailing, along with a hand-sewn nose and smile that perfectly capture his unique charm and cheerful expression.

Whether joining you as a companion for life’s adventures, or for simply snuggling up with at bedtime, Bartie Bristle will surely become a treasured friend. And with The Teddy Bear Ladies’ debut children’s book ‘Bartie Bristle and Other Stories: Tales from The Teddy Bear Ladies,’ you can embark on an enchanting journey with him!

This stunning treasury is set in a village in the heart of the Old Woods, and invites you into the magical world of the teddy bear shop and the heart-warming stories of Bartie and his friends, which will captivate children and parents alike. Julie and Amanda first began writing short stories featuring Bartie Bristle and the other favourite toys in 2009, with Julie reimagined as Mrs T and Amanda as Rose.

Step into the magical world of Bartie Bristle…