Pancake Day Paddington Bear window display created by Lindy Gascoigne, who is a teacher at St Mary's Primary School in Banbury

Banbury teacher's themed Paddington Bear window helping people smile in Covid-19 pandemic

A Banbury teacher has created a Paddington Bear window display with revolving themes to help people smile throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

Lindy Gascoigne, who is a teacher at St Mary's Primary School in Banbury, launched the Paddington Bear window display project at her Bodicote home in April 2020 after the first lockdown started.

It was originally designed as a way to connected with her students at St Mary's School as photographs of the display were used in the online teachings during the lockdown. She has created more than 50 Paddington Bear displays over the last 10 months each with its own unique theme.

The project was loosely based on the book 'We're Going on a Bear Hunt' by Michael Rosen.

Lindy said: "I found out Michael Rosen was in hospital with Covid. So I thought it'd be a nice tribute to him.

"I also thought it'd be a good idea if they had a message."

Some of the displays are based are holidays, some of them are historical and some of them pay tribute to people like Captain Tom Moore and those serving in the NHS. The window displays include Paddington Bear, Aunt Lucy and Aunt Lucy's friend and sometimes a special guest too.

She said: "They've done everything. They went to Glastonbury, They cycled the Tour de France, They've done Halloween, Bonfire Night, Thanksgiving and Christmas. So they're very multi-culural. It's been a very busy week for the bears. They had the Chinese New Year, Valentine's Day and then Pancake Day."

The window display has risen in popularity and now people come from all over the Banbury area to check out the latest adventures of Paddington Bear. Paddington bear even received some Christmas cards from some children in the village.

She added: "I'm sort of known as the 'bear lady' or the Paddington bear lady' now.

"If it makes people smile then it's certainly a good thing.

"It was about giving something back to the community and a way to connect with our school."

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