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Son creates teddy bears in memory of parents
A SON has created two limited edition toy pandas in memory of his mum and dad who died within months of each other.
Steve Kohler, owner of the Teddy Station in the Victoria Shopping Centre, Southend, wanted to create a special collectible after the shock of losing both parents in such a short space of time.
Steve, 56, was inspired to create two pandas modelled on his favourite childhood toy which he was snapped with as a boy on a day trip to Southend from his home in Ilford.
After losing his mum, Pam, suddenly to a brain tumour and his dad, Bob, just months later to heart failure, he worked with Kelsey Cunningham of Kaycee bears to create the two pandas.
Steve, who lives in Shoebury with wife Babs, said: “My love for teddies goes way back. I have some great memories from my childhood, from visiting London zoo to see the pandas Chi Chi and Ann Ann. My first teddy was a Panda aptly called Panda.
“We spoke to Kelsey and came up with what we consider to be an exceptional tribute to my parents. PamPam in pink and white, which were mum’s favourite rose colours, and BobBob in traditional black and white.“
The bears also have a special “wishing pocket” on the paw where children can put their wishes on a star and tuck it away.
Steve, a former builder, opened the shop in 2009 after spotting a teddy stuffing machine at a trade show in Birmingham.
He and his wife had always bought each other teddies as presents but had never really collected them as a hobby.
Now they have become a Steiff club shop and sell limited edition bears as well as doll houses.
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