He is quite off colour, partly with being a bit dusty, partly to fading with age. A dry bath should improve that, and soften his lovely mohair.
|This pad was missing|
|Right foot Replacement pad|
|Left foot pad|
Whilst I had the bear unpicked to remove the leg I took the opportunity to have a look at his voice box. It was not a growler as I had thought, but an oval, double squeaker. It was not working so I gently used a blunt wool sewing needle and tweezers to get the bits of wood wool and Kapok from inside it. It still didn't work so I resealed the sides of the squeaker part with glue. Still no noise. The only thing left was to re tape the whole sides of the box as the coating had disintegrated, and was letting the air through. A bit of thin masking tape did the trick, and when I pressed it there was a lovely loud squeak came from it. Sounded more like a duck, we thought, than a bear but still I had got it working.
|Harry (left) and Sidney having a bad hair day|
I spent a few minutes teasing Harry with it, as even though he is very deaf he seemed to be able to hear the squeak and kept listening with his head on one side, and turning to look at me every time I pressed it.
So now George is at the stage where he has a voice, and his stuffing is no longer in danger of falling out through holes in his paws.
The next step will be to fasten the paw repairs with very fine stitching, removing the pins as I go along. That will be the difficult part done, all that will be left to do is a good clean, brushing and inserting new eyes. Then we will see a beautiful old Chiltern bear looking back at us.