Paddington Bear author, Michael Bond CBE, gave the child patients the rare treat of meeting the creator of one of UK’s most loved literary characters when he visited them in St Mary’s Hospital.
The 90-year-old and his wife visited the hospital in Paddington to donate dozens of his books to the hospital and sign copies for some of the children to take home.
He also answered questions from the young patients and they discovered that, like his much-loved character, he is a huge fan of marmalade and has it on his toast every morning.
Mr Bond said: “It has been brilliant to meet the children and see them enjoying my books. I never could have imagined that Paddington would be enjoyed for so many generations when I first started writing them and it is marvellous to see that he is still so loved.
“I really enjoyed the film adaptation – we went to see it in the cinema three times. It couldn’t have been any better.”
The children also found out that the character is named after Mr Bond’s favourite station before a play specialist at the hospital read to the crowd from one of the books.
The event on Friday 29th July was organised by Imperial College Healthcare Charity, which raises money for equipment, research and projects in the children’s department at St Mary’s Hospital. The charity supports wards and departments across the five hospitals of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.
Josephine Watterson, the charity’s fundraising and communications director, said: “The children were so excited to meet Mr Bond and it was wonderful to see so many smiling faces. We would like to say a huge thank you to him and his wife for taking the time to visit us and donate the books. Their support means so much to everyone at St Mary’s Hospital.”
For more information about the charity, go to imperialcharity.org.uk.