'BOF is 40 years old, he had ears with a red lining, one came off then the other came off, he was white, he's been handmade.'

When I asked the owner of BOF: How would you feel if BOF disappeared? He said: 'This is not possible'.

(He continues...) 'We met in 1972 in Southend. My Auntie (on my fathers side) went to a fete/summer fair. There was a stall with a row of factory perfect plastic wrapped teddy bears and right at the end was BOF. She bought him home and as soon as she walked through the door with him we became firm friends. It might be a false memory but I remember the exact moment, where he appeared, where I was and my reaction. I was three years old..

The minute she bought him back I immediately called out BOF !

I had loads of other toys but he's the only one I hung onto.

BOF can also be known as BOFF. His name is part of an aural tradition and therefore passed by speech alone. His name has never before been written down. In fact when you wrote his name down during our first interview that was the first time, to my knowledge, his name had ever been put into letters.

It's very difficult to talk about my life with BOF and dedicate moments on a time line. It’s not appropriate to say when he has been more, or less, meaningful. Unlike other relationships with friends or family, placing descriptions on our relationship are un-necessary.

He has a spirit like status, constant and enduring, unquestionable.

I can’t say how he came to be on that stall in Essex, he was certainly handmade and created with extreme creative inspiration. The strength of his beauty stems partly from being completely unsullied by mainstream ideals of cuteness and lovability.'

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