Straw Bear Saturday on Caught by the River


Photo: Sarah Campbell

I went to the Cambridgeshire Fenland market town of Whittlesey to witness the annual Straw Bear Festival and was rather taken in by its charms.

“Though the Straw Bear was present in 1909, the tradition faded away shortly after. In 1980 it was reintroduced by The Whittlesea Society, free of Bumbledom. 37 years on, it is now an extraordinary occasion where people of all ages line the streets in their hundreds, if not thousands. I heard someone accurately describe the day as like Christmas for Whittlesey. Shop windows are adorned with replica Bears and lampposts and bins are permanently decorated with straw motifs. The alcohol ban is lifted and plenty use personalised tankards to sip – or gulp – their ales. As well as the great crowds, there is a convivial atmosphere from early on. It is not a stretch to say that Whittlesey is rather proud of this rekindled custom.”

Read the full post on Caught by the River.