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Florence with her replacement TeddyHad the thief known, I wonder if the outcome would have been the same.

Four year old Florence left the teddy she had just won at the fair in the ladies loo in Bideford, twenty minutes later when they returned to look for him, he was gone. Had the person who took him known that Louise, Florence’s mum was a member of the police force and the person they were visiting was a retired Justice of the Peace I wonder if they would have had second thoughts?

When Freemason Brian Mitchell and his wife Christine came to Bideford for a holiday they brought their daughter Louise and granddaughter Florence with them.

Nothing strange in that you might say, everyone is "staycationing" these days, but while they were down here from West Kent they contacted their friend of many years, Ian Kingsbury our Provincial Grand Master and his wife Toni. They arranged to meet near the seafront in Victoria Park, while Brian, Ian and their wives caught up on old times Louise took Florence to the funfair, where, much to her delight she won a cuddly toy bear, only to lose it as described above.

At the end of her holiday on returning to West Kent there was a surprise waiting to greet Florence, as, when Ian saw the disappointment in the little girls eyes he made a phone call and arranged for one of our “Teddies for Loving Care” to be posted to her home to the obvious delight of 4 year old Florence as seen here in the photo of her with her Grandparents.

Over 63,000 teddies have been given to children to in distressed circumstances when having to visit A&E departments in hospitals by Devonshire Freemasons and while Florence avoided hospital the distress was still very evident.

Teddies win the day again!!!