Fringe Box



Bear Faced Robbery

Published on: 3 Oct, 2018
Updated on: 6 Oct, 2018

The smashed shop window shortly after the robbery. Photo: The Bear Garden

A smash and grab robbery took place on Monday evening from the Bear Garden in Jeffery’s passage, Guildford at around 9pm on Monday evening (October 1, 2018).

The robber stole eight bears, worth together £300, smashing a window with a half brick. The large plate glass, shopfront window will cost £2,000 to repair.

The boarded up shop front. The graffiti bearing boards were the only ones available but have become a talking point, according to shop staff.

But three of the bears were returned, with shards of glass embedded and soiled with dirt and blood, by a woman who later learned of the robbery on social media and returened the bears to the shop.

Store manager Jen Pentecost with two of the soiled but recovered bears.

According to sore manager Jen Pentecost, the woman said had been walking in Tunsgate when a cyclist bumped into her and in his haste to get away dropped three of the stolen bears.

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Responses to Bear Faced Robbery

  1. John Ferns Reply

    October 3, 2018 at 7:29 pm

    A storyline, at last, safe for the more sensitive reader of The Dragon to read before bedtime!

    We do need to ask if the returned bears were comforted with honey for their tea.

    I know Guildford is not Balham but the introduction to the 1960’s Peter Sellers spoof travelogue, “Balham, Gateway to the South…” does resonate.

    “…We enter Balham through the verdant grasslands of Battersea Park
    And at once we are aware of a happy and contented people
    Who go about their daily tasks in a truly democratic spirit.
    This is busy High Street, focal point of the town’s activity
    Note the quaint old stores whose footage is covered with hand-painted inscriptions of native Balham art…”

    And which concludes with the iconic sentence, “And is there honey still for tea?”


    • John Perkins Reply

      October 5, 2018 at 12:44 pm

      Did Peter Sellers pinch “Balham, Gateway to the South” from Tony Hancock, or was it the other way round?

      • John Ferns Reply

        October 6, 2018 at 8:26 pm

        The concept seems to have been predated both Sellers and Hancock. This mention in Wikipedia makes no mention of Tony Hancock.

        An extract follows.

        “Balham, Gateway to the South” is a comedy sketch parodying a short travel documentary about the South London suburb of Balham. It was written by Frank Muir and Denis Norden for the short-lived BBC radio series Third Division, and was featured in the second edition on 2 February 1949.

        It compared the area, during postwar austerity, to faraway exotic locations depicted in travelogues of the day. One memorable part of the sketch is the pronunciation of Balham as “Bal-Ham” in an American accent, instead of the British pronunciation “Ballum”.

        The original sketch was performed by Peter Sellers as narrator, with others such as Benny Hill and Michael Bentine contributing other voices. The script features the narration of exaggerated claims regarding the attractions of the area.

        The sketch was later performed solo by Peter Sellers, in a parody of the American newsreel-travelogue host James A. Fitzpatrick, on the 1958 Parlophone record The Best of Sellers, produced by George Martin.

        Another longer rendering of the travelogue with a hilarious video accompaniment can be found here.

  2. Jules Cranwell Reply

    October 4, 2018 at 6:39 pm

    Great news about the blood sample. Now the police just need to DNA test all cyclists within cycling distance of the centre, and they will collar the bear faced thief.

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