Surprise reunion brings great-grandfather’s teddy bear back to toddler after it disappeared in Roath Park Lake


A team of dedicated Cardiff Council Park Rangers have reunited a 2-year old boy with his beloved lost teddy bear today - 10 days after it fell into Roath Park Lake.

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Arthur, from Llanishen and his teddy bear best friend named "Teddy", had visited Roath Park on January 17 with family when tragedy struck - Arthur accidently dropped Teddy into the water as they walked around the lake and watched helplessly as he appeared to sink to the bottom.

The teddy bear is very important to Arthur and the family for poignant reasons. Teddy was given to Arthur by his 90 year-old great-grandfather as a special gift for his first great-grandchild.

Jane Burgoyne, Arthur's grandmother, said: "Teddy goes everywhere with Arthur and as you can imagine the little lad was absolutely distraught when the teddy fell into the lake.

"I knew it was a long shot, emailing the Parks team, but I was hoping maybe they could retrieve him with a net or something. He's a very precious bear, given to him by my dad - his great-grandfather - and we have honestly all been surprisingly devastated by this loss. Teddy even has Arthur's name on his paws."

Jane emailed the Cardiff Council Parks Department and Ian Protheroe, Principal Administrative Officer, was quick to respond asking Jane to provide details of the exact location where the teddy bear was lost and how far out it was on the lake before it sank. Jane replied with a photo of the teddy floating on the lake and all the information she had to help with the search.

Ian said: "It was one of the saddest pictures we'd ever seen. It was such a shame there wasn't a Park Ranger on scene or I'm sure they'd have done their best at the time. However, we were hopeful that the teddy would rise again from lake like some character from Welsh mythology!"

Incredibly, on January 28, ten days after Jane's email was received by the Parks Department, the missing teddy was found by Simon and Josh, two members of staff, who were  clearing debris from the grate by the waterfall in Roath Park.Teddy had travelled approximately 175metres from where he originally sank.

Mike Hopson, Urban Park Ranger Supervisor, immediately contacted Jane with the good news and they decided to keep the surprise from Arthur and his parents. They were reunited with Teddy during a family walk in Roath Park.

Mike said, "I can't believe he travelled so far in 10 days. The teddy was in a  very dirty and smelly condition after living in the lake, so I took him home and put him through the washing machine and he came up lovely and clean. 

"As the teddy had such sentimental value, we decided to build a boat for him to be reunited with the family. The boat was built by Mark Plant, Urban Park Ranger, Ellie John, also an Urban Park Ranger, made Teddy a superhero cape  and another colleague Edmundo Ferreira-Rocha, has written a poem about his journey during the ten days that he was in the water which we have framed for Arthur to keep."

They Found my Teddy by Edmundo Ferreira-Rocha

Around Roath Lake on a family stroll

Rambling away they lost control

The teddy so lovely a precious gift

Harrowing scene they saw it adrift

Unfazed by the fuss a curious swan floated by

Regal bird in white plumage swam away bye bye

Just as the family accept that loss in late January

A message of hope was posted in by a Parks Emissary

Making sure they all knew their heirloom had been found

Entrapped by the weir very soggy but sound

Shampooed and hairdried it sits now like a mascot aboard HMS Rangers' Rescue, under the limelight and holophote

Jane added: "I am truly blown away by the kindness and work everyone has put into returning this precious bear to my grandson and it was wonderful to see the reunion take place today!

"My 90-year-old father David Burgoyne, Arthur's Great Grandfather, who lives in Devon, is delighted to hear this news as he originally gave the bear to Arthur after he was born. We are so grateful to everyone involved!"

Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure, Cllr Peter Bradbury, said: "A great job once again by the Urban's.

"It's incredible that the team were able to find Teddy in Roath lake, but what's most inspiring is that they have all gone so far above and beyond for Arthur and his family.

"When a child loses their special toy, it can feel like their whole world has caved in, so the team should be incredibly proud that they have put a smile back on Arthur's face.

"Thank you to all of the team for achieving such a happy ending to this bear hunt."