Call in the Bear Force - teddy helps promote Navy in Lincolnshire

Its's long been home of the Royal Air Force. Now Lincolnshire can claim to be heartland of the Royal Bear Force – doing his bit for the Navy in the county.

Meet Blighty Bear, brainchild of the North East Lincolnshire’s Armed Forces major events team – a group of ex-service personnel who organise and deliver all large-scale military/public events in the county.

Dressed in the uniform of a three-badge killick stoker submariner when representing the RN (bespoke Army and RAF uniforms have also been produced specially for the mascot when he’s flying the flag for them), Blighty is used to spread the word in a part of England not necessarily immediately associated with the Senior Service.

The bear, whose name was chosen by young readers of the Grimsby Telegraph (we were expecting Beary McBearface…), visits local schools and engages with members of the public at a myriad of charity and public events (such as Armed Forces Day where he joined a 180,000-strong crowd in Cleethorpes).

His job? To promote all three services as part of a continuous effort to maintain the high-profile support the military enjoys in the area.

In particular, the oversized teddy bear is heavily engaged in teaching Lincolnshire’s young citizens the importance of the Armed Forces Covenant.

To keep abreast of latest developments in the Royal Navy, the bear left his home for a few days and headed to Portsmouth for a tour of new carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, where he donned gloves in the gym for a spot of sparring in the ring and climbed to the top of the ski ramp for the obligatory portrait. He also kept abreast of naval history with a VIP tour of HMS Victory.

To quote a 1980s advertising slogan, you can ‘follow the bear’ via Facebook (search ‘blightybear’) and if you’d like him to drop in on an event or school in North East Lincolnshire, call the team on 01472 324355.