Teds grin and bear it as they hurl through Corsham skies

This Is Wiltshire: Oliver and Maise Berry congratulate their bears for parachuting down from St Bartholomew’s Church tower Oliver and Maise Berry congratulate their bears for parachuting down from St Bartholomew’s Church tower

Daredevil teddy bears parachuted off St Bartholomew’s Church tower to raise money for its spire appeal.

The brave bears were treated to a picnic after leaping into action for the appeal, now in its sixth year, to improve the structure.

Volunteers have so far raised £280,000 and restoration work on the 12th century Corsham church began in March.

Liz Millward, the church’s leader of finance, who took her own bear, Ebenezer, to the Bank Holiday Monday event, said: “The parachuting was meant to last for three hours but, unfortunately, strong winds brought it to a close after around an hour.

“The problem was that the wind kept blowing the teddies into the scaffolding, but they survived. When the parachuting stopped, everyone went inside and enjoyed teas and the tombola.”

The spire work is expected to be finished soon. Church volunteers plan to hold a celebration on September 29 to mark the end of the work.

Mrs Millward said: “We’ve all put in one huge effort.”

August has been a busy month for intrepid teddies. Visitors to Lacock Abbey where in for a big surprise when fearless bears took part in a zip wire spectacular. About 800 people attended the picnic and zip wire day in the Botanic Garden, some bringing their own teds.

Visitor experience officer Rachael Holtom said: “We had a few hairy moments with one of two of the bears, but it was a fantastic day with lots of family fun.”

Children also enjoyed performances by a circus jester and workshops run by the Wiltshire Scrapstore charity, which has been running sessions all summer.

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