A TEDDY bear’s head which was found washed up and broken on a beach in Cornwall was made whole by a Wiltshire priest.

Rev Canon Eleanor Rance responded to a Twitter post by a woman who publishes her beach discoveries as part of her environmental mission to raise awareness of the plight of the oceans.

Tracy Williams had found the remains of a bear following the January storms in 2022. The bear was missing its body and nestled in seaweed.

Salisbury Journal: Image Eleanor RanceImage Eleanor Rance (Image: Eleanor Rance)

Eleanor asked if she could try to restore the bear and he was posted to her home in Wiltshire.

Read more: Dust Hole contract renewed as couple vow to keep going

Rector of Shrewton and a former RAF chaplain, Eleanor had never tried to restore a teddy bear but enjoyed sewing.

She said: “When I saw the Twitter post, I thought he looked so sad but could have a lot of life left in him still. I offered to try and restore him, and he arrived in a cardboard envelope, smelling strongly of the sea.

Salisbury Journal: Image Eleanor RanceImage Eleanor Rance (Image: Eleanor Rance)

“He was completely caked in seaweed and had stones and tiny shells in his ears.”

The teddy bear’s head needed a lot of washing as his fur was coated in seaweed and sand and she also found shells, stones and even, a tiny piece of coral embedded in him.

Eleanor’s son named the bear Sinbad in honour of his journey.

Read more: The Duke of York increases opening hours to cover costs

She mended the holes in his face and stitched parts of him together during her free time.

She said: “His eyes and nose were still there and had become opaque, like sea glass. He must have been in the sea for ages. He must have been loved very much once, but there is no way of knowing who he belonged to.”

Salisbury Journal: Image Eleanor RanceImage Eleanor Rance (Image: Eleanor Rance)

Once she had restored his head, she found him a new body realising he was a large bear at around 50 centimetres high and during the whole process, posted Sinbad's recovery on Twitter. 

Read more: Volunteers needed for a community garden

Eleanor even took Sinbad to care homes to visit residents and into schools for assemblies, observing how people responded to his story. She believes he now has a future as a therapy bear.

Eleanor is still trying to trace Sinbad’s ocean journey and having kept all the pieces of seaweed that fell out of his fur, a marine biologist in Shrewton determined to see whether it was possible to find out how long he spent at sea and where he may have travelled on the currents.

Eleanor said: “The fact that he was battered and wounded but could still have a life and a future – it’s a story we all understand and relate to. People who meet him want to love and care for him, as I did.”