New Intercity Express train named after author as original book turns 60.
Great Western Railway has named one of the first of its new Intercity Express trains after Paddington Bear author Michael Bond.
The train – 800010 – was unveiled by his daughter Karen Jankel at a special event on Platform 1, London Paddington, near to where her father’s creation first arrived in London.
Michael’s wife, Sue Bond, was also in attendance at the ceremony held on Wednesday January 10, three days before what would have been Michael’s 92nd birthday.
The train bears Michael Bond’s name on one end, and Paddington’s name on the other. Each name is accompanied by an illustration by Peggy Fortnum, who drew the first ever Paddington images.
Mark Hopwood, GWR md, said: “Naming one of our new Intercity Express trains after Michael Bond is our way of paying tribute and saying thank you to someone that has inspired countless generations of children worldwide.”
The author – who died on June 27 last year at the age of 91 – created the character Paddington based on a small bear he saw sitting all alone on a shelf in a London department store near Paddington Station on Christmas Eve 1956.
The first book was released on October 13 1958 and since then more than 35 million Paddington books have been sold around the world. The characters have also been featured on television and in two successful films.