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Network Rail’s Paddington station celebrated as Paddington Bear hits the big screen

Paddington Bear film

London’s historic Paddington station will be shown in all its glory on the big screen as the film version of the beloved Paddington Bear books hits cinemas this week.

The fictional traveller famously ventured from darkest Peru as a stowaway and was found sitting on a small suitcase near the lost property office in Paddington station, after which he was named.

The character was created by Michael Bond – who lived around the corner from Paddington station – and first published in 1958. In 2000, the author unveiled a statue of the bear at the station, which is also home to the only shop in the world entirely dedicated to Paddington Bear.

The Paddington Bear statue has been temporarily joined in the station by “Classic Bear”, part of the Paddington Trail created by Visit London to mark Paddington's first big screen appearance. Classic Bear has been designed by Michael Bond and will remain in the station until 30 December 2014.

Another temporary visitor to the station is the Paddington Book Bench. Designed by the artist Michelle Heron, the bench was auctioned by the National Literacy Trust after featuring its Books about Town Trail this summer. The bench’s new owner, Alan Daly, has kindly donated the bench to Network Rail for a year for the use and enjoyment of passengers and visitors to Paddington the station. It can be found on platform by the original Paddington Bear statue. They will soon be joined by a plaque marking the station’s association with Paddington Bear and the making of the film.

Nick Hartnell, Network Rail’s station manager for Paddington, said: “Paddington Bear is a much loved part of the Paddington station family and it is great to see this association recognised both on the big screen and with the erection of a plaque acknowledging the station’s starring role.

“Paddington station is a world heritage site and a glorious example of Victorian architecture, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel as the gateway to his Great Western Railway. To see the station on the big screen is to get the same sense of awe that you get when you walk into it in real life. It was a pleasure to host this production and we are all delighted to see Paddington station so wonderfully portrayed in this film. “

The opening scenes of the Paddington film were shot over a number of days in the station. The filming schedule was worked around the existing train timetables to ensure that no inconvenience was caused to the travelling public.

Network Rail’s train stations are often used as locations for television, film and photography, and have featured in Hollywood blockbusters including the Bourne Ultimatum and the Harry Potter series as well as Downton Abbey and smash-hit US drama 24. Further details can be found here.

(c) Paddington and Company Limited/Studiocanal S.A. 2014 Paddington Bear(tm), Paddington(tm) and PB(tm) are trademarks of Paddington and Company Limited

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