Teddy’s travels around Littlehampton spread to Zimbabwe

Yvonne Snyman writes stories about Sammy the teddy bear's adventures in Littlehampton. Photo by Derek Martin
Yvonne Snyman writes stories about Sammy the teddy bear's adventures in Littlehampton. Photo by Derek Martin

The exploits of an entrepid teddy bear around our town have travelled the bearways to Africa.

Continuing a family tradition of telling tales about Sammy the bear, Yvonne Snyman bought her own and photographed the ursine explorer around Littlehampton, including on the UK’s longest bench and on the groynes along the beach.

She then wrote a story and published it through the website Blurb, before hand delivering it as a Christmas present to her one-year-old nephew Logan LeRoux in Zimbabwe.

The 51-year-old said while Logan was too young to fully appreciate the gift, the meaning was not lost on her brother Jason, 36, and his partner: “They were in tears when Logan opened it. They just absolutely loved the whole idea. Nicole was so touched.”

The tradition of Sammy the bear was started in Yvonne’s family by her grandmother Johane Parker, who then passed it down to her mother Penny LeRoux, 70. When Logan was born, Yvonne, who moved from Zimbabwe to South Terrace to live with Penny last year, picked up the mantle.

The former pre-school teacher said: “My mum’s dad also used to read to her from a really early age, and instilled a passion for reading out loud in our family.”

She took photos for her second book while she was in Zimbabwe, including in The Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare, and her third will have photos from when it was snowing in Littlehampton in March. Yvonne said: “I think it is fantastic to be spreading Littlehampton across the world. It has such a lovely atmosphere and is a great holiday destination.

“I love that the world is made smaller now – I’m so far away but my family can get to know about where I live now, and I can still be part of their lives.”