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William Bear at St Michaels Mount
Lt Mark Taylor, Michelle Emerson with her children Isaac and Hannah
William Bear on the beach in Cornwall
William Bear on deployment with HMS Bulwark

The nautical adventures of William Bear

Published: 15 May 2013

A Royal Navy Lieutenant who penned a Blog about the Nautical Adventures of a travelling bear has had his work released in a special fund raising book. 

Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose’s Lieutenant Mark Taylor’s blog detailing the globe-trotting adventures of a ships mascot bear has been released as a children’s book in aid of charity. The series of blogs, written whilst on board HMS Bulwark during the ship’s visit to the Baltic region in 2012, were sent to Durham Trinity School and Sports College, providing a novel teaching experience.

The bear named William, designed by Lesley Harrison of “Cassop vale Bears” and wearing a Navy uniform, was presented to the Ship’s company of HMS Bulwark by Durham Trinity School during a Freedom of the City of Durham parade in 2011. Proving an instant hit with children of the north east and backed by the Mayor of Durham and the City Council, children’s author Michelle Emerson was enlisted to help turn Mark’s pictures and stories into a children’s book. 

Marks job, as the Aviation officer controlling all the aircraft operating onboard HMS Bulwark kept him busy during the deployment, but he found time to keep his readers up to date with Williams amazing sea-going exploit.  “When William was given to us no one could have imagined that his adventures would prove so popular.  I wrote about our day to day life on board the Ship and all the countries we visited. It was remarkable how children were able to relate to all the comings and goings on an operational Warship. They seemed to understand and hopefully they learn t about our world.”

The book is aimed at 7-10 year olds and entitled The Nautical Adventures of William Bear.  All proceeds from the sale of the book will go to Durham City's St Cuthbert's Hospice.

Teachers and pupils from Durham Trinity School attended and met Lt Mark Taylor and William the well travelled mascot star they’d heard so much about, at a special book launch at Northumbria Quay, North Shields when HMS Bulwark docked recently for a port visit.

 Julie Connolly, the school’s head teacher, said, “This has been an exciting, innovative project that has further promoted the bond between HMS Bulwark, Durham County Council and Durham Trinity School and Sports College. We hope children enjoy reading the book.”


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