Move over, Paddington. Pudsey is top of the pops this week. He's on a 470 mile rickshaw trip from Jedburgh to London.
UK readers know exactly what I'm talking about. Pudsey is the figurehead of Children in Need, the BBC's annual campaign to raise money for (surprise, surprise) children in need. Some is spent in the UK, some overseas but since 1980 it has raised £600 million through its annual campaign. For several years now Pudsey has been transported around the country courtesy of young cyclists who have themselves been helped by the charity and who cycle power the rickshaw as others collect from the crowd. The "Grand Finale" will be on Friday with a telethon when the money rolls in.
Anyway, today Pudsey came to Caistor and it would have been rude not to welcome him. The town turned out in force.
Big Pudsey came first and I have to say, he's a bit of a poser. He had competition from a panda who is the mascot of our local running club. Panda rarely meets a bear of his own size in Caistor so it was a treat for him.
Soon the shout went up - the rickshaw was on its way! A young lad called Ross was powering the bike while little Pudsey reclined in the back. There's an incredibly large support crew but Ross was the star in Caistor. He got loudly cheered (we'd been primed as to his name) but all too soon the circus moved on, the crowd dispersed and this resident came home glad she'd sat in the cold and cheered.