Video and photo gallery: Great Yarmouth’s famous two bears leave their lofty perch
12:25 09 April 2014
Archant Norfolk © 2014
An end of an era was marked in Great Yarmouth today when the town’s famous two bears left their seat in the sky.
The antique animals were lifted from the roof of the Two Bears Hotel by workmen, as they prepare to demolish the historic building.
The Pasteur Road hotel was once a landmark for people coming into Great Yarmouth and is being knocked down to make way for a new Hughes Electrical store.
But its long heritage will not be completely lost as the 425kg stone bears are set to return to their lofty lookout when the store opens.
Inquisitive residents gathered, and motorists and bus passengers looked on, as the well-known grizzlies were lifted from their stoney seats and one by one, carried by crane down to the ground.
Overseeing the delicate operation was Phil Munnings, of Yarmouth-based construction firm Munnings, who said the lift had taken some planning due to the precious cargo in question.
“It’s a planning condition that the bears are going to be re-conditioned and re-used in the new building, so they had to come down in one piece - it was critical,” he added.
“We fabricated a special lifting rig to slip underneath the plinth of each bear to avoid lifting from any of the fragile points of the bears. All the weight was taken from the bottom.”
The bears - nicknamed Yogi and Winnie by workmen - and are now in storage awaiting their makeover.