The bronze statue, which has become an attraction for visitors and tourists, was moved to a “dark, seedy corner” of the station when the Elizabeth line opened in May. Indeed, its original location, under the arch of the clock, has become an escape route.
It has now been temporarily moved to Platform 1 – with railway bosses promising to find a permanent home ‘right in the middle’ of the station.
Network Rail has decided to restore Paddington to its former glory after a social media campaign by TV presenter and journalist Martin Roberts.
He said: ‘To my horror a few months ago I found the Paddington Bear statue had been moved to a really dark and dingy corner on the other side of the station.
“Something had to be done and a lot of people supported my views, including Hugh Bonneville, who played Mr Brown in the Paddington Bear films.
“For years, I’ve wanted to say ‘Hello!’ in Paddington every time I passed by the station.I was horrified when I discovered where it had been moved – next to a cafe in an area used for smoking.
“And even though I learned it was only temporary, it was still a terrible place for the thousands of people who come to visit to enjoy their moments with this special statue to a very special bear.
“Luckily the team at Network Rail London Paddington station were brilliant and took action. I’m delighted to see Paddington back in his place and will celebrate with a big marmalade sandwich, of course.
The statue, by Marcus Cornish, belongs to the Paddington Bear store at the station. It was erected in 2000.
Paddington starred in the Platinum Jubilee celebrations when he had tea with the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
In the original Michael Bond book, he arrived at Paddington Station from Peru with a ticket around his neck that read, “Please take care of this bear.
The move was welcomed by Sir Peter Hendy, chairman of Network Rail.
Susan Evans, Network Rail’s head of stations and passenger experience, said Platform 1 was ‘great but not ideal’ and would be used temporarily until a better location could be found in the main hall. “Let’s smack it in the middle of the station,” she said.
“The Paddington Bear statue is synonymous with our London Paddington station and we are working to identify a new permanent prominent position for him closer to the main station concourse.
“This will no doubt be good news for Paddington Bear’s many supporters and will enhance the experience for our passengers, particularly those with young children. We look forward to providing an update on these plans in due course. »