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The origins of the Whittlesea Straw Bears are currently lost in the mists of time; thankfully the Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival was reintroduced in 1980 by the Whittlesea Society. The last festival prior to this date is thought to have taken place in 1909 when an overenthusiastic Edwardian police inspector seems to have banned it.

Originally, following Plough Monday, it was customary on the Tuesday to dress one of the group from head to toe in straw, with a chain to form a kind of leash, he was then known as a 'Straw Bear'...

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