The Moonraker legend goes back to the 1700's when smuggling was rife and Devizes was an important coaching stop between Bristol and London as well as for those heading further north. The story goes that a group of local smugglers had gone to Bristol and aquirred several barrels of Brandy which they had hidden in their cart under piles of hay. As they reached the Crammer pond (just across the road from our shop) they were told that the excise men were on their trail. They now had to hide the barrels quickly or face capture so threw them in to the Crammer where they hoped they would sink from view, of course they did not and bobbed to the surface.
Thinking quickly one of the smugglers told his friends to take up the hay rakes from the cart and push the barrels back down under the water. At this point the excise men came upon the scene and asked the men what they were doing. The quick thinking smuggler told the men that he and his friends were taking a cart of cheese to market and their cargo had rolled out in to the pond. He then pointed to the reflection of the moon on the water and said 'zee sir, that gert big cheese there, we iz trying to rake it back to the shore'.
The excise men, thinking they had come across a group of simple yokels, laughed at their stupidity and left for a local inn where they spent the rest of the evening telling the tale of the Moonrakers and laughing at their stupidity. The smugglers meanwhile retrieved their Brandy and went on their way, no doubt having a little chuckle at the expense of the excise men.
Whilst the exact location of the legend has never been agreed upon it is generally thought that either Devizes or Bishops Cannings were the likely venue. At the time the Crammer was in the Parish of Bishops Cannings so it is more than likely this is where the Moonraking took place - if indeed it did! Since that time Wiltshire folk are often known as Moonrakers and as we are Wiltshire folk we felt it was a great name for our Bear business.
You can read the legend here
Family Photo from about 1910 showing the popularity and importance of Teddy Bears even so close to their inception. The bear in the photo was presented by Lady Cholmandeley to the step daughter of her Ladies Maid
For generations Teddy Bears have been more than just toys, they have been friends and companions listening to our deepest of secrets and guarding us against the monsters in the dark. As times have changed and everything has become high tech and disposable the Teddy bear has held on and is still part of the family, often passing from generation to generation whilst the high tech toys eventually head to the recycling centre.
At Moonraker Bears we love Bears! We are passionate about continuing the tradition of giving, receiving, and growing up with Teddy Bears and we know you are too. Our Bears are handmade, high quality creations and we think they are more than just 'products'. They have their own personalities which grow as your relationship with them grows, in short they are a friend for life. You can learn more about the bears we offer here.
Based in the beautiful market town of Devizes our shop is all about touching, feeling, and falling in love with the Bears. We encourage visitors to pick them up and get to know them, though it is worth reminding our younger visitors that bears are not fans of sticky hands so please take care when giving them a hug. Why not step in to our Edwardian drawing room, take a seat by the fire, and give a bear a hug.
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