Teddy bear that survived the Manchester Blitz to go under the hammer

Blitzy - a treasured teddy that survived the Manchester Blitz Credit: Hansons Auctioneers

A wartime teddy bear that survived the Manchester Blitz is to be sold after being found in an attic.

The bear, named Blitzy, was originally bought for five-year-old Mary Gaskell around the time of the outbreak of the Second World War.

Mary kept the beloved bear, a source of comfort during the heavy bombing of Manchester which began in the late autumn of 1940, her entire life.

It is now being sold for a guide price of £600 to £800, although experts believe it could sell for more due to the bear's backstory.

The teddy was found in a plastic bag by Mary's son, Jon McCue, 54, who said he had "completely forgotten" about the bear until he cleared out his loft ahead of a house move.

Blitzy was originally found in a cupboard by Mary's sister-in-law, Jackie Carey, 84, in 2009, before finding his way into Mr McCue's attic.

She was clearing out Mary and her husband Ian's house in Newquay, Cornwall, following his death. Mary had died 18 months earlier at the age of 74.

Mrs Carey wrote a note, which she attached to Blitzy, which read "My mother is Mary Gaskell" and "We cuddled through the Blitz".

The retired teacher, from Flixton, Manchester, said: "Blitzy very nearly ended up in a skip or at the charity shop.

Mrs Carey said: "Mary and I lived near the Manchester Ship Canal, which was a strategic infrastructure during the war so a prime target."

She added: "Mary was four years older than me and witnessed it all. She was from an ordinary working-class family, one of two children, and lived in a 1930s semi, a new build at the time.

"Her mother bought her the teddy, perhaps just before the war because times got really tough in the 1940s.

"Everything was rationed. People used to unpick jerseys to knit something else."

"Mary was very lucky to own a bear of that quality and size at that time, no wonder she treasured him all her life. Teddies have that effect on people, I still have mine."

Blitzy is due to be sold at auction on Friday.