'Snowy' the bear to remain at Bath pub after campaign to save it

There were concerns that Bear Flat landmark Snowy might be removed or painted brown. Credit: ITV West Country

A life-size model of a polar bear which was at risk of being moved from its home above a Bath pub has been saved by a community campaign.

The bear - affectionately known as Snowy - has stood over the entrance to a pub on Bear Flat for decades.

The bear has won the hearts of people across the city and beyond and so when plans to refurbish the pub meant it could be removed, or painted brown, the Bear Flat Association (BFA) sprang into action.

A campaign to "Keep Snowy snowy" has since been successful and Greene King - which runs the The Bear Inn - has said the bear will stay where he is, and remain white.

The local community association started a "Keep Snowy snowy" campaign to save the much loved bear. Credit: ITV West Country

Nick Francis, chair of BFA said in a statement: "It was designed to have the physique and demeanour of a polar bear not a brown bear, and it is loved by the local community as a white polar bear."

He said "Snowy is an icon" and is the "most prominent and immediate signal to passers-by" that The Bear Inn is a pub.

He added: "BFA are not experts in pub management and marketing, but it does strike us as frequent users of Wellsway on foot, by car and bus, that the prominence of Snowy owes very much to its whiteness.

"If brown, it would recede and almost be camouflaged by the building behind."

The Bath Preservation Trust, in objecting to the scheme which is still under consideration, said: "We are resistant to the loss of the polar bear figure which has become a popular local landmark and is a distinctive addition to the streetscape.

"We strongly recommend that this is retained as part of the current proposals, although there is scope for it to be relocated to a different part of the pub frontage if necessary."

Could Snowy the polar bear's troubles be behind him? Credit: ITV West Country

Following people's concerns, the pub now says Snowy will not be painted brown after all.

A spokesperson for The Bear, which is part of the Greene King chain, said: “We’ve listened to the local community and recognise ‘Snowy the Bear’ is a much-loved feature of the pub and so it will remain in place in its current form.”