Travelling teddy up for award

A globe trotting teddy bear from Eastbourne has put the hotel he lives at in the running for an award.

Claude Debussy is looked after by staff at the Grand Hotel on Eastbourne seafront but travels extensively across the world with friends and fans.

So far he has been to numerous far flung destinations and his Facebook page and tweets have resulted in the hotel being shortlisted for the Best Venue Social Media Campaign, one of ten categories attracting global entries in the annual Prestigious Venues Star Awards.

Prestigious Venues is an online portfolio that showcases exclusive hotels, villas, restaurants, clubs and bars and other venues around the world.

The awards will be announced at London’s Cadogan Hotel on November 14.

Named after French composer Claude Debussy, who wrote his orchestral composition La Mer while staying at the Grand Hotel in 1905, the idea of setting up a social networking page has snowballed since it was launched in August 2010.

Claude has been taken to more than 50 destinations, as far afield as Australia, Oman, Russia and Hong Kong, by staff and friends at the Grand.

Hotel guests who have bought similar bears as souvenirs during their stay at the Grand have also joined in the fun.

His antics are posted on Facebook and Twitter and to date he has more than 150 friends and followers.

Closer to home Claude has been made an honorary member of the Scouts and been given his own scarf tied with the traditional woggle. He was taken to the Bushy Wood Scout Camp and Activity Centre near Hailsham by James Pearce, leader of the 23rd Eastbourne Scouts who works at the Grand, and joined 80 local beavers, cubs, scouts and helpers.

Jackie Webley, the hotel’s marketing co-ordinator, said, “It looks as if we may have to get him a dickie bow and tuxedo.