Winnie-the-Pooh's favorite bridge reopens

January 12, 2000
Poohsticks Bridge

The bridge where the "Bear of Very Little Brain" and his friends introduced the world to the game of Pooh sticks opened to the public again on Wednesday.

Winnie-the-Pooh's favorite bridge in Ashdown Forest in the southern English county of Sussex has been rebuilt after the wear and tear caused by thousands of visitors forced it to be closed last year, the local council said. The bridge has been a mecca for children and adults ever since A.A. Milne published his tales of Pooh, Piglet and their friends in the 1920s.

In Pooh sticks, twigs are dropped into the water from the upstream side of the bridge. The winner is the person whose stick comes out the other side first.

Now the bridge has been rebuilt at a cost of 46,000 pounds ($76,000), with the help of a 15,000 pounds donation from Walt Disney, whose cartoon depiction helped make Pooh world famous. Mike Ridley, who owns the Pooh Corner souvenir shop in the nearby village of Hartfield, said: "When people come here they want to participate and play Pooh sticks at the bridge so it is important that they can do that again."

The authorities decided not to have any special event to mark the re-opening.