The Followers of Rupert Bear

Official Rupert Bear Society





Mary Tourtel created Rupert in 1920 for the Daily Express

Mary Tourtel created Rupert in 1920 for the Daily Express who wished to compete with Teddy Tail who was very popular in the Daily Mail. Rupert was an instant success.mary_tourtell

Born in Kent in 1874, Mary trained at art school and became a professional book illustrator. Her husband, Herbert, was a sub-editor of the Daily Express and it was he who arranged for Mary to create Rupert for the Express. The character she created was the "Little Lost Bear" who became Rupert. The little bear had baggier trousers than we now expect and was more overtly ursine than our Nutwood chum has now become. However, he was unmistakable from the outset - checked trousers and scarf, a small boy with a bear's head.

Between 1920 and 1935, Mary wrote and illustrated many Rupert stories, introducing many of the well-loved characters including Podgy Pig and Bill Badger. During the 1930's, Mary began to find the Rupert work too much for her as her eyesight was deteriorating, and a replacement was sought (and found, in Alfred Bestall). Mary Tourtel spent much of her working life in the town of Canterbury and continued to take a keen interest in Rupert right up to her death in 1948.







The Followers of Rupert Bear
The official Rupert Bear Society Website

The Secretary, John Beck
29 Mill Road, Lewes, East Sussex
tel 01273 477555


Rupert Bear © ™ Express Newspapers.
The Followers of Rupert are grateful for permission to use the images on this website.

Welcome to the Members' Area

You have now entered the private 'members only' section of the Followers' Website.
Any private Society business that is shared amongst Members will be displayed in this section of the website and not in the part that is open to the general public.

If you are a Full Member, then your Newsletters and Supplements will be sent to you by post.
If you are an E Member, then you will be advised by e.mail when the latest publications are available for download.


What would you like to see here?

The various links and details below are to various parts of the website not open to the public. As a member of the Followers, is there anything you would especially like to see in this side of the website?
If so, contact Tony Stanford (membership@rupertbear.co.uk) who will work with Lily, the website elf and we'll see what we can do!

The 2021 AGM and Fun Day - Tavistock!

Held at an exciting new venue

As you will all know by now, Warwick School was not able to host our 2021 Event.  Up stepped Charles Knape who as pulled out all the stops to organise an event for us at Kelly College in Tavistock.

It was an amazing success.  Huge thanks to Charles.  A full Review of the Day will appear in the Winter Nutwood Newsletter - but to be there and see the Rupert hot-air balloon inflated for what is likely to be the very last time was amazing.  You can find a shorter review with photos and videos on this site.  Look at the "Followers' AGM and Annual Fun Day" section below or just click here to go straight to the review.