Leeds grandparents dress up in polar bear costumes to hug grandkids for first time since March

Two 'amazing' grandparents surprised their grandchildren on Christmas Day by dressing up as polar bears so they could hug.

By Joe Cooper
Saturday, 26th December 2020, 2:53 pm

Clive and Barbara Walshaw were desperate for hugs with their three grandchildren having been shielding since March.

So the pair, aged 73 and 71, searched online for a protective outfit that would allow them to embrace Quinn, six, Morgan , eight and Mackenzie, 14, safely.

These heartwarming photos were captured by their son, Neil, a Leeds City councillor for the Headingely and Hyde Park ward.

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Clive and Barbara embrace their grandchildren on Christmas Day (photo: Neil Walshaw).

He said: "It was the best six minutes since March. They've won best grandparents of the year - they are amazing."

Clive and Barbara, who live in Bramley, are a key part of the family and Cllr Walshaw said it had been "heartbreaking" for them to be apart from their grandchildren for so long.

Cllr Walshaw said: "Obviously they've been talking every day and doing Zoom and all that, but it's not really the same for the kids when it's on a screen."

His parents came up with the idea themselves and plotted with Neil and his partner to surprise the kids.

The inflatable polar bear outfits were bought online (photo: Neil Walshaw).

The pair parked up outside and quickly blew up the inflatable costumes while Cllr Walshaw told his children they were "going on a bear hunt".

"It was a complete surprise for them," he said. "It's the first time we have hugged since March - I was blubbing uncontrollably by the end.

"It was so clever and typical of them as grandparents - they are amazing.

"It's something they'll remember forever. The kids had to run in the house and back out again to make sure it was real."