The Tambo Teddy Bear Workshop

Tambo is the oldest town in the central west and the Teddies building is one of the older buildings in town and boasts quite an interesting and varied life history.


Prior to moving to our present location in 2000, Tambo Teddies began in  the back rooms of Tambo’s historic Post & Telegraph Museum. The business  quickly outgrew this space as more and more teddy bears were created and after a few years they relocated across the road to our present site.


The town of Tambo was gazetted on 27th June in 1863 and while our little building wasn’t one of the first constructions it was most certainly built around the turn of the century. The Tambo Teddies Workshop is a cute cottage style building with the awning extending over the footpath. It has the high sharply pitched roof, high ceilings and the tung and groove lining that is typical of the architecture of the era. The building is constructed from cypress pine that would have been milled locally.


The building was the original Shire Council Chambers and appears not to have been as comfortable as today’s Council offices as reported in an article in the Gippsland Farmer’s Journal in December 1918 entitled ‘The Councillor’s Lot’.


“There does not seem much chance of an early escape for the Tambo Shire Councillors from the alternate experiences of being roasted and frozen in their shire buildings where climatic conditions range from the heat of a furnace in summer to the cold of an ice house in winter.”


Fortunately today we do have reverse cycle air-conditioning and the Teddies staff are able to work in tolerable climatic conditions but we all prefer the days when we are able to have the front sliding doors open. We love to have fresh air and the open door is wide and welcoming.


It is uncertain how long the Shire operated from this premises but the little building went on to provide a variety of services for the community. It was the town bakery for a long time and the opening for the oven is still evident in the back room. After that it was a store selling motor parts and tools, the front room had large sections of holey board for hanging and display tools. It was also rumoured to be a house of ill repute but we don’t have (or need) any evidence of that.


The little building has been happy housing a teddy bear workshop for the past fifteen years. We are working through the building giving it  a refreshing facelift. This year we aimed to get more of the outside painted and another room inside refurbished so it will continue to be a home for Tambo Teddies for years to come.