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Why Beartown?

Congleton is known as the "Beartown" from an incident during Elizabethan times when bear baiting was a popular sport. Rumor has it that the Congleton town bear died before the annual Wakes (annual town summer holiday when all industry shut down), so the towns people decided that money set aside to buy a new town bible should be used to buy a new bear so that the celebrations would not spoil


The Wakes coming on and the bear he took ill
We tried him with potion, with brandy and pill
He died in his sleep at the eve of the Wakes
The cause, it was said, was strong ale and sweet cakes

The cheeses of Cheshire are famed, but beware
Of stories they tell of the Congleton Bear
Congleton Bear, Congleton Bear
They sold the Church Bible to buy a new bear

He'd served the town well and held served the town true
To lie him in state was the least they could do
The old bear was dead, a successor they'd need
A new bear was wanted, and that at great speed


Now a parson is useful in times of great need
And imbibed with strong porter he quickly agreed
The parson, his Bible he gave then and there
We sold it in Nantwich to buy a new bear


The new bear, a she-bear, was toast of the town
To music and laughter she danced up and down
So loudly the cheering would waken the dead
It caused the old bear for to rise from his bed


Pills, potion and brandy induced a deep trance
And refreshed by the music he began for to dance
He danced down the road causing many a gaze
And word quickly spread that the old bear was raised


He rolled his dark eye as he spied the she-bear
And with an embrace they danced jigs pair-and pair
The cheeses of Cheshire are famed but beware
Of stories they tell of the Congleton Bear