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Thursday, 27 November 2014

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West Cumbria's own Meerkat Manor is a tourist draw

A Cockermouth woman’s obsession with meerkats has turned her into a town tourist attraction.

Wendy Brown dresses the cuddly toys up in different costumes and displays them in her window.

Dozens of people make a special detour to Wendy’s home in Crown Street to look at the ever-changing displays.

Wendy, 68, has 13 of the toys, made famous in the TV advert for an insurance comparison website.

She said: “The meerkats have their own fan club and I can’t really stop it especially when you see the children’s little faces.

“However, the adults like it just as much as the children.”

She displayed them in Easter costumes this month and has dressed them up in Georgian costumes in preparation for the town’s Georgian Fair on May 5.

She will then have a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee theme in June, she said.

Wendy, a member of Cockermouth Speakers Club, got her first meerkat when she was doing a speech about it.

She said: “It all started out as a bit of a joke and I was going to put the first one in the garden but I thought it was too nice to go in there.

“Then someone bought me another for Christmas, then another was bought for me and so I started displaying them in the window.

“The kids started seeing them and they come now nearly every week to see what they are doing.”

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