We had initially thought that our March event would be really busy, building on the success and the publicity we had for our participation in the Big Fix 2020. A few days before the event, we learned that our two IT repairers and our Jewellery repairer couldn’t come. We’d already taken the decision to cancel our April 2020 in the light of the Coronavirus threat. That threat was building exponentially and had the event been one day later, we would probably have cancelled it. Would anyone come?
As if by magic, just the right number of people came to keep us occupied. We saw 64 repairs – we usually get 75 – 90. We had quite a few new volunteers ‘in training’ in the café area, giving out forms and helping people to fill them in. We had new volunteers on Mechanical, Electrical and Sewing repairs too. Bernie’s husband Paul stepped in make tea and coffee for us as we are lacking a volunteer in that role. “Steve the Treasurer” had admitted to having media studies skills and camera and video equipment so he recorded some video clips, with a view to eventually making a documentary about Repair Cafe Weymouth.
We love the stories around the items that people bring for repair. One gentleman had brought a metal detector that had cost him £400 20 years ago. A silver engraved hairpin he had found was now in a museum and both he and the landowner had been handsomely rewarded.
Phil had worked on a fish-shaped glug jug at our last few events and I caught him using a hairdryer that volunteer Maggie had brought in for repair, for another stage in the invisible repair process. I knew that Phil built models but I didn’t appreciate the extent of his skills until I saw him repair a resin model of a waiter.
It had a big hole in the elbow. Phil put him on the operating table, masked off the area around the hole and somehow fixed a bit of card under the hole. I saw him sprinkling his magic black fairy dust into the hole. He must have melted that and shaped it. Our visitors described the repair as “Absolutely amazing!”.
Jim had taken home a model boat after our previous event, to untangle the ropes, add more eyelets and fix the ropes in the right places, make a copper strap for the boom and make a stand for the whole thing!
A lady had brought in 4 tiny music boxes that had been given to her children. They are smaller than matchboxes. Our clock repairer Alan has an eye for ‘fiddly’ jobs, and he quickly got 3 of the 4 working.
Our visitors seem to love come to our events. One gentleman said it was his third visit. I hope we will soon be back together in the Palm House. Meanwhile, both repairers and people looking for advice on repairs can join the virtual Fixit Clinic