SPECIAL FEATURE - We go behind the scenes at Bromsgrove Repair Cafe - The Bromsgrove Standard

SPECIAL FEATURE - We go behind the scenes at Bromsgrove Repair Cafe

Bromsgrove Editorial 9th Aug, 2022 Updated: 10th Aug, 2022   0

AS BROMSGROVE’S Repair Cafe gets set to celebrate its six-month anniversary in September, the Standard’s Tristan Harris visited the latest one to get an insight into the scheme and what it was like first-hand.


WE have been publicising the repair cafe since its launch in March and since then it has gone from strength-to-strength.

The sessions – held at All Saints Church Hall, Burcot Lane on the first Saturday of the month – enables people to get more life out of broken electrical appliances or clothes that need fixing and tools can be restored to their former glory via sharpening and other techniques.

As well as saving people cash (as there is no need to replace items), it also has an important environmental role by preventing items from going to landfill.

I went along, armed with a lawn mower that needed repairing as a relative had done the classic old error of mowing over the wire.

When I arrived, I was given a warm welcome by the volunteers and filled out a registration form, providing my name and address, along with details of the item and what needed fixing.

The hall is split into sections and you are allocated the relevant one for your item – among them are electronic, electric, sewing/textiles, tool sharpening, furniture and ‘other’.

While you wait you can have a cup of tea or coffee and a piece of cake.

My lawn mower was taken to the relevant station and volunteers Brian Palmer and Mark Croft who set to work, taking apart the controls and stripping the wire so it could be re-attached.

I chatted away to them as they applied their expertise – Mark has been part of the Redditch Repair Cafe for eight or nine years and Brian had been with the Bromsgrove one since it started.

It was a bit of a fiddly job but unpeturbed they set about the task in hand and they managed to get it working again – as good as new.

Not all items can be repaired and some will have reached the end of their life.

The success rate is around two thirds of items brought along to the Repair Cafe and on the same day as I visited were printers, tools and clothes.

I also met the Holder family – Andrew, Annalise and 11-year-old Drew-Anna who had brought along doll Holly whose legs had become unattached.

After some work by volunteers, Holly’s legs were reattached and – like us enjoying coffee and cake – Drew-Anna happily took Holly away for their very own tea party that afternoon.

Andrew said: “Drew-Anna really loves the doll so we brought her down but didn’t really think it would be successful.

“What they have done and the whole repair cafe is amazing.”

Introduced this month and running at the next session between 2pm and 5pm on September 3 is a new sewing scheme aimed at parents who are struggling to afford new school uniforms ahead of pupils going back to school.

Parents can learn how to alter trousers and skirts and how to sew on buttons to prolong the life of uniform items and delay the need to buy new ones.

It has been backed by Bromsgrove’s Brenda Killigrew Sewing Studio and Asda which have both provided free sewing kits for parents who go along.

After my experience, I would definitely recommend the scheme to others – so, if you’ve got that broken lawn mower, vacuum cleaner or other electrical items lying around in garages or sheds in need of fixing, tools which need a good sharpen or those clothes or furniture which need a bit of textile touch-up, get yourself down to the next Bromsgrove Repair Cafe.

Visit the Bromsgrove Repair Cafe Facebook page for more.

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