Repair Cafe update

On Saturday we held our latest Repair Cafe. This time we moved it to a nearby village and ran it alongside the regular Community Swap event organised by Corsham’s green group (Transcoco).

Repair Cafe Box March 12 2016 (2)

While the Community Swap event was busy we were less so. It may be because the Repair Cafe was a new addition to the event or we should have had better signing. Stil we had 15 customers in two hours and our electrician, engineer and seamstress were still busy mending and offering advice.

Repair Cafe Box March 12 2016 (4)

Alison, our seamstress, was busy altering some beautiful vintage dresses

Repair Cafe Box March 12 2016 (1)

Our next Repair Cafe will be back in Corsham but we agreed we’d like to take the Repair Cafe on the road again…..

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Repair Cafe…on the road

Tomorrow we are taking our regular Repair Cafe on the road ….well about three miles away!

The Corsham Repair Cafe will be temporarily turned into the Box Repair Cafe (yes there is a village near us called Box: famous for being the childhood home of Thomas the Tank Engine’s creator Rev Awdry, Brunel’s Box Tunnel and Peter Gabriel’s recording studios.)

Now that my work commitments have changed on Saturdays I have been keen to get the Repair Cafe out and about fixing. As our partners, Transcoco, will be running their Give & Take Day in Box, it seemed the perfect opportunity to run the events side by side.

March 2016 posterLet’s see if we can get the residents of Box fixing too!

Repair Cafe update

Last Saturday (19th) was the second birthday of our Repair Cafe!

We had a really good attendance: 22 customers in all with most items being repairable, apart from two DAB radios which was frustrating.

We did have a great vintage portable record player bought in, and my beloved rag doll got a new pair of boots from Alison, the sewing expert.

I was also pleased as the live twitter commentary seemed to work and we had at least one new customer as a result!

There’s a live tweetchat tomorrow (Thurs) evening 8-9pm from #makedoandmendyear  which will be about Repair Cafes and Restart Parties if you want to find out more.

Happy Second Birthday to our Repair Cafe!

 

Corsham Repair Cafe 19 Sept 2015This Saturday marks the second birthday of our Repair Cafe! I am so excited and proud! Over the past two years and 11 cafes we have made nearly 150 repairs which means toasters, chairs, lamps, clothing, computers and bikes that haven’t gone to landfill.

We will be marking the occasion with cake, cups of tea, more repairs and I am going to attempt to tweet live from the event (yikes!) 2-4pm on Sat 19 Sept   #Corsham #RepairCafe

Repair Cafe birthday cake

For more info on Repair Cafes and other mending events near you this month there is the fabulous Festival of Repair run by The Rubbish Diet and the Make Do and Mend-able Directory of all things repair related in the UK.  Jen from the above directory and the inspiration behind my setting up our Repair Cafe will also be operating a#makedoandmendyear tweetchat on the 24th of September which will be about Repair Cafes and Restart Parties.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ten Repair Cafes and still going strong…

Phwew! Last weekend was very busy as I worked non stop at the festival organised by the Arts Centre where I work. We did manage to squeeze in a Repair Cafe, though, and our volunteer experts were able to fix thirteen items including a power saw, rug and back massager! Corsham’s next Repair Cafe will be on Saturday 19 September, 2-4pm when we’ll be celebrating our second birthday!

Corsham Repair Cafe September 19th 2015

Something Old, Something New, Something mended…

If you have dipped in and out of this blog over the past couple of years you will no doubt have come across my (endless) posts on broken appliances (!). So far we have:

– had a broken cooker which was mended here

– a tatty sofa which I had rather badly mended here

– hoovers which had been repaired, replaced with second-hand, then finally bought new last Christmas

and not forgetting the second-hand breadmakers (two) and my post about Living with Broken Appliances

We were fortunate enough to receive some money the other month and, at the same time, three of our appliances died on us:

The Cooker

After fifteen years of service and a professional repair two years ago the cooker finally gave up the ghost two weeks ago. By the time of its demise both ovens had stopped working effectively, the gas ignition had died long ago and only two gas hobs actually worked! So we decided the time had come to buy a brand new one.

 

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The Washing Machine

The washing machine has been with us for about ten years and with three children it has had its fair share of use (especially when the girls were in cloth nappies). I have a fantastic contact in Bath who has come out on many an occasion to fix it when it stops working. Two years ago he replaced the brushes and said he thought the time would soon come to replace the machine. However it has carried on working (despite getting ever louder and starting to move about in its old age). Last week, after our big camping trip, it stopped draining but my handy washing machine man came and replaced the pump…and it’s working again….!

something old, something new, something mended..

The Hoover

What a saga! We have mended two hoovers, lived with a rubbish (cheap) one and, last month our new hoover broke  and needed a new belt and brush. I’m sure we are cursed by vacuum cleaners (or maybe we live in a dirty house that tests the endurance of even the most powerful machine!). Anyway a call to the manufacturer has resulted in a new supplies of belts (we had to pay) and a free brush. So, fingers crossed, a quick mend will result in it working again.

something old, something new

Running a regular Repair Cafe at my work I see the amount of (electrical) appliances that come in that are so easily fixed. Vacuum cleaners are definitely one of the most popular ones.  WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) undertook a study of one thousands consumers in England and Wales in 2012/13 to assess what people understood about the lifespan of electrical appliances, and if this was important to them. From the study it showed that consumers expected:

-vacuum cleaners to last five years

– washing machines to last six years

– fridges to last eight years

There’s also an interesting BBC article here about the decline in the lifespan of white goods in the UK. Apparently washing machines used to last for ten years and now, on average, they last for seven.

So how are your household appliances doing?

Two years ago today…

 

NOTE: this was supposed to be posted on Saturday but it didn’t quite happen!

Two years ago today I started my blog with this first post welcoming any possible readers out there who may be interested in sharing my love of the second hand.

Since then I have carried on with my love of scouring charity shops and sourcing as many things second-hand as possible. I’ve bought breadmakers, books and beads – as well as many items of clothing. I’ve also learnt more about the sustainability issues around  purchasing things, be it fast fashion bought from chain stores or plastic wrapped food.

I’ve attempted to reduce my wardrobe (through Project 333 and Eco Thrifty’s Slow Fashion Challenge) and to cut out plastic here and supermarkets here. These ventures have challenged me: I have often ‘fallen off the wagon’ but I have learnt many news things, from the plastic that is contained in teabags to where donated clothing actually goes to. I’ve also developed nothing but admiration for those bloggers who have committed to a life that is truly handmade, zero waste or plastic or supermarket free. I’ve also become a more conscious shopper and steered my path down a more minimalist route.

I have also met some lovely blogging people along the way (some even in real life!), set up a Repair Café, tried to carry out some Acts of Kindness, run a Clothes Swap and rekindled my love for second-hand vinyl.

My subscribers may not be in their thousands (or even hundreds!) and I’ve yet to get onto instagram or twitter but I’ve really enjoyed the time spent putting my ramblings, and photos, into posts and receiving comments.