Shropshire Star

Shropshire repair cafe that's fixed it all celebrates seven years of salvaging

From teddy bears to handbags and dollies to Daleks, Ludlow Repair Cafe has seen - and fixed - it all.

Last updated
Kathy Cowell with a 92-year-old bear called Clarence

On Saturday, Ludlow Repair Cafe reopened its doors for the first fix-it session of 2024.

The handy team of fixers have now been saving beloved items from landfill for seven years.

Four times a year, the team are on hand for an open-door bring-it-and-fix-it morning, encouraging residents to bring down their broken belongings for a bit of TLC.

Dace Cowell fixing a fan

Part of the international Repair Cafe network, the project is part of a grassroots movement that aims to reduce waste, overconsumption, and the relatively common manufacturing policy of planning and designing products with a limited life.

All repairs are done free of charge by willing volunteers with a taste for tinkering, but donations for running costs are encouraged.

Mandy Furniss sewing up an old Basil the Brush

Ludlow's founder, Di Lyle said: "We started in 2017, apart from when we were in lockdown we have met four times a year for seven years now.

"We also set up an at-home service during lockdown for when people are unable to get to one of the quarterly events.

"Our repair team will take the items into their homes and aim to repair and return them in a maximum of 28 days.

"The ethos is to encourage people to repair and raise the profile of repairing rather than chucking things away, and to save things from the landfill or incinerators."

Allan Read fixing an old clock

Over the last seven years, the team have seen thousands of every day - and not-so-everyday - items through the doors.

"We get some amazing things," Di said. "We never know what's coming through the door.

"One of the weirdest was a 3ft Dalek, the team that fixed that thought they'd died and gone to heaven.

"Apart from televisions, we take anything. As long as it can be carried in - we'll give it a go. It's a really exciting thing to be a part of."

The next Repair Cafe in Ludlow will be taking place at Elim Hall, Smithfield Car Park, Lower Galdeford, on April 27 from 10am to 12pm.