Shropshire Star

Battered but beloved old toys given new lease of life at repair cafe event

A repair cafe resembled a doctor's waiting room as battered but beloved old toys were queued up for fixing.


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A dog on wheels, a large teddy bear and - the worst patient - a doll in pieces were among the items dealt with by the team of Ludlow Repair Café 'doctors' on Saturday.

Di Lyle, of Ludlow Repair Café, said: "Queued up in the waiting area, which for a moment resembled a doctor’s waiting room, were a large teddy bear and a dog on wheels which looked like it had been in a fight and come off the worst, with its right eye and left ear missing.

"The other toy was a small doll which arrived in pieces and which went home put back together."

Broken. The doll before the repair cafe experts got to work

Customers were queuing up outside the Elim Church in Smithfield car park even before the room was set up. There was a "steady but manageable stream" during the first two hours of the café event.

Some 40 items were taken in total and only 10 of them could not be fixed.

Fixed. A doll is back in one piece

“All café events are different,” said Di, “which keeps us on our toes and is part of the challenge every time, but there is usually more of one particular item, for instance, vacuum cleaners or garden items like mowers, hedge-trimmers, blowers, etc and quite a lot of kitchen items.

"But this time, those 40 items were spaced out across the spectrum which gave everyone in the repair room some interesting variety.

"Among the unusual items were a chair with damaged webbing, two separate necklaces to be re-strung, a ceramic plate in quite a lot of pieces, two Christmas decorations - and toys."

This café event welcomed two new volunteers to the repair team - but the organisers say there is always room for more.

If you are interested in getting involved, or finding out more, contact Di Lyle on 07786 620624.

The next Repair Café will be on Saturday, July 27, but some of the team will be at the Green Festival in Ludlow Market Square on Sunday, July 14.