The Repair Cafe at Maesteg ShedQuarters
Just over a year ago when our Shed was approached by Jackie Prosser, Community Networks Officer of the Bridgend Association of Voluntary Organisations about setting up a Repair Cafe, we thought that it was a marvellous idea for three reasons. For the government it reduces the amount of material going into landfill. For our customers it saves them money. For our Shed members it gives a chance to use our experience, knowledge and skills, and gives us the opportunity to learn, increase our knowledge and improve our skills.
We cannot repair everything but I would say that we do repair just over half of what is brought in. The beauty of a Repair Cafe day, is that you never know what is going to be brought in through the door. Yes the majority of what is brought in is electrical. Some are very expansive pieces of kit. Luckily we have an electrician who is a willing to give up his Saturday morning once a month (the fourth Saturday of the month) to attend.
But not everything that comes in is of great monetary value. We have had clocks brought in from deceased family members some that have not worked for years’ even decades. We have had a few Chapel clocks, the word soon gets around). Recently John brought in a broken ladies automatic opening umbrella. John found us online and drove for 30 minutes to reach us. The umbrella belonged to his late wife. Not of great monetary vale but of great sentimental value. The umbrella was plain black on the outside but there was a very pretty scene on the inside of blue skies and white clouds The spring that opened the umbrella must have been too strong, as it blew the canopy straight off. We were unable to repair the mechanism. John was given three choices. Bin it, which he obviously did not want to do. Transfer the canopy to a new mechanism, which was difficult as you would have to buy an identical umbrella for it to fit. Or turn it into a cushion. John chose to have it turned into a cushion.
It was decided to turn the canopy inside out so that the black material was used for the bottom and had the cloud scene put on the top. Black piping was used in the triangle seams on the top to represent the ribs of the umbrella. The seams on the top were curved to increase the height of the dome.
During a conversation when John came to collect the cushion at the January 2023 Repair Cafe. He said that if it had been repaired it would have put in a drawer maybe only used only occasionally when it rained. As a cushion it would be on show and a constant reminder. He said that he had the very place to put the cushion. John spends a great deal of time reading and has a favourite chair for reading in. That is where the cushion will be found giving him comfort while he reads.