Repair Cafe in Leamington fixes 100-year-old toy cat and old record player after both were damaged by animals

Volunteers at the Repair Cafe in Leamington have been putting their skills to good use to give old items a new lease of life after they were damaged by animals.

Wednesday, 23rd October 2019, 11:30 am
The toy cat before and after it was repaired.

A 100-year-old black cat toy that had been savaged by a puppy is probably the oldest item the cafe has repaired.

Raphaelle Miller, a Repair Cafe founder, painstakingly repaired the cat while keeping as much of the original material as possible.

The toy cat's owner Brenda Humphreys, 88, was thrilled.

Brenda Humphries (right) with her friend Kate Jackson almost threw her treasured toy away.

She had little hope of her precious toy being mended but couldn’t bear to throw it away.

She could not believe how good it looked when compared to the battered object she had brought in.

Raphaelle, who took great trouble to find some used and matching fabric for the repair, said: "I really loved working on it."

Mice had invaded an old record player, eating wires and using the speaker cone material for a nest.

Simon Godwin (centre) and Joel Rowney (right) with a delighted repair cafe customer whose record player was damaged by mice.

The painstaking operation to repair the item took place over several sessions and included removing a lot of mouse droppings, sourcing a vintage speaker cone to replace the nibbled one, and making a new housing for the speaker.

Repairer Simon Godwin, helped by Joel Rowney, even added an MP3 lead.

It was a magical moment when the music started playing again

The Repair Café, which opened at the Sydni Centre at Cottage Square in Sydenham in July 2018, has now completed over 500 repairs.

Health and safety is essential and any electrical appliances will be safety tested before being returned to the owner.

Owners need to be with the repairer to explain the problem – they may also pick up some new skills of their own along the way

The next Repair Cafe session takes place at the centre on Saturday November 2 from 11am to 2pm.

Anybody who is interested in volunteering to help the Repair Cafe or who wants more information about it can email [email protected] or call 422071.