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The Repair Shop: Episode 53 (S2021EP53 BBC One Wed 24 Nov 2021)

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Jay Blades and the team bring three treasured family heirlooms, and the memories they hold, back to life.

The first visitor to the barn is Matthew Bowland from Leeds. He has brought in a wooden statue of a dapper gentleman for the attention of organ restorer David Burville. Inside the figure are miniature bellows that, when wound up, should give this fellow a whistle. It belonged to Matthew’s beloved grandparents and signifies many happy memories of them. A young Matthew was fascinated by the whistling man and would always ask his grandad to wind him up so they could listen to his cheery tune. Unfortunately, the jammed mechanism and missing key means David must do some major problem solving to fulfil Matthews long-held wish to hear the whistling man once again.

Mechanical whizz Steve Fletcher and silversmith Brenton West join forces to repair a photographer’s timer. It belonged to Gillian Hoy’s much-missed father, who was a passionate amateur photographer. The device is used when developing images in a dark room, and Gillian was in charge of setting it when she helped her father as a little girl. Sadly, it is no longer fit for purpose – rusty, dented and unable to keep time reliably. Gillian has big plans to get it back up and running so her daughter, who has followed in her grandfather’s footsteps, can use it in her dark room.

And Will Kirk, who works wonders with wood, takes on a little carved owl that houses an inkwell. Phin Hall received it as a childhood gift from his grandad, but it came a cropper when an overzealous 12-year-old Phin knocked it over, spilling the ink and damaging the owl’s head. The stained owl was hidden in a box in the attic for over 30 years and was only discovered recently during a house clearance. Phin, who writes for a living, would love to get his feathered friend in fine fettle again.

Airdate: Wed 24 Nov 2021 at 16:30 on BBC One

Season 2021 Episode 53

The Repair Shop is a workshop of dreams, where broken or damaged cherished family heirlooms are brought back to life.

Furniture restorers, horologists, metal workers, ceramicists, upholsterers and all manner of skilled craftsmen and women have been brought together to work in one extraordinary space, restoring much-loved possessions to their former glory.

Many of these items have incredible stories behind them and a unique place in history: from an accordion played in the Blitz by a woman who is now in her 90s, to a beautifully crafted clock made by a father who was completely blind; a Pinball machine that is currently being used as a kitchen counter, and a Davenport desk with its trademark fake drawers which fooled burglars – and their crowbar.

The Repair Shop is an antidote to our throwaway culture and shines a light on the wonderful treasures to be found in homes across the country.