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The Repair Shop: Episode 56 (S2021EP56 BBC One Wed 29 Dec 2021)

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

First to arrive are Nick Clare and his daughter Vicky, delivering a fragile violin. They are hoping stringed instrument expert Becky Houghton can restore harmony to this treasured keepsake. It belonged to Nick’s grandfather, Abe, who came to Europe from the Bahamas in the 1920’s. He played violin professionally in several orchestras and jazz bands during his lifetime, which in the early days was a rarity for a man of colour. Although Nick only met him a few times as a child, he has listened to Abe performing on various recordings and feels huge admiration. Nick inherited, not just the violin but also Abe’s love of music, as did his great granddaughter Vicky. They would both dearly love to play the violin but it has spent the last fifty years stowed in an attic and is in terrible condition. The font panel is cracked and scratched, the bridge has broken off and the strings are long gone. This little instrument will require a huge amount of work to restore and will test even Becky’s many years of experience.

Steve Fletcher’s mechanical know how is certainly called upon when Jane Griffin arrives with a toy that means the world to her. The 1930’s mini replica cooker was a gift from her godmother and Jane spent hours playing with it, cooking up no end of tiny treats. The heat is generated by an internal paraffin burner and comes complete with little pots and a kettle for the stove top. However, time has not been kind and it is riddled with rust and several details have fallen off. Steve is only too keen to get cracking on this unusual project and Jane cannot wait to see the results but will he be able to get it fired up once again?

And master saddler Suzie Fletcher welcomes Lesley Faithful, who has a brief case made in the 1940s by her grandfather – a fellow saddler. Lesley’s grandfather ran a busy leather workshop, and she clearly remembers watching him work as a child. The briefcase was made, with love, for Lesley’s father for his first day at work and has remained in the family all this time. Lesley would very much like to use it herself, but it is not fit for purpose, the fastening strap is ripped, the leather is so dry it is flaking away and the key to the lock is missing. Fortunately, Suzie is the perfect woman for the job.

Airdate: Wed 29 Dec 2021 at 20:10 on BBC One

Season 2021 Episode 56

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.