Repairs for Free

Repairs for Free

Words by Hilary Finch

Bristol Repair Café has been going now for 4 years and we are proud of our efforts as the idea spreads out to more areas.  Kate Jerrold was responsible for bringing the Dutch idea over and getting it going in Fishponds at All Saints Church.  The original Repair Café was started in Holland by Martin Postma in Amsterdam in 2009. The idea is to keep broken stuff out of landfill by bringing items in to the cafes to be repaired by the repairers, who are sometimes experts but more often people who have learned to make do and mend, who have taken the initiative to have a go.  

Endless technical wizardry is performed on household items from food mixers to vacuums through laptops and radios.  Less techy things get repaired too, bicycles sometimes, kids toys, furniture and there are always the sewers about  to take up, take in, mend, patch and generally keep your clothes, bags and even tents in one piece!  I am one of these and always have my sewing machine with me plus odd bits of fabric, buttons and threads.

These days tiny parts can be acquired for replacement in TVs. Our Café experts sort out what is needed so that you can purchase it online if they do not have it themselves.  I ask that people bring the correct zip to be replaced and elastic for sewing jobs.  

Check our Bristol Repair Café facebook page for meetings but the local ones are held between 10.30 a.m. and 1 p.m. at:

All Saints Church, Fishponds – 1st Saturday of the month

St Paul’s Learning Centre – 3rd Saturday of the month

J3 Library – 4th Saturday of the month