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REPAIR CAFE GODALMING


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Repair Cafe Godalming is brought to you by Rotary in Godalming with the support of Godalming Town Council

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NEXT SESSION 24 FEBRUARY 2024

REPAIR CAFE SESSIONS ARE HELD IN THE BOROUGH HALL, BRIDGE STREET, GODALMING GU7 1HT BETWEEN 10.00AM AND 12.30PM

We had an amazing session in January with a small change of status and a large number of items.

We are now a Rotary Community Corps – a group of volunteers led by Rotarians and able to call on Rotary for support and guidance. We are sponsored by Godalming Woolsack Rotary and Godalming Rotary and the Rotary District 1145 Governor Anne Marie van Bochove Allen joined us for a group photo.

Also in January a record number of items, a total of 69, were brought in and 56 were either fixed or partially fixed and waiting for spare parts.

Volunteers at our next session will help you with:

  • Minor bicycle repairs
  • Computers/mobile phones/game controllers/other electronics (please note that cracked screens on smartphones and tablets cannot be repaired here)
  • Mechanical problems
  • Clothing and fabric repairs (clothing must be clean and we do not do alterations or zip replacements)
  • Toys
  • Small electrical items
  • Broken objects in wood, metal or ceramics
  • Simple jewellery repairs including necklace chain untangling

We will have a PAT Tester present and we may have an horticulturalist for gardening advice – please contact us to check.

Before bringing an electrical item, please check the following if you can:

  • if mains powered, the plug fuse is ok
  • if battery powered, all batteries are of the same type and full of life
  • are the battery contacts clean
  • if with separate power supply, is it the correct one for the appliance

You never know, this check might just save you a journey.

Please Note:

  • Only one item at a time (but if there is no queue you are welcome to go round again with another item).
  • It is busiest at 10.00am but quieter after 10.45am.

Subsequent Dates:

24 February
23 March
27 April
25 May
22 June

Repair Cafe Godalming is looking for practical people who enjoy fixing and mending, especially those with electrical skills.

  • You need not be an expert – just a problem-solver who is good at fixing things
  • Use your skills to help keep something in use and out of the landfill. Who knows you may share your skills and make some new friends along the way!

Please use the contact form below to get in touch.


During its 18 sessions, the Repair Café Godalming has seen some interesting items and in November, our 500th item was very special – a 100-year-old American Toboggan. The owner, Robin Gorringe, told us:

“Firefly was a well-known American manufacturer of high-quality toboggans in the early years of the last century.  This particular toboggan was given to my father, born in 1909, when he was aged about 10 years.

The toboggan was and still is extremely fast and can be steered.  It had much to do with my father’s love of speed and excitement, eventually leading to his racing cars at Brooklands in Weybridge, and that in turn led to my brother and I competing in motor rallies.  It has much to answer for!

My 2 brothers and I inherited the toboggan and used it extensively while we were youngsters.  It has subsequently been enjoyed by our 6 children and 5 grandchildren.  At some point, I collided with a tree at high speed and this resulted in one of the 2 runners becoming slightly bent.  It now needs great skill to keep it travelling in a straight line!”

Whilst not able to fix the bent runner problem in the café, one of our volunteers, Martyn, agreed to work on the toboggan at home and before long he had fixed the bent metalwork, made some small replacements and fixes, and then given this venerable item a polish. In the photos you see Martyn on the left returning the toboggan to Robin. Even after a century, the patterning on the seat is clearly visible and the second photo shows the maker and model stencilled on the underside.

Robin was thrilled with the improvements and now eagerly awaits some serious snow!


ABOUT THE REPAIR CAFE

WHO?

Led by Rotarians, we are a group of local volunteers with enthusiasm to live more sustainably by repairing household items and showing others how easily this can be done.  We are grateful for the support of Godalming Town Council in this endeavour.

OUR GOAL IS

  • to reduce landfill waste by repairing broken items or damaged goods
  • foster a feeling of community,
  • share repair skills and knowledge and
  • save people some money in the process
  • encourage you to value what you have!

WHY?

We throw away vast amounts of stuff, especially things with almost nothing wrong but which could get a new lease on life after a simple repair. Knowing how to make repairs is a skill quickly lost. Our education system does not teach basic repair skills, and corporations deliberately design products to have a short lifespan and no spare parts available to repair them, so we have to keep buying new products.

For a sustainable future we need a circular economy in which material can be reused again and again.  But before that, we need to keep existing items functioning for as long as possible.  So, repair-reuse-recycle.

HOW WILL WE DO IT?

By bringing owners together with skilled repairers in a friendly environment, so that together a fix can be achieved with the owner participating whenever that is safe to do.  And this is all done at no cost to the owner for either fixing or refreshments – though donations are always welcome.

WHEN?

Every 4th Saturday of the month owners can bring their broken items to the Repair Café Godalming.

Join us between 10 am-12.30 pm

WHERE?

The Borough Hall, Bridge Street, Godalming GU7 1HT

WHAT CAN WE REPAIR?

Just about all domestic items, including garden tools, that can be safely carried into the cafe.  The only items we cannot accept are those involving solid, liquid or gaseous fuels and the internals of clocks and watches.


A TALE OF TWO CHAIRS

Unlike the BBC programme Repair Shop, the Repair Café Godalming sees a lot of general, but still important, household items such as table lamps, vacuum cleaners and bicycles. Nevertheless, we occasionally see some delightful and interesting family possessions. For example, these two unusual chairs have been to visit us with their owners.

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The first was a most unusual, three-legged Spanish chair with side handles, belonging to Belinda Hart and inherited by her from her father who had acquired the chair many years before in Spain. The back of the chair had broken away and was carefully and skillfully repaired by Martyn Hurst. Belinda was very pleased to have the chair back just as it used to be.

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The second was a small, low chair, possibly a chair for someone spinning yarn. This chair, owned by Jocelyn Barker, had intricate, probably Celtic, designs on the seat and back rest but was suffering with loose legs and back. Repairer Peter Weller worked his magic to restore a fully functional seat, to the obvious delight of the owner.

DO YOU HAVE SOMETHING INTERESTING TO BRING US?


CONTACT US

    Your Name *

    Your Email *

    Your Message

    * Field is required


    OFFICIAL OPENING OF GODALMING'S REPAIR CAFE

    Members of the Rotary clubs in Godalming have established a Rotary-led repair cafe and on Saturday, 22 October we had a formal opening by the Town Mayor, Councillor Shirley Faraday. The photos show Councillor Faraday cutting the ribbon (held by Rotarian Jenny Mason) after a welcome by Ian Coult of the Godalming Woolsack Club and a speech by Moira Davies of the Godalming club on how the cafe was established. Ian and Moira are co-founders of the Cafe, together with Joy Poulter who was not able to attend. The Cafe now has around 30 volunteers with a wide range of skills and many were present for the group photo with the Mayor.

    The idea for a repair cafe emerged at the start of 2022 and after visits to similar cafes in Haslemere and Farnham, from whom we received much enthusiastic support, we decided to try to establish one in Godalming.

    Repair cafes exist to bring people with broken household items together with people who volunteer to help them fix the items. Everything is done voluntarily, including the provision of tea, coffee and cake, although the cafe does accept donations to help cover costs.

    Repair cafes started in Amsterdam in 2010 and there are now around 2,500 worldwide, mostly in Europe. As far as we know, this is the first Rotary-led cafe and we are keen that other Rotary clubs should consider starting a cafe in their town, if one does not exist already. It is a great way to show that Rotary cares about the community and the environment, and cares about helping people to keep their household items working. This saves the owners the expense of a new purchase and saves the planet the costs of energy, materials and recycling or landfill.

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    Godalming Repair Cafe - Mayor Opening - Photo by Phil Kemp
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    Godalming Repair Cafe - Just Opened - Photo by Phil Kemp
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    Godalming Repair Cafe - The Team - Photo by Phil Kemp
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