Today we went to talk to the ladies of the Chit Chat Club about our repair cafe. Their generation were children and teenagers during the war and grew up with the idea of make do and mend. When running their own homes they remembered how bed sheets worn thin in the middle were ripped in half with the outer edges sewn together or used to make cot sheets and pillow cases. Darning socks using a wooden mushroom were recalled. We talked about how repair had changed by looking at the washing machine. For many of them the twin tun was their first washing machine and they lasted 15 to 20 years . They told us they were simple electrical devices and when they went wrong they were easy to mend often by the householder.We tried to recall when things went wrong. Was it the early 2000’s when your washing machine broke down just after the warranty ran out and it cost too much to even get the repair man through the door? Some people had purchased extended warranties on their washing machines with free repair or a replacement washing machine when a part was not available, as so often happened after 5 years. We looked at the new Right to Repair legislation introduced in 2021 for larger appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers and the hope that this could improve the situation and make machines repairable for a reasonable price.There are now appliance repair companies who will charge a set price for labour with the only variable being the price for the part.
We left them with a leaflet about our own Repair Cafe with the firm instruction not to bring us their washing machines or their most valuable antiques.We hope they be able to join us at a future Repair Cafe. Our next event is Saturday 26th November 10.00 – 12.30 at the United Reform Church Hall Hollow Lane Hayling Island.