Volunteers from the BedPop Repair Shop have brought their skills out onto the streets to fix two much-loved pieces of play equipment in Bedford town centre.
On Harpur Street, the Whirlpool Column and Musical Steps had fallen into disrepair, so the Repair Shop fixers got in touch with the Council to offer to help out.
“Recently we have shifted out attention from our usual repair cafe events to bringing repair back to the town itself,” explained Daniel Churchill, one of the founders of the BedPop Repair Shop.
“Since public spending has been tightened, it’s understandable that these little machines have taken a back seat in favour of more pressing issues.
“Not satisfied with them being passed by, we’ve put our best Repair Shop minds to the problem, and working with the manufacturers and our friends at Bedford Borough Council, stood true to the principles of our organisation; to help our community, to breathe new life into loved-but-forgotten gadgets, and to inspire other budding fixers that anything can be fixed with enough determination.”
The Whirlpool Column was fixed this summer, much to the delight of families and children, who can now confidently turn the handle and see the machine come to life.
And Bedford’s Mayor, Dave Hodgson has expressed his thanks too.
Of course, some “bigger kids” like to play with it too, but the whirlpool has become a little fragile for rough play.
Bedford’s Musical Steps are beginning to see a new life too.
“The mechanism has been filling with litter and the joints seizing up, so we’ve been putting it right,” explained Daniel.
“While the stickiest chimes are now sounding again, sadly some parts have worn beyond anything repairable on-site.
“It’ll take a few more sessions until we’re done, but we’re determined to get everything working as best we can.
“Please help us by playing a few tunes on it – this helps the oil work its way into the nooks and crannies.”
The fixers will be back in their usual habitat at the BedPop Repair Shop this Saturday 12 October at Bedford Heights.
“You can book in your broken household items to find out how to fix them, or simply come along for a coffee and a chat if you just fancy a nosy around,” said Daniel.
“And we’re always on the lookout for helpers, if you know your way around a tool box or sewing machine, please get in touch.”