I was watching a very well known repair programme on tv – it’s becoming cult viewing for many families. The format is very simple. A reasonably well known character from the antiques genre is the ‘manager’ of a very large thatched barn out in the sticks somewhere. He invites members of he public to contact him and his team about having their favourite old heirlooms repaired and refurbished. This is a fantastic concept because it is show-casing some of the most amazing talent we have in the country – there’s the chap who is fantastic with mending clocks and watches, anything in that line. the more complicated the better. Then there’s the lady who is an absolute whizz with leather – be that saddles, riding crops, boots, leather chairs and in fact, anything at all made of leather, she can strip back and lovingly bring to perfection. Another regular expert is an art and picture restorer – this woman exhibits the most incredible eye for detail and as with all the experts featured, she explains what she feels is wrong with the article and what she plans to do to restore and bring back to life. Obviously there is a lot of staging of the work but it has spawned a whole new generation of folk who want to learn how to make do and mend stuff instead of constantly replacing with new.