Love Haslemere Hate Waste’s Repair Café has now been running for two years, with the Ministry of Menders fixing Haslemere’s broken items. Each month, everyone is welcome to come along to the Swan Inn on Haslemere High Street from 10am to 1pm. 

So how does it work? Just bring along your item and explain what’s wrong with it to one of our team members. They’ll then work out who is the best repairer for you to be connected to, based on what’s wrong with the item and who has availability. 

We’ll do our best to fix it on the spot, but we might need to take it away for further investigation. Sometimes we’ll need to buy replacement parts, but we’ll let you know in advance to check you’re happy to do that. And once it’s fixed, you can pick it up from the Repair Café the following month.

You can then make a donation to so we can keep the Repair Café functioning and raise money for future initiatives, like the Library of Things. 

We’re often asked what kinds of items we repair. Our motto is “We’ll give it a go”, and we’ll attempt to mend most items we come across. 

To give you an example of the types of items we fix, last month alone we received a barometer that didn’t work, a toaster that cooked bread on only one side, a professional speaker that made an odd sound, a jumper with a hole in, a massage gun that stopped working, a set of Victorian weighing scales with a snapped bowl holder, a metronome that wouldn’t tick to time, a jug with a smashed handle, a jewellery box with a broken lock and lots of other items. Every month we receive different items, and all the repairers enjoy the challenge of finding the fault and restoring items to be returned. 

The mahogany table after Haslemere Repair Cafe's Ministry of Menders got to grips with it...
The mahogany table after Haslemere Repair Cafe's Ministry of Menders got to grips with it... (Haslemere Repair Cafe)

A few months ago we received a mahogany table, estimated to be around 100 years old (pictured above right). It had a broken top, with missing inlay, as well as water damage and two loose legs. Repairer David Smith took the table home and fixed the legs by re-gluing them and reinforcing with support blocks. 

Repairing the broken top was a little more challenging, as the edge of one of the planks was no longer straight, meaning a more considered approach was needed to deliver a good repair. A thin shim of the same material was glued to the concave piece and planed flat. It was very thin, probably only 0.25mm thick at the thickest point, when a good fit had been obtained.

The planks were joined using organic glue, which would have been compatible with the original build. 

David used small blocks when gluing the pieces together, to ensure the top was kept level. After gluing, the missing inlay pieces were replaced using the best available match, again using natural glue, and the top was refinished with French polish and wax. The owner was delighted to receive their much-loved table back now it had been restored to its former glory. 

The Repair Café is run entirely by volunteers who give up their time and share their skills with the community. Our aim is to inspire people to stop throwing items away which can be repaired, saving items from landfill and saving people money, too. 

We’re always keen to talk to potential repairers and Repair Café helpers who might like to join us too.

If you’d like to get involved with the Repair Café, please do get in touch with us. Just Google ‘Love Haslemere Hate Waste’ and drop us a line via the website.

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