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Marquetry table2 Oct 15At 90 years of age, Audrey Speechley has become a welcome and regular visitor to the Repair Cafe.  In October she presented repairer Mac Victory with a very special family heirloom - a marquetry table inlaid with a variety of New Zealand hardwoods.  Originally brought from the Antipodean islands by her grandfather - the Master of a ship in the Merchant Navy - as a gift for his wife, Audrey remembers being fascinated by it as a child and being allowed to carefully polish it.  One day whilst doing this, she fiddled with a knob which revealed a secret compartment hidden directly underneath the table top.  In it, she found a sheet of paper.  This paper - dated 1893 which is assumed to be the year the table was made by a local artisan - shows a carefully-drawn diagram listing all the different timbers used in the table's construction. The table is now one of her most precious possessions and stands in the hall of her home, rarely used so as to preserve its uniqueness, but always admired by visitors.


Marquetry table Oct15There was nothing seriously wrong with the table.  Mac gave it a general clean, tightened some loose joints and oiled the catch that releases the chart's hiding place.









June Repair of the Month


Rocking Horse


We're always pleased to welcome young people to the Repair Cafe and at the June session Catherine Craig and her brother brought in a beautifully-made rocking horse which they had both enjoyed playing with as young children.  Since it broke - the back rest became loose  - it had been consigned to a corner of her bedroom, taking up space and where it stayed for several years as there was nowhere locally to take it to be fixed.  Catherine is now nine years old and on Saturday 20 June she was able to sit on her repaired rocking horse for the first time in several years.  Of course she has now outgrown it but she wanted it to go to a good home. 


It is now sitting in a nursery in Linlithgow, Scotland waiting to be enjoyed by our grandson Zachary who was born on 5 November 2015!  Catherine has thoughtfully donated the money we paid for it to her school's charity, a link school in Tanga, Tanzania.