As my Mother helped to clear my paternal grandmother’s house she came upon several nightdresses still in their cellophane wrapping. This was of special note as my Mum had given her those nightdresses as Christmas presents because my Nan had requested new nightdresses when asked what she would like!
Making do and mending for Grandma Floss was not just a slogan, but a way of life. She had earned her living with a sewing machine as a young woman; living at home and looking after her ailing mother. She knitted and darned too.
Since WW2 the advertising industry has been busily persuading us that new is best. but at last we are beginning to understand the consequences of our throwaway culture. As Annie Leonard famously said “There is no such thing as away. When you throw something away, it must go somewhere”.
I have probably been guilty of thinking Waveney Heritage motto ‘Giving our Past a Future’ only in relation to our cultural heritage but...
Mark Cocker’s talk set me thinking about the specific ways that Waveney Heritage could make a contribution to environmental sustainability.
Waveney Wireless, beavering away in our upstairs room, are aiming to give continuing access to technology from the past and have been discussing running radio repair workshops.
Then one day, back before Christmas, an acquaintance adjusted the new bike saddle I had been struggling to set correctly….
...and riding home, all these ideas crystallized around an organisation I had been aware of for some months, called Repair Cafe. They put people who wish to repair an item together with an expert, so, if possible, the item is repaired - but the owner also learns something about maintenance - giving an item that is apparently past usefulness a future...
I've have just ordered their starter pack. Our nearest Repair Cafe is in Cambridge so to set one up here at the Waveney Heritage Centre would certainly make travel sense!
Watch this space...