The Restore, at Dartington
The Restore, at Dartington (Photo from their website)

Ryan and I were on holiday in Devon last week (yes, we did have lovely weather, thank you!). One of the places we like to go when we’re in the West Country is the little set of shops that used to be the Dartington cider centre. It’s usually relatively quiet, the shops are a bit quirky, and you get a nice lunch there. Last year a new addition was The Restore, a branch of a Devon-wide network of ‘remakeries’, social enterprise projects sharing skills to allow people to refurbish, restore and recycle, and reduce the amount of ‘stuff’ we send off to landfill.

This year they had a small number of artistically refurbished garden tools, and Ryan bought me a new hand fork.

Refurbished hand fork

It’s sturdy and cheerful, and I think it will have a long and happy life in the garden 🙂 It will sit alongside my copper hand tools (also a gift, but years ago) as my ‘good tools’, the ones I look after. Not the cheap, plastic-handled, easily bent ones that came from a garden centre and get used and abused (and loaned out during community planting events!).

It’s nice to be able to give a home to a pre-loved tool, and also to support a worthy cause and its artisans. Remakeries are becoming more common, which is nice to see. I know of ones in Edinburgh and Brixton; my nearest one seems to be at The Wantage Mix, which is a community space offering various courses as well as a regular Repair Café. I haven’t made it down there yet, it’s on my To Do list! I’m quite lucky that Ryan is very handy, so I have an in-house fixer!