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Colin's toy car in bits at repair shop

A Backwell nonagenarian and his broken childhood toy car were the stars of The Repair Shop on Monday afternoon, January 23.

The Repair Shop is a BBC television programme set in a workshop where broken or damaged family heirlooms are brought back to life.

Colin Barnes, who celebrated his 90th birthday in December, went along with the small red car he had been given as a child.

Accompanied by his son Steven, Colin arrived at the repair workshop with the German made clockwork motor which was given as a present by his parents for Christmas 1938.

In 1942 aged eight he was evacuated with his toy to the West Country and ended up living with a Somerset farming family.

He is reunited with his childhood friend from those days Somerset farmer’s son Tom, then aged four, jat the end of the programme.

The car’s mechanism stopped working after more than 30 years ago of enthusiast play and arrived at The Repair Shop in bits.

Furniture restorer and presenter Jay Blades hosts as fellow furniture restorers, horologists, metal workers, ceramicists, upholsterers and other skilled craftsmen of all types are brought together to work in one space to restore much-loved possessions to their former glory.

Many of these items have incredible stories behind them and a unique place in history including Colin's tale.

Colin, who was one of the original members of Nailsea Tithe Barn school team, enjoyed being featured on the programme.

Retired head teacher Barbara Calvert heads the Friends of Nailsea Tithe Barn supporters.

She said: “Colin was so popular with the children and always with the rest of the team. 

“He had been an evacuee in Somerset during the war so always had stories to tell us and the children when we did out evacuee sessions. 

“He also made a great Victorian headmaster.

“Colin stepped down from our school team a couple of years ago but we keep in touch with him. 

“He's a great character and still very active.”

If you missed the show, you can watch it on BBC iPlayer here 

  • North Somerset has its own ‘repair shop’ namely the Nailsea Shedders. This is a registered charity and friendly social group who also mend a mix of items belonging to Nailsea people and those who live nearby. Currently it is open on Tuesdays 10am-3pm from its base at Wraxall Village Club and up until the end of March its backroom has been turned into a public ‘warm space’. Its focus is to use repair, fix, make and mend as well as up-cycling things and it has its own Facebook page or you can email for more details

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