The team restores four precious heirlooms including a painting belonging to a Ukrainian family who risked everything to conserve their family history in the face of unimaginable odds.
Also in the barn is an original 1963 calendar from Liverpool’s Cavern Club featuring an early Beatles booking, an 18ft self-built kayak and a leather swivel chair that evokes precious memories of a much-missed father and grandfather.
The first arrival is for paintings conservator Lucia Scalisi. Maria has brought a 19th-century Madonna and Child painting that originally hung in a Ukrainian village church where her family lived. During the Second World War it was rolled up and hidden in her grandmother Halena’s coat just before she was taken to a forced labour camp in Northern Germany with her two daughters, Irena and Stefania.
During their time in the camp the painting was the only possession they held on to and was their connection to home. Although her grandmother did not survive the camp Maria’s mum Irena and aunt Stefania were liberated but could not return home, so the painting has been in their care ever since. Lucia has her work cut out as cracks have appeared where the painting was hastily folded and stored.
Maria hopes to one day return the restored painting to its original home in the Ukrainian village church. Dom has his own challenge when a 2-person kayak, originally built from a kit in the 1960s, arrives measuring 18ft. It was built by owner Stephen’s father and was the focal point for him and his brother, Nigel’s childhood holiday memories. Being so large it has been stored outside and the years have taken their toll, completely rotting through the original wooden deck and blistering the fibreglass hull.
Now that Stephen and Nigel’s father has passed away, they dream of having the kayak returned to its former glory to once again be used by them and their children. Peter, son of Ray McFall the original owner of Liverpool’s legendary Cavern Club, brings in an item for the attention of paper restorer Angelina Bakalarou.
It’s a wall calendar from 1963 used to book in bands at the venue. It records the dates of all the bands who played at the club during 1963 including soon to be global superstars The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Peter’s dad Ray gave these little-known bands a chance and helped launch them to international stardom. It is a long delicate task stabilising and reinvigorating this crumbling slice of rock ‘n’ roll history.
The final item of the day is for upholsterer Sonnaz Nooranvary when Joelle and her children Lushan and Romaya arrive with a broken office swivel chair. It belonged to Herall, Joelle’s father, who would play with his grandchildren spinning them around in it.
When Herall passed away the chair was one of the few things they retained as it was central to the family evoking precious memories of happier times together. Sadly, the chair was broken while the children were playing on it. The back has completely collapsed, and the cover is torn so Sonnaz steps up to the plate to bring it back to a functioning piece of furniture of which the family can be proud.
The Repair Shop returns Wednesday 22nd March at 8pm on BBC One.