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Years ago whilst completing my journalism exams and on-the-job training at Industrial Equipment News, we incorporated pages that enabled us to highlight products which were a little bit different. ‘Did you miss it?’ allowed us to rerun items that had attracted lots of enquiries previously. ‘I wish I had…’ was the equivalent of today’s social media recommendations whereby people who may have wanted to replace a piece of obsolete equipment, or who were struggling to find a spare part, could post their requirements in the hope that another reader had just what they were looking for. The pages worked well until a colleague ran the two together across facing pages. ‘Did you miss it? I wish I had…’ didn’t have quite the same connotation somehow and it was a lesson I never forgot.
Another section was 'What a good idea!' and I soon learnt that very good ideas are few and far between. I'd get excited upon reading a press release, only to be told by my older colleagues that whatever was being pitched as 'new', had in reality been around for some time. I still get excited at press releases, but these days the sentiment tends to be more deserved.
I got the old stomach flutter earlier this week upon learning that UK residents can find inspiration on how to breathe new life into their broken possessions at what promises to be the largest repair event of its kind ever held. The Big Fix 2020 will see 75 repair cafes from around the UK join forces and run simultaneous events on 15th February. Repair cafes? I'd never heard of them. But once I'd got through the first couple of paragraphs, I was thinking 'What a good idea! That will help reduce landfill!' Even better, the initiative isn't just a UK one - it's global. And I'd never heard of it!
Around the world there were an estimated 19,836 Repair Café meetings in 2018, repairing an estimated 350,000 items and saving the equivalent in waste.
Now that's a good idea!
You can read more, below - & my thanks to Devon County Council for bringing me up to speed!
It's always sad to read about heroes having to sell their medals & especially so when it's someone we know... Former contract cleaner Ronnie Russell was driving home from work in the '70s when he chanced upon an attempted armed kidnap on Anne, the Princess Royal. Several people had been shot but this didn't deter ex-boxer Ronnie who decked the culprit with a couple of punches!
I interviewed him 20 years later whilst editing another industry publication & he struck me as being a lovely man with a great sense of humour. He told me he didn't think twice about his own safety, but did what he had to do. Now struggling with ill health, he plans to sell the medal he was awarded for bravery, to provide for his future. You can read more about Ronnie and join John Austen's fundraiser to help 'one of our own' keep his medal, via: https://www.gofundme.com
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13th February 2020