The Repair Shop viewers left in tears over transformation of boots
The Repair Shop viewers left in floods of tears over transformation of boots worn by Prisoner of War in World War II
- Malcolm Britton, from Leicestershire, appeared on BBC’s The Repair Shop
- Read more: Inside incredible restorations of Jay Blades’ first shop
Viewers of The Repair Shop were left in floods of tears last night after the team transformed a pair of boots which were worn by a prisoner of war in World War II.
Malcolm Britton, from Leicestershire, appeared on the BBC2 programme last night with the pair of shoes and described how the boots had belonged to his father Jack while he was a Prisoner of War from 1940 to 1945.
Tearing up, he emotionally described how his father had spoken of periods of starvation, as well as challenging marches across Germany and parts of Poland.
However the team transformed the boots, reheeling the shoe and filling in holes which had been caused by moth damage.
Many of those watching were left emotional by the transformation, with one saying: ‘Those boots never felt so good.’
Viewers of The Repair Shop were left in floods of tears last night after the team transformed a pair of boots which were worn by a prisoner of war in World War II (left, before, and right, the boots after)
Malcolm Britton, from Leicestershire, appeared on the BBC2 programme last night with the pair of shoes and described how the boots had belonged to his father Jack while he was a Prisoner of War from 1940 to 1945 (pictured)
Another wrote: ‘Items I’m getting emotional over this week? A pair of boots! But what a story they held and Dean did such an incredible job with them.’
A third commented: ‘I’m watching The Repair Shop and I’m crying again over a pair of bloody boots.’
A fourth added: ‘Fantastic job Dean, those boots need treasuring forever.’
Appearing on the programme, Malcolm told the Repair Shop team: ‘These were my dad’s boots when he was a prisoner of war in World War II and he marched in these through miles of Germany and probably Poland as well.
‘His name was Jack. When war was imminent, he and his two brothers joined up straight away.
‘They soon went across to Norway at the beginning of 1940 and there he was captured.
‘He never saw the fighting, he just saw imprisonment for the duration of the war. He was a prisoner for five years.
‘He kept quiet about it really, but after he died, we found the diary he had kept throughout the war.
‘It’s from the beginning of 1942 to the time the Americans took him home. The period of imprisonment was horrific.
Many of those watching the programme confessed they had been left in floods of tears over the transformation and moving story
‘He speaks of a period of starvation in 1942. I think little things like that can make you realise how awful that must have been.’
‘He doesn’t mention the boots in the diary but eh would be wearing them in the winter.’
Malcolm read a section of the diary, where his father described the challenges of the war.
He told the Repair Shop team: ‘I don’t know what can be done if anything about the moths, but if the stitching was done, a bit of the sole and heeling.
‘I don’t want them looking brand new but just tidying up a bit.
‘They would remind us of him and his courage and never wanting to give up.’
Tearing up, he said: ‘He just carried on, just to work, not as a starving prisoner. It’s not only memories of the war but memories of my childhood as well.
He was emotional as he described the significance of the boots to the Repair Shop team, and couldn’t help but tear up
He described how his father had signed up for the war effort but never saw any fighting because he was captured
‘And honouring what he has gone through.’
Cobbler Dean Westmoreland said: ‘These boots are blowing my mind to be honest.’
He planned to clean the boot, build a new heeled block and to improve the stitching on the shoe.
Dean said: ‘There’s over 70 years of muck and grime in there. It’s going to be quite an extensive cleaning job I think.’
Meanwhile he also said he planned to plug the moth holes with some felting wool and glue.
He explained: ‘Once it’s in there with the glue, it blends quite well. There’s quite a lot of work to do here, and quite a lot of holes to fill on both sides of the boots.’
Cobbler Dean Westmoreland said the boots were ‘blowing his mind’, and gave the shoes a thorough cleaning job
Malcolm returned to the workshop to see the finished product, saying: ‘I’ve been thinking about the boots and what is going to happen to them.
‘They’ve had a life. It’s quite exciting that they’ll have been restored to their former glory.’
He was emotional as the shoes were revealed, saying: ‘Oh my word. They’re absolutely perfect.
‘I never imagined they would get back like this again. That’s brilliant that is.’
He told the camera: ‘They’re so important to me, the boots. They are a tangible reminder of Dad, who died many years ago now.
‘But also remembering what he went through in the war, and by association, we can not forget what has gone on before.’
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