Brothers 'knocked back' as historic device restored

Chris (left) and Nick (right) Leak with the dynamometer
Image caption,

Chris (left) and Nick (right) Leak discovered a dynamometer in their father's garage

  • Published

Two brothers said they were "knocked back" when an item they brought to the show, The Repair Shop, was presented to them.

Chris and Nick Leak appeared on an episode on Wednesday night.

The brothers were the former owners of sacking and bags business Firmin & Co, based on Hanford Road in Ipswich.

When they left the company in the 1980s, they discovered a very old dynamometer - a device used to test the strength of string and twine - and later decided to take into on the BBC show.

"In 1987 Chris and I sold what was left of the company because plastic was coming in," Nick explained.

"The farmers weren't putting their corn into sacks anymore - they were pouring it straight into a lorry and off it went.

"So the business was dying and had been dying for some years."

The dynamometer was discovered as the brothers were clearing away their father's garage and Nick placed it in his own workshop.

He kept it for "a long time" before an idea came to his mind.

Image caption,

The device dates back to before World War One

"I decided to pull it out and look into the history of it and I thought I'd do something about it and see if we can find out how old it is and what it did," he added.

The device dates back to before World War One and was in "poor condition", according to Chris.

They decided to apply to appear on The Repair Shop in a hope the team could restore it.

"We were just hoping they could do something with it because we felt it was partly working but the dial at the top wasn't working at that time," Chris said.

"We thought they had the expertise to tinker around with it and make it work."

Image caption,

The Repair Shop episode with the brothers aired on Wednesday night

While the brothers said The Repair Shop team had never seen this device before, they still managed to restore it.

"We were both knocked back a bit. We were very surprised," Nick said.

"The glass dial - before that went in - was dull and you couldn't read any figures on it, but now it's spanking shiny brass.

"It's nice enough that I've got it hanging up in my kitchen at home when it's not [out]."

Chris added that he was "delighted" with the result.

"It was an experience, we've never been on television before ," he said of the filming experience.

"Being in a barn with eight cameras on you for the whole process - it was just a great experience, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

"Hopefully we're going to pass [the dynamometer] on down - Nick's got three boys and one them might be lucky."

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