Repair shop's leather expert says she takes job 'very seriously'

Repair shop’s leather expert tells This Morning of the ‘depth of emotion’ in Holocaust survivor’s eyes after she restored late husband’s treasured box which was all that was left of his home after the Nazis confiscated everything else

  • Suzie Fletcher appeared on This Morning today to speak about BBC Repair Shop
  • Leather expert revealed that she takes her ‘responsibility very, very seriously’
  • Spoke of story of Rose, from Essex, who brought in late husband’s treasured box 

The Repair shop’s resident leather expert has recalled the ‘depth of emotion’ in a a Holocaust survivor’s eyes after restoring her late husband’s treasured box which was all that was left of his home after the Nazis confiscated everything. 

Suzie Fletcher, who was joined by Jay Blades, appeared on This Morning today and told presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield that she takes her responsibility of restoring aged treasures ‘very, very seriously.’

She went on to discuss a poignant story of a very precious keepsake which Rose Werner and her sister Linda, from Essex, brought into the Repair factory in the hope that she could turn her expertise to a decorative leather box that they hold dear. 

It belonged to Rose’s late husband Jim. He arrived in the UK as a teenage refugee just before the Second World War, thanks to the Kindertransport scheme. Sadly he never saw his family again, and this treasured box was his only link to his German Jewish heritage – so Rose was desperate to have it safely preserved.  

‘I am constantly in awe of anyone who brings anything in that has such intrinsic story,’ said Suzie, speaking of the story behind the box. ‘It tells this magnificent story of Jim and what he went through.’

‘I take my responsibility very, very seriously. The whole time I’m working on an item I’m very aware of getting it right and making sure it’s put back into a very good condition when it’s handed back to the owner.’

Suzie Fletcher, The Repair Shop’s resident leather expert, appeared on This Morning today and told how she takes her responsibility of restoring people’s aged treasures ‘very, very seriously’

Suzie discussed a treasured keepsake which Rose (pictured, left), from Essex brought in, which belonged to her late husband Jim. He arrived in the UK as a teenage refugee just before the Second World War, but never saw his family again. The was his only link to his German Jewish heritage

Suzie got choked up as she recalled the look in Rose’s eyes when she revealed the restored box (pictured)

In a clip from the BBC show, Rose can be heard explaining the background of the item and explained: ‘He got the box just after we got married. He was told by his elderly aunt that it had been in the family and she said: “I’d like you to have this box.”‘

‘He did treasure it. It was the only tangible thing he had which his parents had had in their possession. They confiscated everything the Nazis – that’s all that was left of his home.’ 

Suzie went on to recall the look in Rose’s eyes when she revealed the restored box to her.

‘Unbelievable,’ she said. ‘Her eyes spoke a thousand words. It’s something I’ll never forget. The depth of emotion in her eyes gets me choked up thinking about it. She’s a beautiful lady and I was so honoured.’  

Speaking to the box, Rose said: ‘He did treasure it. It was the only tangible thing he had which his parents had had in their possession. They confiscated everything the Nazis – that’s all that was left of his home.’ Pictured, the stored box

Suzie said that the ‘depth of emotion’ in Rose’s eyes gets her ‘choked up’ every time she thinks about it. Pictured, with Jay Blades

Jay Blades (pictured), a furniture restorer and upholsterer, explained how Suzie holds her breath until the person who receives the item enjoys it and says thank you

Jay Blades, a furniture restorer and upholsterer, added: ‘What Suzie does is holds her breath until the person who receives the item enjoys it and says thank you for it, as she puts so much love into what she’s doing as all the experts do.’

‘They just want this item to continue for another 100 years. The people who bring the items in – wow – they’re so brave.’

Holly went on to question the sense of community between the experts on the show. 

‘We’ve become a family,’ said Jay. ‘We’ve been filming since 2017 together. Sometimes we’re down filming for 5/6 days a week. 

‘So you have lunch together, dinner, breakfast. It’s just a real joy that you can rely on those community of experts – and that’s in front and behind the cameras.’ 

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