Refurbishing old, unwanted tools – so that an artisan or farmer in another country can have the tools they need to earn a living – is the aim of a scheme called Tools for Self Reliance. Allan, Derek, Martin and Gerhard from Botton Village are part of it and they’d like to tell you a bit more.
‘Some are woodworking and some are gardening tools’, explains Gerhard. ‘I’ve been doing chisels’, chips in Derek. ‘Cleaning the rust off and if they have any dirt on them cleaning that off too.’
‘I’ve been sanding’, Martin says. ‘We do hammers, saws – all sorts, really’, says Allan. ‘When they’re done, they get put in a wooden crate. A lorry comes and picks them up and drives all the way to Southampton. And then they get shipped out to Africa. From there, they are used by people. To help them out.’
Until recently, the Tools Workshop was in Middlesbrough. But it’s just moved to bigger premises at our very own Larchfield community, so that more people can get involved.
For the Botton crew, getting there is part of the fun. Allan sums it up: ‘Going on the train, having a good time, doing the tools – I like it.’