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The Champion l Wednesday 15 May 2019

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Soroptimist groups join forces to help charity

Mending rather than replacing is better for your wallet and the planet I'VE just had a pleasant surprise. Well, two actually. I carry around in my trouser pocket one of those cheap small torches. You know, one of those little silver ones about two and a half inches long which cost about one pound with several LEDs, including three batteries. I find them useful in all kinds of situations. One drawback they have is that after a while they usually start going a bit wonky and need a sharp rap on a hard surface to get them to shine brightly. Another is that it is very easy to lose the thing when pulling something else, like a hanky, out of your pocket. This isn’t the end of the world - for one pound, a replacement is no great hardship. But I was sorry when I lost the one recently, because it had defied the odds and continued to work properly. And I had just replaced its batteries. So I bought a replacement. Now the trousers I had been wearing were due for a wash and I had transferred all the pocket's contents to a fresh pair - or so I thought. Imagine my chagrin when I put the newly washed trousers to dry - and felt a lump in one pocket. Yes, the poor old cheap torch had been left - and been thoughtfully washed and rinsed. More in hope than expectation, I pressed its button - and Hey Presto! -it shone out as well as ever. It really is surprising how much pleasure a small thing like that can bring. So at the moment I possess two working small torches - which means I don't have to worry about losing one, which I most certainly will do. But this incident set me thinking. Obviously my little torch was better constructed than I imagined, for waterproof it must be. Now as I said, it matters little really how long this particular item survives - but other, more expensive items often do not fare so well these days. How many folk still get their TVs mended if they go wrong? How many parts of modern cars cannot be repaired? When, for that matter did anybody last darn a pair of socks? No, you throw away the offending item and buy a new one. This has been brought home to me on my motor cruiser ‘Manxman.’ She was built before the throwaway age and not that long ago if, for instance, if the water pump went you could take it apart and with the aid of a repair kit, put it back to use again. Not now - sling the defective one and buy new is the modern way. Which isn’t that awful if you have a modern water pump (though it is extremely wasteful). But in the absence of repair kits, folk such as I are now becoming hard-put to find a replacement article for the entire thing. Mind you, this is a problem future owners of craft such as mine won’t have to face, for it’s only a matter of time before the use of diesel is banned altogether. And I cannot see how an electric set-up could be installed in a boat such as mine without almost totally rebuilding the whole thing at a cost which would make the exercise prohibitively expensive. I suppose I am being a little ambitious in advocating mending things. Ham-fisted me is, for example, very good at taking old alarm clocks to pieces - trouble being that putting the pieces back together again always defeats me. But my point remains. Being able to go down to the shop with your broken radio or whatever to get it repaired must be a better thing for your wallet (and the planet) than automatically junking it.

SOROPTOMIST International of Bootle hosted the annual ‘Three Clubs Meeting’ with its sister clubs in Crosby and Southport. The Bootle branch welcomed SI Crosby and SI Southport to the British Legion Club, in Litherland, where they enjoyed, musical entertainment and food. The evening ended with a donation from the SI groups which will go towards Claire House.

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