The Repair Shop: Dean Westmoreland terrified about reveals
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The Repair Shop has become a staple on BBC viewers TV screen since its debut in 2017 and is known for its heart-warming stories. Host Jay Blades and expert restorers such as Suzie Fletcher and Dominic Chinea have left viewers in tears at their work and restoring sentimental items for the guests who enter the shop. New addition to the workshop shop, Dean Westmorland, a shoe restorer, has made his mark on the show by creating beautiful restorations and has shut down any claims the show is fake.
From Bradford, Yorkshire, Dean’s career began working as a footwear specialist at JJB Sports before he became an apprentice shoemaker.
In the same year The Repair Shop opened, Dean opened his own shoe repair business named Yorkshire Sole, after having 10 years of experience.
Dean debuted on The Repair Shop on Wednesday’s episode and had the task of repairing a treasured pair of leather running shoes that athlete Audrey Brown wore while competing in the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
Her grandson Tom brought the bespoke leather running shoes into the shop in a tea towel after he was left the shoes when she died in 2005 at the age of 92.
Tom revealed he had followed in his grandmother’s footsteps and was passionate about sport too, but sadly the shoes had been neglected and were in a bad way.
Taking a look at the shoes, Dean said: “I’ve worked with running shoes but nothing of this age, but I like a challenge.
“I’ve been repairing shoes for about 15 years now, and in this job, you never know what’s coming next, and every pair of shoes is different.
“That’s the beauty of the craft, and you’re always learning, so even though I’m 15 years in, I’ll be learning for the rest of my days.”
When Tom returned for the shoes, he was blown away by Dean’s work and exclaimed: “Oh my goodness.
“That is amazing; I’m sorry I am speechless, that is beyond anything that I could have expected, Dean, unbelievable, amazing, I can’t thank you enough for that!”
Speaking to The Yorkshire Post, Dean revealed he was daunted by the task but was overwhelmed at the response he got when the final product was finished.
He said: “I always like a challenge. I thought they were just going to fall to dust, but you could see they were well made, so I thought they could stand being repaired.
“The emotion you see on camera, it’s real. No one is acting, It’s all about detail to me.
“Using hand tools, hand welting and treating each pair of shoes as my own. All this and more seemed to have been forgotten.”
Alongside being criticised for being fake, Jay Blades revealed some applicants will go to extreme lengths in an attempt to get onto the show.
Discussing the application process with The Times, he said: “People lie just to get on TV.”
Head of Factual at The Repair Shop’s production company, Ricochet, Rob Butterfield, explained: “We don’t charge for repairs.
“If people wish to make a donation to a charity, we’re very happy with that, but it’s by no means necessary.”
When viewers apply for the show, they are met with a statement that reads: “If you have a treasured item that’s seen better days and you think our experts can help, please get in touch now!
“We’re also keen to hear from communities who have objects of historical or social interest they’d like our help with.”
The Repair Shop airs Wednesday’s at 8pm on BBC One.
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