Episode 14 Money for Nothing


Episode 14

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Transcript


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That's not going in there, is it?

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How do you make money for nothing?

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Ooh, that's got lovely legs!

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The answer could be hiding in over 20 million tonnes of household waste

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thrown out by us every year.

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-I'm now going to swan off.

-OK!

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That's why entrepreneur Sarah Moore wants to get her hands on things

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before they hit the skip.

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I'm a passionate maker, buyer and user of old stuff,

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and I've turned that passion into a moneymaking business.

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I make new stuff out of old stuff and I sell it for a profit.

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And with some of the country's elite designers and makers...

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Let's brainstorm a little bit and see what we can do with it.

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It is absolutely gorgeous.

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..she can transform her finds into desirable...

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I'm kind of speechless.

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..valuable...

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That looks amazing!

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..and hopefully saleable items.

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If Sarah is successful,

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then she can hand the profits back to the very people who had no idea

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there was cash to be made from their trash.

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That's lovely - a lovely ending!

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Altrincham Recycling Centre is the final resting place of

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tonnes of unloved items -

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that's why Sarah spends her days hanging around here.

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Look at that - I mean, the world is my oyster!

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Anything could come in here today.

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It could be rubbish, but it could be something really exciting.

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I don't know what I'm doing standing here.

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Sarah's here to find three items that can be reworked to make them

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desirable once again, and she'll take anything.

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"Non-recyclable waste" -

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it's just not an expression that I have in my vocabulary.

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You can do something with everything.

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Well, we'll see about that.

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Before Sarah started her search, she got special permission to approach

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the public, and first in her sights is Mike.

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Is there anything special in what he's chucking out?

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-Hiya.

-Hello. Yeah.

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What have you been smashing up?

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It's a display unit from the house of my late parents.

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So, where was this in the house, then?

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This was at the bottom of the stairs.

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It was a display unit. It did have ornaments in it,

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it kept some personal effects.

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-A telephone used to be on it years ago...

-Yeah.

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..so there was address books and telephone books, and...

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This is the top, this way?

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-Yep, that's the top, yeah.

-OK, and that's the wings...

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The legs down there, yeah.

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Brilliant. Well, rather than it going in the wood bin,

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please may I take it away?

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By all means, yeah.

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It would be lovely to have a go at trying to make something out of it.

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That'd be great, yeah.

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So, if I manage to give it a new lease of life,

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can I come back and find you and show you what I've done with it?

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Absolutely, yeah.

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Brilliant, OK. I'm going to gather up these bits.

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Sarah's snaffled the cut-up display cabinet, as she sees some potential.

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Nice one.

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Thank you so much. I'll keep in touch.

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-You're welcome, cheers.

-Bye-bye.

-Bye-bye.

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I have no idea what Sarah's going to do with that, but does Mike?

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I imagine it could be polished up, cleaned up,

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varnished and turned into a display cabinet again,

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and someone else can get years of enjoyment out of it,

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just like its previous existence, really.

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Well, look at this poor old cabinet.

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It has been really bashed and battered on its way

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to the recycling centre, but I love it.

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I think it needs a bit of TLC, and I think it'll be looking beautiful.

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Sarah knows exactly who to take it to.

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Meet Norman Wilkinson -

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he's a master craftsman with over 25 years' experience producing bespoke

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signature pieces and commissioned furniture.

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Oh, the stuff you get from the tip, some of it I'm thinking,

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what are we doing? But, you know, yeah, it's great fun. I mean...

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And also when you turn the weird and wonderful ones into something great,

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and they sell it as well, and then someone's going to love it, I mean,

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that's what it's all about, isn't it?

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Norman loves the challenge of turning unloved items

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into treasured possessions.

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I enjoy my work. I think, if anyone enjoys their work,

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it comes out in the piece of furniture,

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because, you know, you love it,

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and then it hopefully reflects when someone buys it

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that they can see the love that we've put into it.

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You know, it's a joy to get up and come to work in the mornings.

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This joy may be short-lived,

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when Norman sees the cut-up display cabinet Sarah's saved for him.

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With one item in the bag, Sarah's on the hunt for two more.

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Shouldn't be too hard to whip up a profit.

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Not with that, though.

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You're right, Sarah - a rusty whisk leaves me unstirred, too.

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Perhaps Tom's boot will move you a bit more.

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-Hi there.

-Hiya. Hi, are you all right?

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Yeah, I'm all right. How are you?

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Fine, fine, fine.

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They look exciting.

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I was just going to tip them.

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So, what...are they... They're old bench ends, are they?

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They're old Victorian bench ends, actually.

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Let's have a look at that.

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-They're very heavy.

-OK, well, let's leave it there for a second.

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How long have you had those, then?

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In my garden, I've left them there about...

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They've been there about two and a half or three years now.

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OK.

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The bench ends are cast iron,

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which has probably helped them to survive decades outside.

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What hasn't remained as part of the bench

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is the wooden seat and backrest.

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So, would it be possible to have a closer look at the other bits, then?

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-Yeah, of course.

-These are fantastic.

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Let me just get these for you.

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I'll put them by the thing for you.

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I think this looks like a great collection,

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but those old ones there would be fantastic to take away

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and see if they can be reused.

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Yeah, well, fine, if somebody can make use of them,

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or you can make use of them, fine.

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I'll just dump these. It's fine.

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I work with all sorts of talented people -

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it would be great if I could take them away, find out what to

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do with them and then come and show you what I've done.

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-Would that be all right?

-That'd be fantastic, yeah. No problem.

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Lovely. I think I'll be coming to see you shortly.

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-Lovely.

-Thank you so much.

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Thank you. Take care.

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Two cast-iron bench ends - what could become of them?

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I'm sure Tom has a few ideas.

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I reckon they would look beautiful, so I reckon, first of all,

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if they clean them off and then remake them into a bench...

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I'm certainly looking forward to seeing what it becomes

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and exactly what they've done with them, you know what I mean?

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Look at these.

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They are heavy, they're really old, they look awful at the moment...

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They're going to be beautiful.

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A pair of old bench ends like this,

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they've got all the properties needed to be turned into something

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really lovely, and I know just who to take them to!

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Rupert Blanchard is a furniture designer and self-confessed hoarder

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of anything old he can turn into gold.

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I work mostly with reclaimed materials.

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These are found materials that other people have given up on,

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and I benefit from what other people throw away,

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but it's more than that -

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I spend a lot of time, and a lot of energy,

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and a lot of love in restoring things,

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and somehow working people's rubbish back into their home

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as something brand-new.

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I admire your recycling spirit, Rupert,

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but perhaps some things are better off left in the skip...

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Two items found, which means only one left to nab.

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Sarah needs an item that she can take home and crack on with herself.

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# Hello, is it rubbish you're looking for? #

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Yes, well done, Sarah.

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Now, can you just get on with your day job?

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As Neil may have something to suit you in the boot of his car...

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-Hi there.

-Oh, hiya.

-Hello.

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Is that going in the skip, by any chance?

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-It was, yeah.

-Is that yours?

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No, it's my stepdaughter's,

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she's just finished three years at university, fashion student.

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It was a bit of a wrench for her to get rid of it,

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but the house hasn't got the room.

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-Well, may I have a closer look at it?

-Of course you can, yeah.

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-Is it heavy?

-No, no, just be careful, there's still pins in it.

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That's really cool, isn't it? Oh, and that stand, too.

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The stand, yeah. It all comes together, yeah.

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Mannequins can be traced back as early as 1350 BC,

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based on a wooden torso discovery in the tomb of Tutankhamen,

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but the ones we recognise today, showing off clothes in shop windows,

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became more popular thanks to the advent of plate glass

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and electric lighting.

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Would you mind, then, if I took it away?

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By all means, help yourself. I'd like to see it go to a good home.

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And if I can make something out of it,

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would it be possible to come back and find you

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-and show you what I've done?

-Absolutely, yeah.

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Fantastic. Well, you've made my day.

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I think you rarely find something that pretty at the recycling centre,

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so I'm going to say thank you so much, and I'll be in touch.

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Not a problem. Enjoy.

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-Thank you very much.

-OK.

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Fabulous! Sarah's bagged herself a fashion mannequin,

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but do you think she can fashion something out of it, Neil?

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I don't know what she's going to do with it,

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but it'd be nice to think it'd be something fashion related,

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and it's going to a good home.

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That's good... That's good enough for me.

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Sounds good to me, too.

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I think it's a sweet mannequin -

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really quite expensive to buy if they're new,

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but at the moment it's still looking a bit pristine for me,

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so I think there could be something lovely to do to this,

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to make it turn a profit.

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Profit from a mannequin - now, this I've got to see!

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After a hard day's searching and salvaging,

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Sarah has her three items.

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Norman will work on the hall display unit,

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Rupert will reimagine the cast-iron bench ends,

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and Sarah will hopefully manage to make over the mannequin.

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Well, between the mattresses,

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the bin bags and the endless garden waste,

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we have found some really fantastic items.

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Let's go and transform them.

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Sarah's travelled to the village of Hellingly,

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where Norman works his magic with furniture old and new,

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but what will he make of Sarah's broken-down display cabinet?

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This, I can't wait to see.

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Well, Sarah's on her way.

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I'm wondering what delights we'll have today.

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Well, if you were looking for a piece of deeply undesirable

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furniture that was not commercial and in a really bad state,

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I'd say that's a pretty good example.

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But it is old and it does have potential -

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I just hope Norman can see that.

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Fasten your seat belts - this could be a bumpy ride!

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First impressions?

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Pick it up.

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-Oh, no.

-Let's take it back out!

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It's not THAT bad.

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I think that it would look infinitely better

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without these wings on it.

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Without these bits, yeah.

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And it does have all the period features to go back in.

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I would, number one...

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-..turn the drawer around, so then...

-Oh, that's clever. Yeah.

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We could put a nice base on it. We won't put a cornice on it.

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We'll put a nice...just a flat top on it,

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and then do a nice, strong colour.

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You'll know when you're doing it,

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but I think quite dark might be quite cool.

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We will pick a good colour.

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We... Actually, we'll pick one to surprise you.

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You love surprises, don't you?

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I'm more like a control freak of colour, actually.

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Yeah, I know you are.

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So, it's going to be a freestanding cabinet,

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with the side shelves removed and some new legs attached -

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could be tricky and time-consuming.

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Norman, what's the best possible price you could possibly give me

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on this beautiful cabinet?

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The best possible price for you,

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doing all that and then getting the strong colour and everything,

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295.

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Lovely. Well, thank you so much.

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And it's a deal.

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Over to you, Norman.

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We'll do our normal bit, take it apart and...

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and make it up as we go along, maybe.

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But I'm sure it'll work.

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It's just one of those ones where you think,

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"Well, we can sleep on it another day."

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Well, this one definitely needs a lot of work,

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but Norman is going to transform it, I know.

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He's going to make it into something sweet and saleable.

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With a budget of £295, Norman seems relaxed,

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but with no agreed colour or even a plan,

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there could be trouble ahead.

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For Sarah's next stop,

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she's travelled to the seaside town of Margate -

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HQ to a bustling vintage and retro scene, and home to our Rupert.

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Sarah's brought along the cast-iron bench ends to see

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what Rupert makes of them.

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I'm hoping Sarah's going to bring me something that's absolutely rubbish

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today, something that everyone's given up on,

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and, you know, I'm glad she just saved it for me,

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and I can do something with it, so that people love it again.

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I reckon you're in luck, Rupert!

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Well, I love these bench ends.

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I sneakily think they might be a bit of a find,

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so I've brought them to Rupert, because they've got yellow on them,

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they're old, they're battered - he's going to love them, isn't it?

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Let's go and find out.

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Rupert? Hey.

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Hey, Sarah. Come in, come in.

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So, what have you brought me today?

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Well, let me show you.

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Let me show you in detail, cos I think these are amazing.

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Let's get it on the bench, then.

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-Have you got it?

-Mm-hm.

-Brilliant, thanks.

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You get that one.

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Oh, lovely.

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-Heavy, aren't they?

-Oh, they are a bit.

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-What do you think?

-They're great, aren't they?

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Well, they've got this telltale little bit of Rupert yellow

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in there - I know you're a big yellow fan.

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A little bit of yellow - I do like yellow. Erm...

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But I do like cast iron as well, which...

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They're definitely cast iron and very old.

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I imagine these are completely original.

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They've been languishing in a cottage garden, apparently.

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Excellent. I'm glad you brought them here, cos they really are much

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better quality than modern ones.

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They're not, like, thin, cheap ones -

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these are heavy and really quite decorative.

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What do you want done with them?

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How about we make them into a bench?

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A bench? OK.

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Well, I don't think I've ever made a cast-iron bench before,

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but I'm up for a challenge.

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I guess, first thoughts, a few different ideas...

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I could use scrap wood and make a really colourful bench.

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I could go traditional, really solid,

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-something like mahogany, teak, something like this.

-OK.

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It might be nice to try to do something a bit

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brighter, a bit more modern,

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try to get this outdoor bench actually inside,

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into somebody's home, maybe.

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That would be lovely,

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and if it comes with a bit of distinctive Rupert twist to it,

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that would be even better.

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So, after much thought,

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these cast-iron bench ends are to become...

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wait for it...

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a bench.

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Not just any old bench, but a bench with a Rupert twist,

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and Sarah has some ideas about how much a Rupert twist should cost.

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Anything that begins with a two,

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I think gives me a margin to make some money out of it, so...

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OK, well, I know it's pushing it quite far for a bench,

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but if you could give me about £200,

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I can give you something that's going to be great.

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200 quid sounds like a brilliant deal.

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-Terrific.

-Thank you so much.

-Done.

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-Good luck with those. See you soon.

-Excellent, thank you.

-Bye.

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Well, that was easy.

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Well, my bench ends have got a brand-new start,

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and I can't wait to see how Rupert makes them look.

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They're going to be fab, aren't they?

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I love that Sarah's actually brought me something really old this time.

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Um, I hope I can do them justice.

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I'm really not used to working with cast iron,

0:16:050:16:08

so hopefully it's going to go OK

0:16:080:16:11

and I don't crack it when I start stripping it.

0:16:110:16:13

Um...

0:16:130:16:15

Yeah, just better get a move on.

0:16:150:16:17

To create a bespoke bench with a Rupert twist,

0:16:200:16:23

it's going to cost £200,

0:16:230:16:26

but when it's all done, will Sarah be sitting on a profit?

0:16:260:16:29

With our makers up and running,

0:16:390:16:42

it's time for Sarah to head back home to West Sussex and start

0:16:420:16:46

the transformation of the fashion mannequin,

0:16:460:16:49

though I'm not quite sure what she's going to do with it.

0:16:490:16:52

I think it's quite nice the way it is, really.

0:16:520:16:54

It's quite a sweet little mannequin,

0:16:560:16:57

it's got a real faux-vintage look to it, though.

0:16:570:17:00

And it's a bit wobbly and lightweight.

0:17:000:17:02

I would like to make it into something that is beautiful, smart,

0:17:020:17:05

looking really antique and old,

0:17:050:17:07

just the kind of thing that you might have in a shop,

0:17:070:17:10

or perhaps even in a bedroom to put your clothes on.

0:17:100:17:13

I need to choose some lovely fabrics to go on to it

0:17:130:17:15

and then work out how to make this look really beautiful.

0:17:150:17:18

So, it's staying a mannequin, but it'll be out with the new,

0:17:190:17:23

in with the old, and Sarah's big wall of vintage fabrics

0:17:230:17:27

is the perfect place to start.

0:17:270:17:30

I'm looking for something

0:17:300:17:31

that makes it feel like a kind of Victorian governess.

0:17:310:17:34

I'm thinking bustles and lace and probably...

0:17:340:17:37

Look, there's a bit.

0:17:370:17:38

Using the vintage fabric,

0:17:400:17:42

Sarah will complete recover the surface to create the look

0:17:420:17:46

of a 19th-century mannequin.

0:17:460:17:49

I think it needs a bit more...volume.

0:17:490:17:51

And to make it really authentic,

0:17:510:17:54

there's another element she'll have to...embellish.

0:17:540:17:58

I'm trying to make it look a little bit more curvy,

0:17:590:18:01

because the antique ones, particularly the French ones,

0:18:010:18:04

and those are the ones that sell for lots of money,

0:18:040:18:06

are always really curvy.

0:18:060:18:08

Ooh-la-la!

0:18:090:18:10

Sarah's using padding from an old pillow to accentuate the, er...

0:18:130:18:19

NARRATOR CLEARS HIS THROAT ..the bust.

0:18:190:18:22

That's certainly got a look to it.

0:18:220:18:24

Compared to modern mannequins,

0:18:240:18:26

classic French mannequins favoured a more ample frontage.

0:18:260:18:30

Good grief!

0:18:330:18:35

Watch it doesn't topple over.

0:18:350:18:36

Oh, dear. Let's get the staple gun out.

0:18:390:18:42

Let's cover them up.

0:18:420:18:43

The term "mannequin" originates from the French word...mannequin.

0:18:450:18:50

The first fashion mannequins

0:18:510:18:53

were made from papier-mache in France

0:18:530:18:56

in the mid-19th century.

0:18:560:18:57

Later, they were made of wax to produce a more lifelike appearance.

0:18:570:19:02

Well, at last, the stitching's done. It has taken forever,

0:19:050:19:08

but I think it's now got quite a sweet looking shape.

0:19:080:19:11

But I'm really not liking that bit down there.

0:19:110:19:14

So...

0:19:140:19:16

I've had this lying around for a bit,

0:19:160:19:18

and I think it might be my secret weapon.

0:19:180:19:20

I'm thinking about pushing this straight the way down,

0:19:200:19:23

replacing the metal and having the top of it poking out,

0:19:230:19:26

just like an old-fashioned mannequin.

0:19:260:19:28

Either this is a great idea, or Sarah's gone snooker loopy.

0:19:280:19:34

Sarah starts by sawing off the metal pole

0:19:340:19:37

to make room for the snooker cue.

0:19:370:19:39

I hope this works, otherwise there's going to be two dummies!

0:19:390:19:42

Vintage mannequins often had ornamental metal tops,

0:19:440:19:47

known as finials, handy for hanging scarves or hats.

0:19:470:19:51

You're going to have to bear with me, cos I know it looks a bit

0:19:530:19:56

odd at the moment, but I think in the end,

0:19:560:19:57

I know exactly how this is going to look and it's going to be fine.

0:19:570:20:00

But I am a bit worried about the white of this fabric.

0:20:000:20:03

It's going to get dirty really quickly if anybody touches it.

0:20:030:20:06

So, I've got a solution. In fact, I've got a paint solution for it.

0:20:060:20:09

Sarah's watered down some grey emulsion paint,

0:20:090:20:13

which looks like a puddle.

0:20:130:20:14

Yes, I know, it's paint and this is material.

0:20:140:20:17

But trust me, it's going to work.

0:20:170:20:19

Oh, it all started so well.

0:20:210:20:23

Now it's got a snooker cue sticking out of it

0:20:260:20:29

and she's painting it grey.

0:20:290:20:31

I think we'll just leave her to it.

0:20:310:20:33

So far, Sarah's spent £15 on materials and paint.

0:20:330:20:38

Her ideas better pay off,

0:20:380:20:40

or she'll be snookered!

0:20:400:20:42

Back in Hellingly in East Sussex,

0:20:490:20:51

it's time for the old display cabinet to get the Norman treatment.

0:20:510:20:56

So, what's the plan?

0:20:560:20:57

The plan is we're going to cut all this lot off,

0:20:570:21:01

cut this off

0:21:010:21:03

and make it into a nice little glazed cabinet

0:21:030:21:06

with a shelf underneath and everything.

0:21:060:21:08

So, I think it's one of these ones we'll see how we get on

0:21:080:21:11

smashing it up,

0:21:110:21:13

see what we've got left and then work it out from there.

0:21:130:21:16

Let's get those ideas hammered out then, Norman.

0:21:160:21:19

Basically, this is going to be a much sleeker and more modern-looking

0:21:220:21:26

freestanding display cabinet.

0:21:260:21:28

Norman plans to make this cabinet go up in the world by adding

0:21:280:21:32

a set of brand-new tapered legs.

0:21:320:21:35

To make sure his cabinet will be stable,

0:21:380:21:41

Norman has to decide on the leg size and shape.

0:21:410:21:45

We're just going to taper the, um...

0:21:450:21:47

the bottom inside edges, only four inches up.

0:21:470:21:51

It spreads to the leg,

0:21:510:21:53

so it hopefully gives it a bit more stability.

0:21:530:21:56

Only someone as experienced as Norman can make precision cutting

0:21:560:22:00

on a table saw look easy.

0:22:000:22:02

Norman marks the legs carefully,

0:22:070:22:09

to make sure he fits them all the right way round.

0:22:090:22:12

So, hopefully, we can't go wrong.

0:22:120:22:15

Indeed. Next, Norman adds support beams between the legs

0:22:150:22:19

to help ensure as little wobble as possible

0:22:190:22:22

when it's supporting the heavy cabinet base.

0:22:220:22:25

That'll be that part of the cabinet,

0:22:250:22:28

so if we want to put a shelf in, we can still put another shelf in.

0:22:280:22:32

So... But we can make it up as we go along.

0:22:320:22:34

After more cutting and gluing, the new legs have finally come together.

0:22:360:22:40

-Right.

-They certainly look the part.

0:22:400:22:43

But are they stable enough to hold up the old oak?

0:22:430:22:46

Whoops, still a bit of wobble.

0:22:490:22:51

Yeah, I think that's going to be all right.

0:22:510:22:53

We might put a middle shelf in,

0:22:530:22:55

I think just to give it a little bit more depth.

0:22:550:22:58

More depth would be good, Norman.

0:22:580:23:00

And some doors might be nice, too.

0:23:000:23:02

I think it's come along and it's looking quite versatile,

0:23:020:23:04

-so yeah, happy days.

-As long as you're confident, Norman.

0:23:040:23:07

But from here, you look a long way off from having something saleable.

0:23:070:23:11

Back in Margate,

0:23:130:23:14

Rupert's putting together a plan to turn the old bench ends

0:23:140:23:17

into a brand-new bench.

0:23:170:23:19

But first things first,

0:23:190:23:21

what is the plan to get rid of those old layers of paint?

0:23:210:23:24

OK, I'm going to get to work on these bench ends

0:23:260:23:29

with some really quite powerful paint stripper.

0:23:290:23:33

And, um...

0:23:330:23:34

..definitely going to need gloves for these.

0:23:350:23:38

Great green ooze that gets rid of all dodgy old paint.

0:23:390:23:43

When using paint stripper, always work in a well-ventilated space.

0:23:430:23:47

And if in doubt, best to wear a protective mask.

0:23:470:23:51

Probably my least favourite job in the workshop, this.

0:23:510:23:54

Metal paint stripping.

0:23:540:23:56

Obviously, I'm doing this because I don't want to lose all the character

0:23:580:24:02

of the original castings.

0:24:020:24:03

If I was to sandblast it, they'd look brand-new

0:24:030:24:06

and there'd be no point in Sarah saving them for me.

0:24:060:24:10

Um, these are original, I want to do a sympathetic restoration.

0:24:100:24:14

So, this horrible stuff is dabbed all over...

0:24:140:24:17

..really quite thickly.

0:24:190:24:21

And I leave it on for about half an hour to an hour,

0:24:210:24:25

until it all blisters up.

0:24:250:24:27

And, erm, I brush it away, like magic.

0:24:270:24:31

That's how it should happen - it rarely does.

0:24:310:24:34

I'm not sure it's going to be much different this time, Rupert.

0:24:340:24:37

There could be 100 years of paint to get through there.

0:24:370:24:40

Paint stripper's going to take a while,

0:24:400:24:41

so I'm going to get to work on the second bench end

0:24:410:24:43

and try to remove the screws in the backrest.

0:24:430:24:46

There's a couple of screws that are completely seized up,

0:24:460:24:48

rusted in place. I'm going to try to get them out.

0:24:480:24:51

Got to go really careful, cos...

0:24:510:24:53

..cast iron, although it's strong,

0:24:540:24:56

it can be a really brittle material when you hit it at the wrong angle.

0:24:560:25:00

So if I hit it, I can just crack it.

0:25:000:25:05

This doesn't bode well so far.

0:25:050:25:07

There are four of these screws to remove

0:25:070:25:09

and I can't even get one out yet.

0:25:090:25:11

You could always try heating...

0:25:110:25:12

Ah, you're a step ahead of me there, Rupert.

0:25:120:25:15

By heating the metal, it should expand and contract,

0:25:150:25:19

helping to loosen things off.

0:25:190:25:21

-HE LAUGHS

-It doesn't want to come out the hole!

0:25:210:25:24

I don't want to hit it too hard, cos it will break the cast iron.

0:25:240:25:28

Ooh...

0:25:280:25:30

Ah, think I can see it moving.

0:25:300:25:32

Wahey!

0:25:320:25:34

There you go. Excellent.

0:25:350:25:38

One screw down, three more to go.

0:25:380:25:40

Thank goodness for that.

0:25:410:25:43

Next, Rupert's taking some timber he recently picked up

0:25:450:25:48

at a car-boot sale

0:25:480:25:50

and is cutting it into lengths to form the slats of the new bench.

0:25:500:25:54

I think this is going to be a bit of a labour of love,

0:25:590:26:01

cos it, although it's starting to look like a bench,

0:26:010:26:04

it's a long way from being a...

0:26:040:26:06

..a finished product.

0:26:080:26:09

And now for the piece de resistance, the Rupert twist.

0:26:090:26:14

I've managed to find some great old signage for this bench -

0:26:140:26:17

and this is just what I wanted.

0:26:170:26:18

It's old enamel signage, old tin, lovely typography over it.

0:26:180:26:23

It's going to need a good scrub and a lot of work,

0:26:230:26:26

because it was dug out of someone's garden.

0:26:260:26:29

This is only a small bit of it, but somehow

0:26:290:26:32

I'm going to fix these together as the backrest.

0:26:320:26:35

I've still got a tonne of work to do, but I'm really happy now.

0:26:350:26:39

I think I've sort of turned a corner

0:26:390:26:42

and I can see this as a finished piece now.

0:26:420:26:44

So, that's the back taken care of - and the bottom.

0:26:440:26:48

But what about that old paint?

0:26:480:26:50

The paint's really thick on these,

0:26:500:26:52

so it's not releasing with one application of paint stripper.

0:26:520:26:57

Some little bits are bubbling away,

0:26:570:26:59

but it's still only going down to the base coat.

0:26:590:27:02

So, either all this paint comes off

0:27:030:27:05

or Sarah's going to end up with a badly-painted pair of bench ends.

0:27:050:27:10

But that's not going to happen.

0:27:110:27:14

These, this will come off.

0:27:140:27:16

Just spend a few more hours on it.

0:27:160:27:19

Good luck, Rupert!

0:27:190:27:21

Having left Rupert attempting to strip paint,

0:27:280:27:31

we return now to West Sussex,

0:27:310:27:33

where Sarah's been wrestling with a vintage project, the mannequin.

0:27:330:27:38

And she's glad to be adding the finishing touches,

0:27:380:27:41

as this project has been harder than expected.

0:27:410:27:44

This is tough.

0:27:440:27:45

When Sarah collected the mannequin at the tip,

0:27:480:27:51

it was modern, floral, lacked substance and style.

0:27:510:27:55

Now...

0:27:550:27:57

it's been completely transformed

0:27:570:27:59

to look like an old-fashioned French dressmaker's mannequin,

0:27:590:28:03

complete with a more curvaceous shape.

0:28:030:28:06

Sarah has replaced the old metal support

0:28:060:28:09

with a far more authentic wooden pole. Once a snooker cue,

0:28:090:28:13

it has been painted with a matte black chalk paint finish.

0:28:130:28:17

On the back, she's sewn in place a vintage nightdress,

0:28:170:28:20

complete with embroidered initials.

0:28:200:28:22

While it might not be to everyone's taste,

0:28:220:28:25

Sarah knows exactly the type of buyer this mannequin is perfect for.

0:28:250:28:30

She's timeworn, she's old-fashioned looking

0:28:300:28:32

and I think those are going to be the charms that help sell her.

0:28:320:28:36

I'm hoping she'll be snapped up by somebody with a shop,

0:28:360:28:38

perhaps vintage clothing, or somebody who sells jewellery,

0:28:380:28:41

who really needs something like this to make their stuff look better.

0:28:410:28:44

And she's a lovely, ample figure.

0:28:440:28:46

And you don't normally find mannequins like that.

0:28:460:28:48

I'll have to take your word for that, Sarah.

0:28:480:28:51

In order to find her a new home,

0:28:510:28:53

Sarah needs to take a few pictures to advertise her online.

0:28:530:28:57

And with a bit of luck,

0:28:570:28:59

the mannequin will be showing off new outfits before you know it.

0:28:590:29:03

When Sarah caught up with Neil at the tip,

0:29:040:29:07

he was about to throw a mannequin into a skip.

0:29:070:29:10

-Is that yours?

-No, my stepdaughter's.

0:29:100:29:12

She's just finished three years at university, fashion student.

0:29:120:29:15

Sarah was suitably impressed.

0:29:150:29:17

That's really cool, isn't it?

0:29:190:29:20

And that stand, too.

0:29:200:29:22

The stand, yeah, it all comes together.

0:29:220:29:23

Neil, on the other hand, couldn't see what could become of it.

0:29:230:29:27

I don't know what she's going to do with it.

0:29:270:29:29

But it would be nice to think it would be something

0:29:290:29:32

fashion-related and it's going to a good home.

0:29:320:29:35

That's good enough for me.

0:29:350:29:37

It's gone from tip-bound to total treasure.

0:29:370:29:40

Though she may not be everyone's cup of tea in her new guise,

0:29:430:29:47

the good news is that Rachel, the owner of Reckage At Home,

0:29:470:29:50

a vintage and reclamation shop in Doncaster, thinks she's great.

0:29:500:29:55

We love this busty lady,

0:29:550:29:56

we think she'll be a fantastic display piece

0:29:560:29:58

and we're going to keep her in the shop.

0:29:580:30:00

And she was quick to put her on show.

0:30:000:30:03

But just how much was Rachel willing to pay?

0:30:030:30:07

And was there any profit for Neil?

0:30:070:30:10

Unfortunately, Neil isn't available to meet with me again,

0:30:100:30:13

but I have made him a profit of £135

0:30:130:30:17

to send him for his mannequin.

0:30:170:30:20

With Sarah spending just £15 on materials for this project

0:30:200:30:24

and the newly aged mannequin selling for £150,

0:30:240:30:29

that was a £135 profit for Neil.

0:30:290:30:33

With the mannequin having made a good profit,

0:30:390:30:41

things are getting off to a good start.

0:30:410:30:44

Sarah's back in Hellingly to see how Norman's got on.

0:30:440:30:47

Well, I dropped off a battered old wall cabinet.

0:30:490:30:52

It was out of fashion, out of love and out of a skip.

0:30:520:30:55

So, I'm hoping Norman has transformed it into the in thing.

0:30:550:31:00

Are we happy with this one?

0:31:000:31:01

Well, I think we've transformed it into this lovely little thing.

0:31:010:31:06

I think it's got great potential now for halls or anywhere.

0:31:060:31:09

So, yeah, she's going to love it again.

0:31:090:31:11

That's very confident, Norman.

0:31:110:31:13

I think we'll just have to wait and see.

0:31:130:31:16

When Sarah saved the old wall cabinet,

0:31:160:31:19

it was way past its prime.

0:31:190:31:20

Now Norman has worked his magic and given it a fresh, modern look.

0:31:220:31:26

Gone is the old-fashioned winged shelving,

0:31:260:31:29

giving the cupboard sleek new lines.

0:31:290:31:32

Long, tapered legs have been added to raise it up,

0:31:320:31:35

and an extra shelf has been included.

0:31:350:31:37

The drawer fronts have been smoothed and the original handles

0:31:370:31:41

kept and reused.

0:31:410:31:43

The joins are now beautiful and seamless,

0:31:430:31:46

and the whole unit has been given a fresh new coat

0:31:460:31:49

of racing green paint, setting off the white interior.

0:31:490:31:53

But what will Sarah think?

0:31:530:31:55

Norm?

0:31:550:31:57

Hello, you.

0:31:570:31:58

Right, what do you think of that, then?

0:32:000:32:03

Norman, it's beautiful!

0:32:030:32:04

I think it's come out well.

0:32:040:32:06

I recognise that.

0:32:060:32:08

Yeah, we took the pattern off the drawer,

0:32:080:32:10

but I was going to do the drawer at the bottom.

0:32:100:32:12

But then when we started doing it,

0:32:120:32:14

I thought it looked more quirky at the top.

0:32:140:32:16

Then, also, if you've got kids, you can put stuff...

0:32:160:32:18

if you've got kids, you can put stuff in there

0:32:180:32:20

-and they can't get to it.

-Who knew that you had that in you?

0:32:200:32:23

Look at it, it's petite, it's sensible.

0:32:230:32:26

-Designer.

-Sensible?

0:32:260:32:28

Look at it, it's got a drawer at the top,

0:32:280:32:29

keep things out of reach of children.

0:32:290:32:31

I think that is a really lovely piece of furniture.

0:32:310:32:34

It was black, so we kept it a dark colour.

0:32:340:32:37

So, we thought we'd go for this nice green.

0:32:370:32:39

It's a nice green, I think it's a lovely colour,

0:32:390:32:41

and the white, you know, just throws it out, doesn't it?

0:32:410:32:45

Oh, I just can't believe it.

0:32:450:32:46

Really, it's got a lovely finish.

0:32:460:32:49

Very clever, what you've done.

0:32:490:32:50

Nice that it's pale on the inside.

0:32:500:32:52

How much does it cost to make that horrible thing

0:32:520:32:55

-into this beautiful thing?

-Bang on budget.

0:32:550:32:58

-295?

-295, that's the magic number.

0:32:580:33:01

I think it's... I think it's clever, what you've done.

0:33:010:33:03

I think it's green and elegant and an inspired choice of colour.

0:33:030:33:08

295?

0:33:080:33:10

-Happy.

-Well, I am, given what I gave to you, I think that's amazing.

0:33:100:33:14

Well, that's what it's all about, isn't it?

0:33:140:33:17

I think, as we say in the trade, this is fantastic.

0:33:170:33:20

Fantastic indeed, Norman. Good job.

0:33:200:33:23

What we had and what we turned it into, we've made Sarah happy.

0:33:230:33:27

I mean, that's one hell of a job,

0:33:270:33:28

so turning that into that and making Sarah happy,

0:33:280:33:30

it's double bubble, innit? So, fantastic, we're happy.

0:33:300:33:34

Well, I've really got to hand it to Norman.

0:33:360:33:37

I'm always impressed with what he does.

0:33:370:33:39

But I'm not usually as surprised as that.

0:33:390:33:42

That cabinet is a beauty.

0:33:420:33:43

When Sarah spotted Mike at the tip,

0:33:460:33:49

she loved the look of his parents' old cabinet.

0:33:490:33:51

This was at the bottom of the stairs.

0:33:510:33:53

It was a display unit, it did have ornaments in it.

0:33:530:33:57

Sadly, it was no longer in one piece.

0:33:570:34:00

-It wouldn't go in the car.

-So, you smashed it up?

0:34:000:34:02

-So, we've took the legs off.

-Are those bits of it?

0:34:020:34:04

Yeah, they're bits of it, this is.

0:34:040:34:05

But Sarah was happy to take it away, leaving Mike pondering its fate.

0:34:050:34:09

I can imagine it could be polished up, cleaned up,

0:34:090:34:11

varnished and turned into a display cabinet again.

0:34:110:34:15

And someone else can get years of enjoyment out of it.

0:34:150:34:17

To find a buyer,

0:34:220:34:23

Sarah advertised the cabinet for sale by sending out pictures

0:34:230:34:27

to her client base.

0:34:270:34:28

It attracted a lot of attention.

0:34:290:34:32

But did she get it sold?

0:34:320:34:33

Sarah's travelled to Bolton in Greater Manchester

0:34:360:34:39

to let Mike know what happened to his cabinet

0:34:390:34:42

and hopefully take shelter from the rain.

0:34:420:34:44

-Hello, Sarah.

-Hello, Mike, how you doing?

0:34:470:34:49

Yeah. Come in, it's miserable out there.

0:34:490:34:51

It is. It's dreadful, isn't it?

0:34:510:34:53

Yeah, come through, Sarah.

0:34:530:34:54

-Cheers.

-Thank you.

0:34:540:34:55

So, I can't see anything here that looks like that old cabinet

0:34:550:34:59

you were throwing away.

0:34:590:35:00

No, that's why it was going to be thrown away,

0:35:000:35:02

it wasn't really a fit, yeah.

0:35:020:35:04

Did you wonder what might happen to it after it left you?

0:35:040:35:06

Yeah, I mean, as you know, it was in a bit of a state.

0:35:060:35:10

Yeah, somebody smashed it up.

0:35:100:35:11

Yeah, to get it in the car, that was me.

0:35:110:35:13

I thought it was fit for transformation,

0:35:130:35:15

so I took it to my friend Norman.

0:35:150:35:17

-I've got some pictures here to show you.

-Right.

0:35:170:35:19

So, I think you probably remember it looking a bit like that.

0:35:190:35:21

It ended up looking like that.

0:35:210:35:23

It's totally different, isn't it?

0:35:230:35:25

-Yeah.

-There's a lot of the original piece there.

0:35:250:35:27

-Yeah.

-All of the drawers and all the doors and all the structure.

0:35:270:35:30

-Yeah.

-What do you think?

0:35:300:35:31

It's actually quite an amazing transformation.

0:35:310:35:33

It is totally different. It is elegant, that's...

0:35:330:35:36

With the length of the...

0:35:360:35:37

Yeah, it's not squat, like it was.

0:35:370:35:39

-So, do you approve?

-Yeah, very much.

0:35:390:35:42

I have got it up for sale. I haven't sold it yet.

0:35:420:35:45

But I think it should sell and I should make profit on it for you.

0:35:450:35:48

-Great.

-So, as soon as I've done that,

0:35:480:35:50

I'll be back in touch with some money.

0:35:500:35:51

Excellent. Thanks, yeah. Thanks for doing that.

0:35:510:35:54

It's an absolute pleasure. I'll be back in touch...

0:35:540:35:56

-OK, Sarah.

-..when there's money.

0:35:560:35:57

And thank you ever so much for letting me come and see you today.

0:35:570:36:00

No problem, thanks.

0:36:000:36:01

-Bye!

-Right, bye-bye now, yeah.

0:36:010:36:03

Norman came in on budget at £295.

0:36:050:36:10

But without a sale yet, Sarah's facing a potential loss.

0:36:100:36:14

However, with a bit more time,

0:36:140:36:16

I'd like to think the cabinet will find a new home.

0:36:160:36:19

And Sarah can be back in touch with Mike to hand over the profit.

0:36:190:36:23

With two transformations now done and dusted,

0:36:290:36:33

Sarah's returned to Margate to see if Rupert will make it three.

0:36:330:36:37

I really enjoyed this one, it was great.

0:36:380:36:41

I really hope she likes this,

0:36:410:36:42

but I'm not really bothered if she doesn't,

0:36:420:36:45

because I'd happily keep it for myself.

0:36:450:36:48

Well, I'm back in Margate to see what Rupert did

0:36:480:36:50

with those bits of old bench that I dropped off.

0:36:500:36:52

They were a beautiful pair of ends but nothing in the middle,

0:36:520:36:55

so I'm hoping he's filled that gap with something really stylish.

0:36:550:36:58

When Sarah saved them, the old bench ends had nowhere to go but the tip.

0:37:000:37:05

But now...just look at them!

0:37:090:37:12

They are part of a beautiful bespoke bench.

0:37:120:37:16

The ends themselves have been restored

0:37:160:37:18

and the layers of paint completely removed,

0:37:180:37:21

though sandblasting was required to banish it.

0:37:210:37:23

All revealing some stunning, intricate detail.

0:37:250:37:28

The seat has been created using teak timber,

0:37:290:37:32

and the backrest is a work of genius on its own.

0:37:320:37:35

It has a purpose-built frame of reclaimed iron,

0:37:350:37:39

onto which is mounted an old advertising sign

0:37:390:37:42

dug up from a garden.

0:37:420:37:44

It's unique, but what will Sarah think?

0:37:440:37:46

-Hey!

-Hey, Sarah, you caught me sitting down on the job.

0:37:480:37:53

-So...

-Oh, my word.

-Just about ready for you.

0:37:530:37:57

And I'm pretty happy with it.

0:37:570:37:59

I think it's lovely.

0:37:590:38:01

Look at that sign on it.

0:38:010:38:03

-Beautiful.

-It's a heavy piece.

0:38:030:38:06

But I think I'm glad you brought me these bench ends.

0:38:060:38:09

They have really cleaned up.

0:38:090:38:10

They've got so much more detail on them, haven't they?

0:38:100:38:13

They are, they're really great,

0:38:130:38:14

but the were layers and layers of paint,

0:38:140:38:16

they were so stubborn. They did not want to come off.

0:38:160:38:18

So, in the end, I actually had them sandblasted.

0:38:180:38:21

Right.

0:38:210:38:22

And on the back, I've made a frame out of some old metalwork

0:38:220:38:25

which came from the scrapyard.

0:38:250:38:26

It was covered in layers of rust.

0:38:260:38:29

I sanded all of that back and gave the metal the same finish.

0:38:290:38:32

The new metal that I've put on it,

0:38:320:38:34

I've given the same finish as the old metal,

0:38:340:38:36

the cast-iron bench ends that you brought me.

0:38:360:38:39

And I've used solid teak on the base and on the back.

0:38:390:38:43

And obviously, the backrest is an old advertising sign,

0:38:430:38:46

so it was a bit of task making this one.

0:38:460:38:49

But I'd happily keep it if you don't want it, Sarah.

0:38:490:38:53

I'm afraid I'll have to relieve you of it,

0:38:530:38:55

cos I think this is going to go on and find a new home really quickly.

0:38:550:38:58

It's such a strong piece of styling.

0:38:580:39:01

So, how much has all of that cost?

0:39:010:39:04

I did go a little bit over budget,

0:39:040:39:05

because the sandblasting had to be done in the end,

0:39:050:39:09

it did cost an additional £60.

0:39:090:39:11

So, it's 260, all in.

0:39:110:39:13

I definitely think I'm going to be seeing profit on that,

0:39:130:39:15

it's a lovely piece. Thank you so much for doing it.

0:39:150:39:17

-Thank you. See you.

-Bye!

0:39:170:39:20

Well done, Rupert. I think she liked it.

0:39:200:39:23

Well, I could have been picking up

0:39:260:39:28

a traditional, industrial-looking bench.

0:39:280:39:30

But what Rupert has created, well, that's unique.

0:39:300:39:33

Yeah, Sarah might not even get this one.

0:39:350:39:37

I might keep hold of this.

0:39:370:39:38

I could fit this at home, definitely.

0:39:400:39:42

When Sarah met up with Tom at the Altrincham tip,

0:39:440:39:47

his heavy metal caught her eye.

0:39:470:39:50

Are they the old bench ends, are they?

0:39:500:39:52

They're old Victorian bench ends, actually.

0:39:520:39:54

The bench ends had originally belonged to Tom.

0:39:540:39:57

How long have you had those, then?

0:39:580:39:59

In my garden, I've left them there about

0:39:590:40:02

-two and a half, three years now.

-OK.

0:40:020:40:05

Giving them a new lease of life was an exciting prospect.

0:40:050:40:09

I'm certainly looking forward to seeing what it becomes

0:40:100:40:13

and exactly what they've done with them, you know what I mean?

0:40:130:40:17

Well, Tom, I don't think you'll be disappointed

0:40:170:40:20

when you see this bodacious beauty of a bench.

0:40:200:40:23

Sarah included the bench at her barn sale at home.

0:40:250:40:29

And amongst those casting admiring glances were Susan and William.

0:40:290:40:33

It's very different. And it will fit exactly in the place

0:40:330:40:38

that we want a bench back at home.

0:40:380:40:42

Never one to miss an opportunity,

0:40:420:40:44

Sarah was quick to accept William's offer.

0:40:440:40:47

And it wasn't long before the bench was heading for a new home.

0:40:470:40:50

Now, Sarah has headed to Sale, just outside Manchester,

0:40:510:40:55

to show Tom what became of his bench ends, and hand over the profit.

0:40:550:40:59

-Hello!

-Hi, hello.

-How are you?

0:41:030:41:05

-I'm fine, how are you?

-Nice to see you, Tom.

0:41:050:41:08

-Nice to see you.

-I said I'd to come and find you.

0:41:080:41:11

Because you dropped off something amazing at the tip.

0:41:110:41:14

Right, and so, I really couldn't think of what you'd do with it.

0:41:140:41:20

It was heavy, I know that. Really heavy.

0:41:200:41:22

Yeah, they were such useful, beautiful, chunky things,

0:41:220:41:25

we decided we'd make a bench out of them.

0:41:250:41:27

In fact, we went to Margate,

0:41:270:41:29

where I work with a fantastic guy called Rupert.

0:41:290:41:32

I've got some pictures here to show you what he actually did.

0:41:320:41:35

-Are you ready?

-Yeah.

0:41:350:41:37

-Is that a surprise?

-Unbelievable.

0:41:370:41:39

I love this Sunlight Soap thing.

0:41:390:41:41

I think it's absolutely beautiful,

0:41:410:41:43

I think you've done a tremendous job.

0:41:430:41:44

You know, it's nice to see something like that,

0:41:440:41:46

because, I mean, what was I going to do?

0:41:460:41:48

Just throw them, wasn't I?

0:41:480:41:50

I actually took it home and had a barn sale

0:41:500:41:53

where I invited lots of people to come along and have a look at it.

0:41:530:41:55

And a lovely couple just fell in love with it.

0:41:550:41:58

They bought it for their sitting room,

0:41:580:42:00

it's never going outside again.

0:42:000:42:01

And I have got £135 here.

0:42:010:42:04

-Right.

-For your old bench ends, that's for you.

0:42:040:42:07

That's fantastic.

0:42:070:42:08

That's fantastic, it was worth going to the tip that day.

0:42:080:42:11

-What might you do with it?

-Well, to be honest with you,

0:42:110:42:14

I'm going to do my own garden in the back and everything.

0:42:140:42:16

I mean, because I'm retired now,

0:42:160:42:18

so the thing is, I'd like somewhere to sit.

0:42:180:42:21

And I've got a granddaughter as well, help out a little bit.

0:42:210:42:24

Your old garden bench is going to refurbish this garden,

0:42:240:42:27

that couldn't be better, could it?

0:42:270:42:28

No, it couldn't be. My granddaughter will be happy,

0:42:280:42:30

she can get them nails done that she wants to do, or something.

0:42:300:42:32

-Oh, you're a softie, aren't you?

-I am, yeah.

0:42:320:42:34

Brilliant, thank you so much.

0:42:340:42:36

-And thank you, Sarah.

-It's really good to catch up.

0:42:360:42:38

-Absolute pleasure.

-Thank you.

-Bye-bye.

-Bye-bye.

0:42:380:42:41

Rupert's total costs for making the bench came to £260.

0:42:410:42:46

Sarah sold it at her barn sale for a cracking £395,

0:42:460:42:52

leaving Tom £135 to do up his garden and treat his granddaughter.

0:42:520:42:58

Sarah salvaged three items from the Altrincham tip.

0:43:040:43:08

Norman worked on the old display cabinet,

0:43:080:43:11

Rupert revived the old cast-iron bench ends,

0:43:110:43:15

and Sarah aced her mannequin project.

0:43:150:43:18

Well, another three fantastic transformations

0:43:190:43:21

and the chance to hand back some money for nothing too.

0:43:210:43:24

Just goes to show there really is treasure to be found at the tip.

0:43:240:43:28

After a successful day of salvaging at the recycling centre in Altrincham, Greater Manchester, upcycling expert Sarah Moore hopes to generate some profit from the three hidden gems she has gathered. It is up to master carpenter Norman Wilkinson to reimagine an old wall cabinet into something special. Furniture designer Rupert Blanchard is hoping he can create a top-end piece from a pair of metal bench ends. Sarah takes on the challenge of restyling a fashion mannequin, but can she make it stylish enough to sell for a profit?


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