Episode 27 Money for Nothing


Episode 27

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Transcript


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You haven't got anything I can recycle, have you?

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-How do you make money for nothing?

-Wow, look at that!

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The answer could be hiding in over 20 million tonnes

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of household waste thrown out by us every year.

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Don't get rid of it too quickly. This stuff looks amazing.

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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 money-making 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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-I don't know what to say.

-Did you drag it here behind the truck?

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

-It's enormous!

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-..valuable...

-Isn't that fantastic?

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..and, hopefully, saleable items.

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It's just given me goose bumps.

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If Sarah is successful, then she can hand the profits back

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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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Thank you very much! Marvellous!

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Welcome to Walsall Recycling Centre near Birmingham.

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When it comes to filling skips, this place is fast and furious.

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Sarah's on a mission to turn your trash into hard cash.

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It's like the floodgates have opened cos people are pouring in here,

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but I just need to find those little bits

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that I know are going to float a profit.

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But before you zip down to your local tip, be warned -

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Sarah has special permission to seek out three items

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that she can rejuvenate, repurpose and sell on for a profit.

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First to pique Sarah's interest is Jenny.

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But has she a car full of possibilities?

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-Are you having a clearout?

-Just a little.

-Are you on the move?

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-No, we're just having a big sort-out.

-OK.

-All the rubbish.

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Looks like you've got some interesting bits and pieces.

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We've got some bits and pieces there, yes.

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Where's it all come from then? Is it the garage?

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-Attic, one bedroom, one junk room and that's it.

-OK.

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Do you think there's anything here we might be able to recycle?

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I don't know. I don't know what we got - all sorts of bits and pieces.

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These are quite cute, aren't they?

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-Yeah, they're great.

-A pair of them.

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Do you know when they were last used?

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-Probably 12, 18 months ago.

-OK.

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Cos we stick them on the top of the cupboard

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-when we're watching telly in bed.

-Oh, OK.

-It's the easy way to do it.

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Have you still got the bits for them?

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-I don't know. It's amongst this lot, if we have.

-OK.

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Um, they've got a kind of retro appeal, haven't they?

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-They have, haven't they?

-I quite like those.

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I'm just wondering if there's anything else in here

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that might go with them.

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-Can I have a quick rummage?

-Don't know - have a rummage.

-Fab.

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-Might keep that.

-You carry on. You know what you're after. I don't.

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-You never know what you can do with stuff like this.

-No.

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-It looks quite interesting.

-You never know.

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I think that might be my lot.

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If I can make anything out of that, shall I give you a shout?

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-You do that.

-Fantastic! Thank you ever so much.

-It's rubbish to me.

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And to the rest of us, Jenny, and to the rest of us.

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I'm absolutely gobsmacked she wanted it,

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but if she can use it, then fine.

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I couldn't think what she might do with it, but there you go.

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This is certainly a random selection of stuff,

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but these TVs are just so cute.

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Everybody else has got, like, 52-inch ones

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and these ones are about 5 inches.

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I think they've got a personality all of their own

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and I know somebody who just loves this type of thing.

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I must say, it's a relief to hear you say that, Sarah.

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Introducing Mark Haig, robo-chap.

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Mark uses his years of engineering know-how

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to create one-of-a-kind bespoke robots from just about anything.

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My dad was a clock repairer

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and I would sit in front of a three-bar electric fire,

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as a seven-year-old kid, and I'd get some bits of clocks from my dad,

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get bits of Meccano and I'd make some kind of mad robot.

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And 40 years later, I'm still doing the same stuff.

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To make these mechanical marvels come to life,

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each one even comes with its own back story.

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I can create these fun stories that go with the robots

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and the combination of having this interesting story

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that goes with it makes for a really unique object.

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And if anyone can make something unique with all this, it's Mark.

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Righty-ho, that's one off the list and two to go.

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And, while some items are well protected...

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-Anything in there for me? No?

-DOG BARKS

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..others are not protected enough.

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SARAH PLAYS THE VIOLIN

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I've never played a violin before, can you tell?

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Yes, we can tell.

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Could Martin and Annette have something more palatable

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in their trailer? Something to bag Sarah some cash, perhaps.

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I can see clouds of woodworm dust coming out of that.

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What are you throwing away?

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Er, it's basically wood chippings from an old shed

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-that's been stored for probably 30 years.

-OK.

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-So...

-Not yours then?

-It's not mine.

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-No, we bought the house and now, we're clearing the shed out.

-OK.

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There is definitely something active in your shed, isn't there?

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There is, yeah. It's good firewood, if anybody wanted it for firewood

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but, other than that, for us, it's got no use and, er, it's in the tip.

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What about the bags though?

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I don't know where he's got those from, to be quite honest.

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"Michigan beans" - that doesn't sound like Birmingham, does it?

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Well, odd though it might seem,

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those dusty old sacks - because they've got

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that original writing on them, people love that kind of thing.

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-Yeah.

-So, amongst all the stuff that's coming out,

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those would be quite interesting to see if I could salvage them

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-and make something out of them.

-Yeah, you're more than welcome,

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because all I was going to do was put them in the skip anyway.

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OK, well, I'm going to fold those up and say thank you very much.

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-You're welcome.

-Put those in my little pile of treasures.

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Little pile of treasures? Let's not get ahead of ourselves, Sarah.

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If I can do something with them - I'm not sure what it will be -

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can I come and see you at your house and show you what I've done?

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-Yeah.

-Yeah.

-No problem at all.

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We're surprised that Sarah wanted the sacks.

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I mean, they're interesting enough with the terminology on them

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and that, but what she's going to do with them, who knows?

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A sack's a sack, isn't it?

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You're not wrong there, Martin. A sack is, indeed, a sack.

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I keep asking myself, "Why did I save these?"

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They are moth-eaten, they are dirty, they are well past their best.

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But there is one redeeming feature. It's the typography.

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It's American,

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this fantastic really strong circle with all the writing on it.

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It's all about beans.

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There's something about it that is just fantastic.

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And, luckily for us,

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Sarah knows a guy who would almost certainly agree with her.

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If you want a bag, then go and see Neil Wragg.

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Neil is a whizz with a sewing machine.

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His mission is to rescue tough and rugged materials

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otherwise headed for the skip.

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Neil turns them into high-end holdalls that will last a lifetime.

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These days, there's too much going into landfill.

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We've got a finite amount of space where we can bury stuff

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so, if I can prevent it from going into landfill

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and make something beautiful from it, that's the plan.

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Most of the bags I make are from old sofas.

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It could be old army tents or scout tents.

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If I can get a needle through it, then I can turn it into a bag,

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and a bag that looks like it would cost

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hundreds or thousands of pounds from the high street.

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With all the holes in these bags,

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getting a needle through them will not be difficult.

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Making them worth something is a different story altogether.

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Two items loaded into the Money For Nothing van.

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Now it's time for Sarah to search for her own pound-making project.

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Maybe. It depends how old it is though. So, 1950s stuff.

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Isn't he friendly? Right, buddy, you'd better get in there.

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I've got some work to do.

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Yes, you do, Sarah, and, hopefully,

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it will be Barry's furniture that piques your interest.

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-Hiya.

-Hiya.

-They're nice. Are they going that way?

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-Well, that's the intention, yes.

-Where have they come from?

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We're basically clearing out a relative's house.

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-She passed away recently.

-Oh, no, I'm sorry to hear that.

-That's OK.

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They are lovely. They don't appeal to you?

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-They wouldn't fit into your house?

-We've got too much rubbish as it is.

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I really like things like this.

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-I think they're far too nice to end up in there.

-It is a shame.

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But if it's not your house... Oh, look at that, look.

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-So, these, probably bought in the 1950s?

-I would say that, yeah.

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These are a cracking pair of chairs. If you didn't mind me taking them,

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-rather than ending up in there, I'd be really pleased.

-Please do.

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-It seems a such a shame to throw them.

-And what about that?

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Did that have those lovely spider plants or something in it?

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-Yes, full of spider plants.

-Yes, it's just such a classic look.

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As a little group - a pair of retro chairs

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and a lovely little plant stand -

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they're the kind of thing that people love, this retro look.

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-That's right.

-Particularly those sort of 1950 legs.

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-Can I take them away?

-Please do.

-Fantastic!

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Can I keep in touch as well,

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because I'd love to be able to show you

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-what happened to them and where they go to?

-Yes.

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-Would that be all right?

-That would be fine, yes.

-Fantastic!

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Well done, Sarah - two chairs and a plant stand. Good luck with that.

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What are Barry's thoughts?

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I suspect that Sarah will probably renovate them now,

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cos they're worth a little bit of attention, especially the planter.

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That's quite a classic little item, that is,

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and the chairs are very nice as well.

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Have you noticed these chairs are Ercol?

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These are British-made, stylish, collectible.

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There are heaps of people out there who absolutely love this furniture

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and, grouped together with this '50s plant stand, they look fantastic.

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There you have it. Three items found.

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Mark will get switched on with Jenny's mini TVs and bits.

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Neil will grapple with Martin's printed sacks.

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And Sarah will tackle Barry's chairs and plant stand.

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They might have wanted to bin it, but I want to bling it.

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Now's the time to turn those diamonds in the rough

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into money-making gems.

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Manchester, hailed for its industrial past.

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It is now becoming a thriving hub

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for furniture designers and digital artists,

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as well as many others from the creative industries.

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One such gentleman is Mark,

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who's waiting patiently for Sarah's challenge.

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I'm looking forward to Sarah coming down to my studio.

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Hopefully, it's something metallic that I can work with,

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but I'm prepared to work with whatever she gives me.

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Glad to hear you say that, Mark.

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Well, I've picked up some random stuff at the recycling centre

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in the past, but this lot has to take the biscuit.

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I've brought it to Mark and I'm hoping he's going to recycle this

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into a robot with attitude.

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-Mark?

-Hello.

-Hi.

-Hello, Sarah, how are you?

-I'm really well.

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-How you doing?

-I'm very well, thank you.

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-What have you brought me this time?

-I saw these and, obviously,

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-I immediately thought of you.

-Hmm, that's nice.

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-It is nice, isn't it?

-I like that. That's like a laser gun.

-It is.

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Actually, it was these little bad boys that made me think...

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I just thought they look like little space men, like helmets.

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-Definitely.

-So, I thought if anybody can do anything with them,

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it's going to be you. What do you reckon?

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Yeah, I reckon I can build with those. I'm looking on the back.

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-It's got a video input on the back.

-Right, that's a good thing then?

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It's a good thing. Um...

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-That one hasn't.

-OK.

-So, I don't know what I'd do with that one.

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I could make something with it, but this is my preference.

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OK, well, let's pop that one down there.

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When I saw them, I thought they had a bit of attitude.

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I was thinking maybe some punk styling or something like that.

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But I bought you these other bits in case they're useful.

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Put them in the bin, add them to the stash, if not,

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but there's definitely something about these little bits...

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-They looked quite cool in the...

-Like that?

-Yeah.

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-I think something like that might work.

-OK, I like that.

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But it's totally up to you because I know you are the robot master.

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Robot master he may be, Sarah,

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but what happens when the robots take over

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and Mark becomes their slave?

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Right, no more coffee for me today.

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Any little surprises or shall I wait till I come back?

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I think you should wait.

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I think there's something else I might be able to do with it

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to make it a bit more interesting, but leave it with me.

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Hit me with a ballpark budget then.

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What kind of price are we looking at

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to make that an all-singing, all-dancing new robot?

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-Well, he's going to end up being sort of that kind of size.

-OK.

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-So, he's going to be quite a big fellow. About 150 quid?

-OK.

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Something like that. 160 quid?

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Yeah, I'd say that budget's absolutely fine. I love the '80s,

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so as much '80s singing and dancing, and that would be fantastic.

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-OK.

-Thank you so much.

-No problem.

-Bye-bye.

-OK, bye now.

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Well, Mark's channelling the 1980s.

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I've always loved a bit of Dire Straits,

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maybe a bit of Money For Nothing.

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I can see that robot is going to be right on track.

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It's going to be an interesting one. It's working with plastic,

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which isn't the perfect thing that I like to work with,

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but I've got some nice ideas for it in my head

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so, fingers crossed, it should go well.

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I have complete faith in you, sir.

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Mark has a budget of £150

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to create an '80s-themed robot from this tray of bits and bobs.

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Am I excited about this one? AS ROBOT: Affirmative!

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Marlow, Buckinghamshire - a town with a rich history,

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going back 1,000 years.

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Around 30 miles west of central London,

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its ideal location on the River Thames makes it home

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to one of Britain's premier rowing clubs, producing Olympic oarsmen,

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like Sir Steve Redgrave.

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But are Sarah's printed sacks going to seem

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like an Olympian task for Neil?

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Always looking forward to new challenges.

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Wouldn't be here if it wasn't fun

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doing something that was out of your comfort zone.

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So, slightly nervous to see what bizarre thing she's going to bring.

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Here I am in super-smart quintessentially English Marlow

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with an absolute load of old rubbish.

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I know Neil's got a sense of humour.

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I just hope he finds something to laugh about with this lot.

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-Hiya.

-Hi, Sarah, how are you?

-I'm really well, how are you?

-Excellent.

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-I'm very nervous.

-Are you?

-Yes.

-Why?

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I don't know what you've got in your hands.

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-I'm hiding it, it's that bad.

-Oh, no!

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So, what are you hiding behind your back, Sarah?

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-What do we have?

-Hi...

-Hi, well, they're sacks. We've got sacks.

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They've got a lovely print on them and they are covered in...

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-I haven't touched them at all. They are tip-fresh.

-Yeah.

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And they are covered in cobwebs.

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But they have got beautiful print on them.

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Where do we think they've come from?

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These have been used as wood store for 30 years.

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And before that, they came from Michigan.

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Yeah, they are virtually unusable.

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-There's probably enough here to make...

-Oh, no, look at that.

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-Do you like it?

-Yeah.

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We've got "Michigan Casserole and Michigan Navy Beans".

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-They look great. It's an ordinary sack otherwise, isn't it?

-Yeah.

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It's a very standard sack, but with the logos, they're lovely.

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I must say Neil's enthusiasm for the old sacks

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is putting my mind at ease

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and getting me excited about what he'll do with them.

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You could just keep things really low cost on this.

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Keep it simple and just make them into simple shopping bags,

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adding a lining to it, leather strap, you know.

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It doesn't add any extra time to do this,

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but you've got something that...

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There's not going to be any more of these on the planet.

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That sounds great. There's three there

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that look like they might work. That one is shoddy.

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-Yeah, maybe not.

-And that one - maybe some of it.

-That one's fine.

0:17:450:17:49

So, if we're looking at potentially four bags here,

0:17:490:17:52

what kind of money do you want me to leave you with as a whole

0:17:520:17:56

for transforming that into four, or whichever way you want to price it?

0:17:560:17:59

Well, if I'm going to make something very simple,

0:17:590:18:02

-a simple shopping bag, you're looking at a tenner each.

-Perfect.

0:18:020:18:06

I tell you what, I'll give you 50 quid

0:18:060:18:08

-and see what you can do with the offcuts.

-OK.

0:18:080:18:10

-You'll think of something.

-Yes, OK. Thank you.

0:18:100:18:13

A sack's a sack and they're standard sacks,

0:18:160:18:19

but the fact that she's found something that is utterly unique

0:18:190:18:22

is very exciting, because the logo's really cool.

0:18:220:18:25

So, it is something that not many people are going to own.

0:18:250:18:28

Four people, possibly, on the planet.

0:18:280:18:31

There are not many people as enthusiastic

0:18:310:18:33

and creative as Neil Wragg.

0:18:330:18:35

He seems like he's going to take up the challenge with relish

0:18:350:18:38

and I cannot wait to see what he does with those old sacks.

0:18:380:18:41

But with a budget of just £50,

0:18:430:18:45

will they be strong enough to deliver the goods?

0:18:450:18:48

In beautiful Sussex, Sarah is about to begin her own challenge

0:18:570:19:02

and she's happy to be working on a furniture favourite.

0:19:020:19:06

Always lovely when Ercol shows up at the recycling centre.

0:19:060:19:09

It's a sweet pair of chairs here,

0:19:090:19:11

and this plant stand is oozing 1960s.

0:19:110:19:15

But I want to make these really sing.

0:19:150:19:17

I thought loads of colour on them

0:19:170:19:19

and, perhaps, turning this plant stand

0:19:190:19:21

into something slightly more useful, as well as being beautiful.

0:19:210:19:24

First things - they need a really good cleanup.

0:19:240:19:26

Ercol dates back to the 1920s,

0:19:300:19:33

and it was established in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.

0:19:330:19:37

The company's ability to perfect steam-bending their woods

0:19:370:19:41

took them into mass production.

0:19:410:19:44

Their furniture became a hit in post-war Britain.

0:19:450:19:47

You can't beat a lovely bit of British-made Ercol.

0:19:470:19:51

Fantastic legs, beech frame on the seat and really stylish,

0:19:510:19:56

so, if I can paint them and get rid of this tired old

0:19:560:19:58

orange-looking varnish, I think they'll look really smart.

0:19:580:20:02

I'll be the judge of that, Sarah.

0:20:020:20:04

Scrubbing done, time for some painting.

0:20:040:20:08

I've got some lovely colours here and I think I'm just going to paint

0:20:080:20:11

each individual element a different colour and see how it turns out.

0:20:110:20:14

My plan is to paint it, rub it down a bit so it smoothes it

0:20:140:20:18

and makes it look really soft, and then lacquer the whole lot,

0:20:180:20:21

so it's got a sort of semi-gloss to it.

0:20:210:20:23

I like that bit best.

0:20:240:20:26

To get the best result when painting Ercol,

0:20:330:20:36

treat it very gently for around 30 days after completion.

0:20:360:20:40

This is because paint doesn't reach its hardest point till then.

0:20:430:20:46

I love colours together.

0:20:480:20:50

I love pinks, I love greens. I love them to be bright and fresh.

0:20:500:20:54

I like natural, beautiful, mossy colours.

0:20:540:20:56

But, most of all,

0:20:560:20:57

I love stuff that makes you really happy when you look at it.

0:20:570:21:01

Yeah, like a very colourful picture of me, for example. I get it.

0:21:010:21:06

You can update Ercol with colour and it looks really good.

0:21:060:21:09

It's not everybody's cup of tea, cos some people like it really pure,

0:21:090:21:12

just as it came off the factory line.

0:21:120:21:15

But, for me, if it sells it and it makes it look lovely,

0:21:150:21:17

then I'm happy to paint it.

0:21:170:21:19

I've got a bit of experimenting to do,

0:21:200:21:23

but I think this will probably work.

0:21:230:21:25

What do you reckon? A bit of that next?

0:21:270:21:29

Probably best I leave the colour choices to you, Sarah.

0:21:290:21:33

It's as good as any.

0:21:350:21:37

Sarah has spent £10 so far on materials

0:21:370:21:41

and, hopefully, this colourful approach is the bright idea

0:21:410:21:45

that will help us turn a profit.

0:21:450:21:47

While Sarah cracks on, it's time to head to Manchester,

0:21:520:21:56

where Mark has begun the process which will, hopefully, introduce

0:21:560:22:02

a new character to the world.

0:22:020:22:04

So, I normally work by putting my parts down on the table,

0:22:040:22:09

seeing how it looks as a sort of two-dimensional sculpture.

0:22:090:22:13

1980s kind of feel of a body.

0:22:140:22:17

Some arms. Something like that, just to get a feel.

0:22:190:22:24

And some legs, something like that.

0:22:240:22:27

But, to be honest with you, as I'm looking at it,

0:22:280:22:31

I'm not really feeling it as a sculpture.

0:22:310:22:33

It doesn't really appeal to me. So, I'm going to go against Sarah,

0:22:330:22:37

which I might get into trouble for, and I'm going to change the design.

0:22:370:22:41

I've got to do what I feel, so that's what I'm going to do.

0:22:410:22:44

Mark, we trust you. Go for it.

0:22:440:22:46

Even though the TV is '80s plastic,

0:22:510:22:54

Mark believes that a steampunk theme is the way forward.

0:22:540:22:59

Steampunk is a term that originated from science fiction novels.

0:22:590:23:03

It takes its inspiration from the Industrial Revolution,

0:23:030:23:08

Victorian Britain and the American Wild West.

0:23:080:23:11

I've got various wooden boxes around and things.

0:23:110:23:15

Somewhere around here, I've got...

0:23:160:23:18

..something that is... the right size.

0:23:200:23:25

It's already got that kind of steampunk feel to it,

0:23:250:23:28

with the dark wood, but actually, I'm going to dress it as well,

0:23:280:23:32

so there'll be dials on there and knobs

0:23:320:23:34

and sort of steampunk dressings on there.

0:23:340:23:36

At the moment, I'm just getting it to scale.

0:23:360:23:38

Which is where the fun part of the process really kicks in.

0:23:380:23:42

I'm just going to go to my leg collection.

0:23:440:23:47

A leg collection - every robot maker's dream.

0:23:470:23:52

I'm feeling that a lot more. It's looking a lot nicer.

0:23:520:23:55

As a scale, I'm quite happy with that.

0:23:550:23:58

Once Mark is happy with the scale,

0:23:580:24:01

it's a case of layering on parts

0:24:010:24:03

from his treasure trove of bits and pieces

0:24:030:24:06

to help give the robot character.

0:24:060:24:09

I'm going to put the legs on.

0:24:090:24:10

That entails drilling through the tin on here.

0:24:100:24:13

I'm ambidextrous, which always comes in useful

0:24:150:24:18

-when you're building robots.

-Very handy.

0:24:180:24:21

HE GRUNTS WITH EFFORT

0:24:230:24:25

Looks like we've got ourselves half a robot,

0:24:250:24:28

so I'm going to have a look in my arm collection

0:24:280:24:31

and see if I can find something else.

0:24:310:24:33

Arm collection - also very handy.

0:24:330:24:37

Maybe they have a kind of steampunk feel to them.

0:24:380:24:42

And just temporarily, I'm going to put the head on the robot,

0:24:520:24:56

just to see where we're up to as a sculpture.

0:24:560:25:00

Yeah, it needs a neck, but it's getting there.

0:25:020:25:06

It's looking something like what I was expecting it to look like.

0:25:060:25:09

I like this steampunk look. Might even give it a try myself.

0:25:090:25:14

Over in Marlow, Buckinghamshire,

0:25:230:25:26

Neil Wragg is about to begin the task of producing bags for life

0:25:260:25:31

from old sacks that had no future at all.

0:25:310:25:34

It's a lovely looking logo, although they are obviously old,

0:25:340:25:37

which adds to their charm.

0:25:370:25:39

So, I'm going to have to do something to maybe reinforce,

0:25:390:25:43

to avoid these holes, the fraying bits, and make a bag

0:25:430:25:49

that is going to stand the test of time, as well as look nice.

0:25:490:25:52

Good plan, Neil. Let's do this.

0:25:540:25:57

We're going to use these old curtains

0:25:570:26:00

to line the inside of the bag.

0:26:000:26:02

Neil has decided to use curtains as the lining material,

0:26:040:26:08

as it is soft but strong fabric that will not tear,

0:26:080:26:11

and has the Brucey bonus of feeling nice to the touch. Excellent!

0:26:110:26:17

Relatively simple, just sewing the two right sides together,

0:26:180:26:21

and then I'll turn them inside out

0:26:210:26:23

and that way, we've got no raw edges, it's nice and neat.

0:26:230:26:26

A very simple bag that will look quite different

0:26:260:26:29

to any other bag for life you get.

0:26:290:26:32

Right, I think this is ready for another iron.

0:26:360:26:39

Well, the combination of the old grotty sacks and the pretty curtains

0:26:420:26:46

is going to look pretty good, I think.

0:26:460:26:48

I'm going to have to take your word for that, Neil.

0:26:480:26:51

Right, we've got the sack, we've got the lining now.

0:26:510:26:54

We're going to stitch it inside out to make the bag

0:26:540:26:59

and then just attach some handles.

0:26:590:27:01

Neil is wonderfully reassuring,

0:27:020:27:05

but will these frayed old bags play their part

0:27:050:27:08

in becoming easy on the eye

0:27:080:27:10

and strong enough to make Sarah a profit?

0:27:100:27:13

In Sussex, Sarah is hard at work,

0:27:250:27:27

putting the finishing touches to the chairs and the plant stand.

0:27:270:27:32

I've got some really fine copper sheet here

0:27:320:27:34

and I want put some little caps on the end of the front two legs,

0:27:340:27:37

just to make them look really beautiful.

0:27:370:27:40

Any enhancement in the beauty department is always welcome.

0:27:410:27:45

When Sarah found this trio,

0:27:470:27:49

they each possessed a one-way ticket to Dumpsville.

0:27:490:27:53

But not any more!

0:27:530:27:55

The two chairs are now colour-tastic,

0:28:060:28:09

with variations of blue leading the way.

0:28:090:28:12

Copper sheets round off the spectacle,

0:28:130:28:16

as well as linking it with the contrasting copper spray

0:28:160:28:20

covering the plant stand.

0:28:200:28:22

Good job, Sarah.

0:28:230:28:25

I reckon these blues are working really well together.

0:28:250:28:27

I'm a big blue fan and I think getting rid

0:28:270:28:30

of those softer, babyish colours has really sharpened these up.

0:28:300:28:34

Now we've got a plant stand and a pair of chairs.

0:28:340:28:36

I think they can either be sold all together

0:28:360:28:38

or, perhaps, just the pair of chairs separately.

0:28:380:28:40

But time now to get these out there, see who wants them.

0:28:400:28:44

Sarah first caught sight of this lot

0:28:490:28:52

as Barry was about to consign them for eternity to the skip.

0:28:520:28:56

I really like things like this and I think they're far too nice

0:28:560:28:59

-to end up in there.

-It is a shame, yes.

0:28:590:29:01

A shame indeed.

0:29:010:29:03

Until of course, our Sarah saw their potential

0:29:030:29:06

and, with a colourful flick of the wrist, it didn't take long for Sarah

0:29:060:29:12

to tempt some buyers from her varied client base.

0:29:120:29:15

The two chairs sold to The Packhouse,

0:29:150:29:17

a vintage and antiques store in Surrey.

0:29:170:29:20

And the plant stand was bought by River from Sixth Link,

0:29:200:29:25

a vintage and retro retailer in Shropshire.

0:29:250:29:28

I think I've got a client in mind for this one.

0:29:280:29:30

A friend who I used to go to school with, she's just opened up

0:29:300:29:33

a florist in Ireland and I think this piece is going straight to her.

0:29:330:29:36

Now Sarah is on route to Barry's to hand over some cash.

0:29:370:29:41

-Hiya, Barry.

-Hello, how are you doing?

-I'm really well.

0:29:490:29:52

-Lovely to see you again.

-Nice to meet you again.

-And you.

0:29:520:29:55

Now, you were being a really helpful relative when I last saw you.

0:29:550:29:58

-That's right, yes.

-Did you wonder what might happen

0:29:580:30:00

when I took away your old Ercol chairs and your plant stand?

0:30:000:30:03

I'm still actually wondering what's going to happen to them.

0:30:030:30:06

Well, I thought they were lovely.

0:30:060:30:08

They were really stylish and were something I worked on.

0:30:080:30:10

I've got some pictures here to show you what I've done with them.

0:30:100:30:13

-Are you ready for this?

-Yes.

0:30:130:30:14

-Your chairs and your plant stand now look like that.

-Oh, wow!

0:30:140:30:17

Wow, that's really, er...stunning!

0:30:170:30:20

Basically, I've given them a fresh, new look,

0:30:200:30:23

some copper tips to their legs,

0:30:230:30:25

and I've planted up the plant stand so it looks decorative.

0:30:250:30:29

-What do you think to that?

-Brilliant.

0:30:290:30:30

That's actually more than I anticipated.

0:30:300:30:33

-I have managed to sell them and I've got here £115 for you.

-Wow.

0:30:330:30:37

Oh, thank you very much. That's actually... I'm stunned. Thank you.

0:30:370:30:41

What might you do with £115 that you weren't expecting?

0:30:410:30:44

We've got a holiday coming up, so it will probably go towards that.

0:30:440:30:47

That's fantastic. I loved working on your chairs.

0:30:470:30:50

I hope you have a great time on holiday. Really good to catch up.

0:30:500:30:52

-Thank you very much.

-My pleasure. Bye-bye.

-Thank you. Bye.

0:30:520:30:55

Sarah spent £10 working her magic on the chairs and plant stand.

0:30:570:31:02

They were all sold for £125,

0:31:020:31:06

with the £115 profit going towards a holiday for Barry.

0:31:060:31:11

In Manchester, Mark is giving his robot

0:31:160:31:19

a once-over before Sarah arrives.

0:31:190:31:21

Although it's not exactly what we discussed,

0:31:210:31:23

I hope she still likes it. It's quite a beast

0:31:230:31:25

but he's quite handsome, so, yeah, I hope she likes it.

0:31:250:31:28

I'm back in Manchester to find what kind of magic

0:31:290:31:32

Mark has been able to work on my skip bits.

0:31:320:31:34

I'm hoping to meet a lovely new robot.

0:31:340:31:36

When Sarah picked up this little basket of rubbish,

0:31:380:31:42

she hoped that Mark could turn it into something unique.

0:31:420:31:45

And Mark certainly has delivered.

0:31:520:31:55

Feet made from lampshades,

0:31:550:31:57

arms made from cooking utensils from the 1940s,

0:31:570:32:01

rubber from a car suspension -

0:32:010:32:04

all put together with imagination and skill,

0:32:040:32:07

resulting not just in a robot, but in a personality.

0:32:070:32:11

I wonder what the little guy's called.

0:32:120:32:15

Hi, Mark. Oh, wow!

0:32:150:32:17

-How are you?

-I'm fine, thank you. This is Smurf Tickler.

0:32:170:32:22

Smurf Tickler, my friends,

0:32:220:32:24

is a robot who tickles little blue Smurfs, and I kind of like him.

0:32:240:32:29

I love Smurf Tickler. He's amazing. Look at that!

0:32:290:32:33

-Originally, I built him with...on this wooden box.

-Right.

0:32:330:32:38

But it was too thin.

0:32:380:32:40

The head's quite wide, so depth-wise, it didn't work.

0:32:400:32:44

So, I found this baking tray and it was exactly the right size.

0:32:440:32:48

I love the way you combine things, so it looks completely appropriate.

0:32:480:32:52

They feel like they're all of an era.

0:32:520:32:54

There's something really cool about him. Was he tricky?

0:32:540:32:57

He was tricky to build, yeah.

0:32:570:32:59

He may have been tricky to build,

0:33:010:33:04

but that hasn't stopped Mark from including a little surprise.

0:33:040:33:08

-There's a media player inside there, so he does something.

-OK.

-He talks.

0:33:080:33:12

-Does he?

-Yes. If I press "Play".

-OK.

0:33:120:33:15

-ROBOT:

-Hello, what's your name?

0:33:150:33:17

-My name's Sarah. Hi.

-That's a nice name. Mine's Smurf Tickler.

0:33:170:33:22

-Where do you come from?

-Just near Chichester.

0:33:220:33:24

-What do you like about where you come from?

-The green fields, mainly.

0:33:240:33:29

-That's wonderful.

-That is just so funny.

0:33:290:33:31

What a lovely idea to add that element to it.

0:33:310:33:34

Will the person who buys it be able

0:33:340:33:36

to programme their own stuff onto it? Is that possible?

0:33:360:33:39

-There's a media player inside there and it's driven by a USB stick.

-OK.

0:33:390:33:43

So, you can put anything on that USB stick

0:33:430:33:46

and it will show it on there

0:33:460:33:48

and it will play the audio out the speaker as well.

0:33:480:33:50

I have to hand it to Mark.

0:33:500:33:52

Not only has he delivered a unique robot

0:33:520:33:56

but, by adding the opportunity for an owner to project photos,

0:33:560:34:00

videos and messages on his little face,

0:34:000:34:02

he has made it contemporary and, in turn,

0:34:020:34:06

much more attractive to potential buyers.

0:34:060:34:09

-That's wonderful.

-AS ROBOT: I completely agree. It is wonderful.

0:34:090:34:14

He looks fantastic and to have all that functionality is amazing.

0:34:140:34:17

I left 150 quid, I think we chatted about. How's that worked out?

0:34:170:34:22

Yeah, I'm happy with that.

0:34:220:34:24

Thank you so much for taking on the small screen

0:34:240:34:26

because what you've created is truly one-off.

0:34:260:34:28

AS ROBOT: I'm with you, Sarah. Wonderfully original.

0:34:280:34:31

IN USUAL VOICE: All right, I'll stop now.

0:34:310:34:33

Well, Mark has done a fantastic job. I love Smurf Tickler.

0:34:330:34:36

I wonder who's going to buy him.

0:34:360:34:38

At Walsall Recycling Centre, the little tray of TVs and junk

0:34:410:34:45

belonged to Jenny, who found Sarah's approach quite unexpected.

0:34:450:34:50

I'm absolutely gobsmacked she wanted it

0:34:500:34:52

but, if she can use it, then fine.

0:34:520:34:54

I couldn't think what she might do with it, but there you go.

0:34:540:34:57

Neither could I, Jenny.

0:34:570:34:59

But then Mark added his imagination and this fabulous bot was born.

0:35:000:35:06

Sarah made the robot available online

0:35:090:35:12

and it wasn't long before it was bought by a private collector.

0:35:120:35:16

They grow up so fast.

0:35:170:35:20

And now it's left to Sarah to visit Jenny in Burntwood, Staffordshire,

0:35:200:35:24

to let her know what happened to her little tray of TVs and junk.

0:35:240:35:29

-Hello.

-Hello, there. Nice to see you again.

-You all right?

0:35:300:35:33

-I'm very well, how are you?

-Not so bad, thanks.

-Chilly.

-Just a little.

0:35:330:35:37

-Did you wonder what I might do with your old TVs?

-Well, yeah.

0:35:370:35:41

I thought, "What on earth is she going to do with those?"

0:35:410:35:44

I took it to a guy in Manchester and I've got some pictures

0:35:440:35:47

-to show you what he did.

-What's he done with them?

0:35:470:35:49

-I hope you've got a sense of humour.

-Oh, yeah!

0:35:490:35:52

OK, your TV now looks like this.

0:35:520:35:56

-JENNY LAUGHS

-I love it!

0:35:560:35:58

-Oh, yeah!

-Do you recognise it?

-Yeah, I love it.

0:35:580:36:02

So, your TV has been completely remade into a talking robot.

0:36:020:36:10

What do you think to that?

0:36:100:36:12

I think when the grandchildren see that,

0:36:120:36:15

they're going to laugh their heads off.

0:36:150:36:17

Well, I took some pictures of him and shared him over social media

0:36:170:36:20

-to see if anybody else fancied the look of him.

-Wonderful.

0:36:200:36:23

-And he's made you a little bit of profit.

-Oh, wonderful!

0:36:230:36:26

-He has turned the old TV into a £50 profit.

-Oh, thank you very much!

0:36:260:36:32

That is welcome. Well, what am I going to do with that, I wonder?

0:36:320:36:37

Yeah, go on then, tell me. What might you do with 50 quid?

0:36:370:36:40

Well, I've got to take it to my brother

0:36:400:36:42

and see what he wants to do with it, cos the telly was his.

0:36:420:36:44

Oh, well, I hope he finds a good use for it.

0:36:440:36:48

-It was a funny project to work on.

-I bet it was! I bet it was!

0:36:480:36:52

Mark charged £150 to build the robot.

0:36:530:36:57

Sarah sold him for £200,

0:36:580:37:01

with the £50 profit going to Jenny.

0:37:010:37:04

In Marlow, Neil has finished transforming the old sacks.

0:37:140:37:19

I'm looking forward to Sarah's arrival.

0:37:190:37:21

I think I've done what she's after. I think she's going to be pleased.

0:37:210:37:27

I think, from turning something that was quite grotty

0:37:270:37:30

into something that is far more high-street.

0:37:300:37:33

I always get so excited when I come to see Neil

0:37:340:37:37

because he is a brilliant bag maker

0:37:370:37:39

and I'm hoping those sad sacks that I left are now full of beans.

0:37:390:37:42

Sarah was asking a lot of Neil when she dropped off these old sacks.

0:37:420:37:48

I have to admit, this is impressive.

0:37:540:37:58

Neil has taken these old factory sacks - frayed, full of holes,

0:37:580:38:03

ready to be dumped - and transformed them,

0:38:030:38:07

not only into bags, but bags for life.

0:38:070:38:10

Curtains give it a soft yet durable lining,

0:38:100:38:14

pieces of sofa leather add more strength to the handles,

0:38:140:38:18

and a layer of protective glaze adds more strength and shine,

0:38:180:38:22

which brings it all together. Very impressive indeed.

0:38:220:38:27

-Hiya.

-Hi, Sarah, come on in.

-Thanks. How you doing?

-I'm very well.

0:38:270:38:31

-So, how...?

-Here we go.

-No!

-You've got four old bean sacks.

0:38:310:38:36

And they're still old bean sacks.

0:38:360:38:38

-They are old bean sacks but they're beautiful!

-Good.

0:38:380:38:41

I thought they'd be scrappy, I have to say, after what I left you.

0:38:410:38:44

I so nearly passed these by, so...

0:38:440:38:47

-They are lovely, aren't they?

-They're still bean sacks.

0:38:470:38:49

They've still got holes, they're still a bit fraying,

0:38:490:38:52

but they've now got a lining from an old curtain,

0:38:520:38:55

they've got leather handles, they've got brass fittings.

0:38:550:38:58

-I think they look quite nice now.

-You are amazing!

0:38:580:39:01

I'm with you, Sarah. Great job, Neil.

0:39:020:39:06

And they scream "reused", don't they?

0:39:060:39:10

So, I think you should be really proud of yourself. They're lovely.

0:39:100:39:13

It does show what you can reuse.

0:39:130:39:15

You said it, Neil.

0:39:160:39:18

Not only that, he managed to stick to the £50 budget.

0:39:180:39:22

It was straightforward.

0:39:240:39:26

Sewing-wise, it was just a couple of lines of sewing here and there

0:39:260:39:30

-and you've got four shopping bags.

-I think they're brilliant!

0:39:300:39:34

Love the colour choices. I think you've done really well there.

0:39:340:39:37

-For a 40-year-old tech, not bad.

-Brilliant! Thanks.

0:39:370:39:42

-I shall take those away.

-Go shopping.

0:39:420:39:46

-Absolutely love shopping.

-Go and get your turnips.

0:39:460:39:49

Look what he's done!

0:39:500:39:52

He's literally snatched style from the jaws of a skip. What great work!

0:39:520:39:57

I think that went rather well.

0:39:590:40:00

From a bunch of old bean sacks that stayed looking, essentially,

0:40:000:40:03

like a bunch of old bean sacks, she seemed very pleased.

0:40:030:40:06

As Punch, like the rest of us.

0:40:060:40:08

The old sacks belonged to Martin and Annette,

0:40:120:40:15

who weren't quite sure what to make of Sarah's approach.

0:40:150:40:19

We're surprised that Sarah wanted the sacks.

0:40:190:40:21

I mean, they're interesting enough with the terminology on them

0:40:210:40:24

and that, but what she's going to do with them, who knows?

0:40:240:40:27

What she did was bring them along to Neil,

0:40:270:40:30

who got out his trusty sewing machine and, voila, job done.

0:40:300:40:36

The bags were snapped up by Nick

0:40:370:40:39

from online retailer Smithers of Stamford.

0:40:390:40:43

According to Neil, these are bags for life,

0:40:430:40:45

and I don't think we're going to have any problem shifting these.

0:40:450:40:48

I think ladies are going to love them.

0:40:480:40:50

And now it's left to Sarah to hand over the profit.

0:40:500:40:54

-Hi, there.

-Hello.

-Hi, Annette, how are you doing?

-I'm great, thank you.

0:41:000:41:04

I was hoping to catch up with you and Martin,

0:41:040:41:06

but Martin's away at the moment, isn't he?

0:41:060:41:09

He's away at sea, off Aberdeen.

0:41:090:41:10

What did you think when some strange woman came up and said,

0:41:100:41:13

"I want to take away those woodworm-filled dirty sacks?"

0:41:130:41:17

Well, I thought you were absolutely crazy.

0:41:170:41:20

I've got some pictures to show you here. Do they look familiar there?

0:41:200:41:23

-Oh, they do, yes.

-So, I think, in the end,

0:41:230:41:25

-we managed to salvage four of the ones that were full of wood.

-Yeah.

0:41:250:41:29

And here are your sacks now.

0:41:290:41:32

Oh, wow!

0:41:320:41:34

-They are remodelled as shopping bags.

-Ah, that's a very good idea!

0:41:340:41:40

So, that's what he did with them. What do you reckon to that?

0:41:400:41:43

I think that's fantastic.

0:41:430:41:44

We had no idea what on earth he would do with them,

0:41:440:41:47

but that looks... At least that was something

0:41:470:41:50

that was going straight in the tip and is now useful.

0:41:500:41:54

It is really useful and I'm surprised to say, actually,

0:41:540:41:57

I got some money to hand over to you as well.

0:41:570:41:59

I'm surprised as well, I'm very surprised!

0:41:590:42:01

-Look what I've got for you. I have got...

-Wow!

0:42:010:42:04

-I've got £70 here for you for your old bags.

-Oh, that's fabulous!

0:42:040:42:07

-That's brilliant. Thank you very much.

-What might you do with £70?

0:42:070:42:12

Well, I'll put it towards...

0:42:120:42:14

I'm going to have my kitchen refurbished,

0:42:140:42:16

-so it will go towards that.

-Fantastic.

0:42:160:42:19

Well, who'd have thought it? It was really good to catch up.

0:42:190:42:22

I hope Martin approves of what we did with them.

0:42:220:42:24

-I'm sure he will, I'm sure he will.

-Brilliant. Lovely to see you again.

0:42:240:42:27

-Thank you very much.

-Thank you so much, bye-bye.

-OK, bye.

0:42:270:42:30

I absolutely love that, because that was a genuine surprise for Annette.

0:42:330:42:37

She had no idea that those old sacks were actually moneybags.

0:42:370:42:40

Neil charged £50 for the makeover.

0:42:420:42:45

The bags were bought for £120,

0:42:450:42:48

leaving a handsome £70 profit

0:42:480:42:51

to go towards Martin and Annette's new kitchen.

0:42:510:42:55

Sarah salvaged three items that were destined for the dump.

0:42:580:43:02

Mark worked wonders making our robot.

0:43:020:43:06

Neil bagged our respect with the printed sacks.

0:43:060:43:10

And Sarah splashed colour on the chairs and the plant stand.

0:43:100:43:15

Sometimes, it's a challenge trying to make money for nothing

0:43:150:43:17

out of random tip items, but Mark and Neil did a fantastic job.

0:43:170:43:21

They had an eclectic collection to start with

0:43:210:43:23

and they really nailed it.

0:43:230:43:25

Sarah unearths hidden gems at the recycling centre in Walsall, West Midlands. But can all three tip-bound objects be turned into fantastic and desirable items? Robot maker Mark Haig stamps his style on a collection of mini TVs, while artisan bag maker Neil Wragg turns printed bean sacks into stylish shopping bags. Sarah's own project sees her take on a pair of chairs and a plant stand. But will each make ensure Sarah can return a profit to each item's original owner?


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