Refill, Renew, Refresh, Repair

Last week was Quaker Awareness week and I enjoyed visiting the Friends’ Meeting House in Worthing Road. The building dates from 1785 replacing an earlier structure built in 1693 after the law was changed to “tolerate” non-conformist worship. It is such a quiet and peaceful place it seems strange that prior to that date, what with Horsham holding the local Assizes and being the site of the gaol, it was simply too dangerous for Quakers to cock at snook at the law and meet in Horsham in public.

Aside from regular Quaker meetings the building is used for many community activities. Last Saturday was particularly special as it marked the opening of the Horsham “Repair Café”. The group will meet the first Saturday of the month 10am-12.30pm. Details are on-line but the idea is simply to help people to re-use and repair everyday household items that would otherwise be binned. The principle is to save money (so it can be better spent) and in doing so help save the environment. Volunteers will not only repair items on the spot but help teach the skills to help others do so. Repairs cover not only clothing, leatherwork and woodwork but also laptops and other IT equipment. The group can also arrange monthly refills for environmentally-friendly cleaning products.

A lot of progress has been made nationally especially on lower carbon energy but for many, I know, progress can never be fast enough. This group is one of a number of which I am aware that are undertaking great small-scale local initiatives to help the environment.

Lastly have any of you ever had a filthy cold and just HAD to do something for work (worst of all make a speech). You know to what I am referring! You are welcome to say “he would say that wouldn’t he” but I think Theresa May showed huge guts and determination getting through what I thought was an excellent conference speech. From what many people (of all political outlooks) have said to me on the street in the last week I know that in Horsham I am far from alone in thinking so!

Photo caption: With Cllr Philip Circus of HDC and some of the brilliant volunteers at the launch of the Horsham Repair Cafe at the Friends Meeting House in Worthing Road last Saturday.