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Make-do-and-mend: is it a thing of the past?


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#21 gingerjon

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 05:14 PM

I see bicycles chucked on a general skip for landfill as well as other items that could be re-cycled. Why people cannot put them in the right skips is beyond me. I used to make my own bicycles from parts obtained elsewhere. People discard electrical items simply to keep up even though not broken.


When I let my last bike get too knackered I took it to a bike shop to recycle it. I don't have the skills to make my own bike.
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#22 l'angelo mysterioso

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 05:15 PM

a pedant writes

it's make and mend. A naval term from when sailors were given time to mend ther clothes and equipment or make new ones.
Sorry.

I think make and mend atkes differen forms these days, because there are so many consumer items in circulation. We donate to charity shops, but I also collect vintage clothing such as ben Sherman shirts. Ebay itself is a form of make and mend. Like gazza I recycle timber (see my profile, well not my actual profile but you know what I mean). Peple do old cars up, there are shops selling reconditioned white goods-which people couln't really do up themselves

regarding the idea of people on benefits having a life of luxury: my wife is shortly due home after taking a family of her relativeswho are on benefits to Cleethorpes, where they got a cheap deal on a caravan that they'd saved up for months for and wouldn't have been able to afford the transport. I wish them well, and will pass St Billinge's message on.

Edited by l'angelo mysterioso, 25 March 2013 - 05:16 PM.

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#23 Saint Billinge

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 07:41 PM

When I let my last bike get too knackered I took it to a bike shop to recycle it. I don't have the skills to make my own bike.


You should have given me a call! :D

Out of interest, in my job as a landscape gardener, I have built a rockery using broken concrete destined for the skip, as well as feature walls made from broken paving stones. My own feature fireplace was built from stone and other materials found in a skip.

One women featured on television made amazing necklaces, rings, beads and ornaments from stuff washed up on shore. Someone's rubbish is a pot of gold for others.

#24 Severus

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 07:46 PM

I see bicycles chucked on a general skip for landfill as well as other items that could be re-cycled. Why people cannot put them in the right skips is beyond me. I used to make my own bicycles from parts obtained elsewhere. People discard electrical items simply to keep up even though not broken.

Spent the last couple of days restoring an old mountain bike that someone didn't want. Stripped it down, plenty of scrubbing, WD40 and lube later and there a perfectly good bike in my shed. The only parts I had to buy was gear and brake cables. We are giving it to a friend of ours, really hope it gets ridden.
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#25 Saint Billinge

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 07:48 PM

a pedant writes

it's make and mend. A naval term from when sailors were given time to mend ther clothes and equipment or make new ones.
Sorry.

I think make and mend atkes differen forms these days, because there are so many consumer items in circulation. We donate to charity shops, but I also collect vintage clothing such as ben Sherman shirts. Ebay itself is a form of make and mend. Like gazza I recycle timber (see my profile, well not my actual profile but you know what I mean). Peple do old cars up, there are shops selling reconditioned white goods-which people couln't really do up themselves

regarding the idea of people on benefits having a life of luxury: my wife is shortly due home after taking a family of her relativeswho are on benefits to Cleethorpes, where they got a cheap deal on a caravan that they'd saved up for months for and wouldn't have been able to afford the transport. I wish them well, and will pass St Billinge's message on.


In our neck of the woods it was either make do with what you have or mend. As for people enjoying luxuries on benefits, I'm not that bad of a person to think it applies to everyone. There are many decent people out there who scrimp and save to enjoy simple pleasure in life. I would have thought Chris that you knew me better!

Just one other point in that I was brought up in a very poor family, so do know what it's like. I once skipped a family wedding aged 14 because I only had my school uniform to wear.

Edited by Saint Billinge, 25 March 2013 - 09:33 PM.


#26 tonyXIII

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 08:06 PM

In our neck of the woods it was either make do with what you have or mend. As for people enjoying luxuries on benefits, I not that bad of a person to think it applies to everyone. There are many decent people out there who scrimp and save to enjoy simple pleasure in life. I would have thought Chris that you knew me better!

Just one other point in that I was brought up in a very poor family, so do know what it's like. I once skipped a family wedding aged 14 because I only had my school uniform to wear.


I've also known it to be "make do and mend", as in 'make do with what you have rather than buy new and mend broken items rather than buy replacements'; and I've known it as that for almost 60 years.

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#27 tonyXIII

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 08:11 PM

Do we really see people on benefits doing all of those things, or is it something we are told is happening by politicians and newspapers with a particular agenda to push? <_<

I'm actually glad that despite our current economic woes we are generally not seeing a repeat of the extreme hardships that occurred during the great depression of the 1930s. That's due in large part to the existence of things like the minimum wage, plus of course the welfare state and the NHS, which are now gradually being dismantled before our very eyes under the cloak of austerity. Hugely ironic considering the welfare state and the NHS were actually created during an era of austerity when, perhaps (no, definitely), our leaders had higher aims and ambitions for us all.


Not quibbling with the general meaning, John, but "austerity" is an odd label for the immediate post-war period. Undoubtedly, it was a time of few luxuries (so similar), but it was also a time of great optimism, surely? The war had just ended, things were getting better. Let's face it, they couldn't get much worse. There was plenty of employment, too. After the war, our leaders certainly had "higher aims and ambitions for us all". Perhaps that is what is really missing now?

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#28 Northern Sol

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 08:25 PM

I've also known it to be "make do and mend", as in 'make do with what you have rather than buy new and mend broken items rather than buy replacements'; and I've known it as that for almost 60 years.


Make, do and mend is a slogan from WW2. Make and mend is a naval thing. They aren't the same.

#29 tonyXIII

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 09:08 PM

Make, do and mend is a slogan from WW2. Make and mend is a naval thing. They aren't the same.


Ah! Clarification. Thanks for that.

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#30 l'angelo mysterioso

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 09:54 PM

Make, do and mend is a slogan from WW2. Make and mend is a naval thing. They aren't the same.


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#31 Saint Billinge

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 06:55 AM

Not quibbling with the general meaning, John, but "austerity" is an odd label for the immediate post-war period. Undoubtedly, it was a time of few luxuries (so similar), but it was also a time of great optimism, surely? The war had just ended, things were getting better. Let's face it, they couldn't get much worse. There was plenty of employment, too. After the war, our leaders certainly had "higher aims and ambitions for us all". Perhaps that is what is really missing now?


I recall the fifties playing hide 'n' seek, marbles, tick rugby, football and cricket. There was never a case of throwing things away because money was tight and so couldn't afford much. Grandad grew veg and spuds and my brother brought home rabbits shot on the farm. As a young lad, Saturdays would be spent going to the launderette with my auntie and then a bath at another relative's house. Most of the family did work with employment widely available. Apart from my very earlier life, there was still much enjoyment full of laughter. As for holiday's, a friend of the family let us use their caravan in North Wales. Most clothes were hand-me-downs. Just after the wedding that I skipped, my relatives put together enough money to buy me a new coat. So chuffed was I, I walked up and down the street showing it off. :D

No doubt, some people struggling today will look back to tell a new generation how it was in the past, be it 'coloured' up. I know my grandparents used to tell me about their struggles.

Today, I still don't like throwing things away and so try my best to find a good home for stuff no longer needed (charities, relatives, friends etc),

Edited by Saint Billinge, 26 March 2013 - 06:56 AM.


#32 Severus

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 07:08 AM

What SB has described was very much like my life growing up in the 80s. Has life really changed that much or is it just perception?
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#33 hindle xiii

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 07:42 AM

I remember this when it was all fields.

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#34 Saint Billinge

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 07:59 AM

What SB has described was very much like my life growing up in the 80s. Has life really changed that much or is it just perception?


As a matter of fact, there is a shortage of allotments that are now in demand. Wasn't there an initiative asking people to let others use any spare land?. Even today, people still use launderettes, but not as much in the fifties. Kids still play outdoors, whilst others cannot be dragged away from computer games. Our marbles/stonies were obtained from Pilkington Brothers who discarded the glass bottle tops on a tip. Some friends were 'rich' enough to buy the coloured marbles bought from good old Woolworths, and only came out on Sundays. :D Talking of Sundays, you now don't see many annual Church Walking Days

I do recall our bedrooms having gas mantles due to no electricity upstairs. I don't suppose you will see these today, unless in a museum. Perhaps I'm getting old enough to go in a museum! :D

Edited by Saint Billinge, 26 March 2013 - 08:04 AM.


#35 Marauder

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 08:22 AM

I took a camera lens into a shop to be repaired last week and it was going to cost £80.00, the same lens brand new was £120.00 and a better quality reconditioned lens was £80.00.
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#36 marklaspalmas

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 09:29 AM

What SB has described was very much like my life growing up in the 80s. Has life really changed that much or is it just perception?


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#37 Futtocks

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 10:00 AM

I got a lovely bicycle off a skip years ago. An ultra-lightweight job that had been assembled from all sorts of quality parts from different manufacturers. God knows why it had been chucked away, but it was a skip in a posh bit of North London. All it needed to be roadworthy again was some new brake blocks and a wash.

I rode it for ages 'til some dozy driver launched me across his car bonnet on the Edgware Road. It was never quite the same again, so I gave it to a friend who could use the undamaged bits.

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#38 Saint Billinge

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 01:29 PM

I got a lovely bicycle off a skip years ago. An ultra-lightweight job that had been assembled from all sorts of quality parts from different manufacturers. God knows why it had been chucked away, but it was a skip in a posh bit of North London. All it needed to be roadworthy again was some new brake blocks and a wash.

I rode it for ages 'til some dozy driver launched me across his car bonnet on the Edgware Road. It was never quite the same again, so I gave it to a friend who could use the undamaged bits.


Did you survive unscathed? Speaking of recycling, our waste bin is only filled up to a quarter weekly because we recycle. Next door, theirs is full because they cannot be bothered.

#39 Futtocks

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 01:41 PM

Did you survive unscathed? Speaking of recycling, our waste bin is only filled up to a quarter weekly because we recycle. Next door, theirs is full because they cannot be bothered.


I wasn't hurt, thankfully.

As for recycling, the council supplied plastic crates for paper/card/etc. a few years ago, but they were all nicked within a month. I do take stuff to the recycling bins at the supermarket on a weekend, but am not as diligent as I should be.

A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it isn’t open. Frank Zappa (1940 - 1993)


#40 Griff9of13

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 02:56 PM

Re recycling:

We try our best, but in the winter (and our most recent summer for that matter) I have ended up chucking all the cardboard etc in the bin as our council don't collect it as a separate recyclable item and if we try and save it to take to the tip for recycling it ends up a soggy smelly mess which I don't really want mucking my car up.
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