One week until the March repair cafe!
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Our February Repair Café was a massive success, saving roughly £1,055 worth of stuff from going to landfill! Items fixed ranged from coffee machines to Doc Martens. We’re hoping to fix even more at our March repair café, so gather up your worn-out and broken stuff and come along. It’s on Sunday 15th March, 3-5pm, at the Welsh Mill Hub.

Don’t need anything fixing? There’s still plenty to do!

Just like February’s event, Aliss will be running upcycling demos. Last time we learned how to repurpose old fabric to make tote bags and draught excluders. This time we’re tackling denim jeans and creating hanging storage pockets. 

We’ll also be using scrap paper to make plant pots, with soil and seeds provided. And don’t forget to quiz our fixers and learn a thing or two, like how to darn, hem and patch textiles. As always, repairs and demos are free with some refreshments available to buy, and donations are welcome.

Make sure you book repairs through our Eventbrite page so we can make sure we’ve got what we need to fix your item. Get in touch by emailing [email protected] for more info.

Fancy helping out?

We’re looking for volunteers to help with repairs of all sorts, so get in touch and let us know how you can help repair, run a free workshop/activity, or help host the repair café. It’s just 2 hours on a Sunday afternoon.

Hope to see you there!

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Luca Loans from a Library of Things
10. Luca Loans a Metal Detector
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View our metal detectors here.

Find out why we use Peertube instead of Youtube

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Luca Loans a Popcorn Maker for the Repair Cafe
9. Luca Loans and Repairs!
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Find details of our next Repair Cafe here.

Borrow a popcorn maker here!

Find out why we use Peertube instead of Youtube

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Luca Loans a Plunger
8. Luca Loans a Plunger!
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Borrow a plunger here!

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Luca Loans a Dehydrator
7. Luca Loans a Dehydrator!
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Borrow a dehydrator here.

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Repair Cafes in February and March!
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Let’s see how much we can save from landfill…

Our next repair cafe is only 2 weeks away on February 23rd! Time to gather up any small items that need repairing or could just use a little love to look good as new.

Not in need of a repair? Come along and enjoy some good company and an upcycling demo from Aliss. Our fantastic fixers will be on hand and can answer your questions about all kinds of repairs. Chat to them about what you’d like to learn and come away with some top tips.

Why repair?

Repairing all kinds of items is helpful in so many ways. It saves you the cost of buying a new one, and means you can stick with something you know and love. It’s an important part of individual action against the climate crisis – keeping items away from landfill and reducing the demand for new stuff to be produced.

And it can give you a story to tell about your items! Visible repairs on textiles (and more!) put the story front and centre by giving things a new look.

How can I help?

If you’d like to help us fix more stuff, there are a few ways to get involved. We’re always looking for skilled fixers. If you can fix electrical items, furniture, clothing, do bike maintenance or something brilliant we haven’t thought of – get in touch!

You can also volunteer to help run the event by welcoming people, tracking what we fix or taking photos of successful repairs. And of course, you can donate to help us keep events like these going.

See you there!

The next repair cafe is Sunday, 23rd February at the Welsh Mill Hub, Park Hill Drive, BA11 2LE. Get in touch beforehand if you want to check we can repair an item.

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Library of Things managers: Maurice from Oxford and Sam from Frome
Lots of LoTs: Share Oxford
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Prior to 2015 there were no Libraries of Things (LoTs) in the UK. By the end of 2019 there were 12 of us and we all met up at the inaugural ShareFest. In 2020 I am going to try to visit every one of them, ask them a few questions and promote them in this series, ‘Lots of LoTs’!

Library of Things managers: Maurice from Oxford and Sam from Frome
Library of Things managers: Maurice from Oxford and Sam from Frome, inside SHARE Oxford

First up, in January I visited SHARE Oxford and spoke with Maurice…

When did you form? Why? -What was the inspiration behind it?

“We formed in the spring of 2018 and launched in Feb 2019. 

“Alex was working with someone who mentioned the concept. She had been working on a circular collective taking things people were throwing out and trying to make use of them. It was as the project she was working on began fold that Alex was told about the idea of a Library of Things so she suggested it at a Community Action Group (CAG) meeting. It was there I expressed my interest in being involved. We started collecting things, found a space, began recruiting volunteers and launched!”

How is it going?

“It’s going OK. We’ve had a general upward trajectory with plateaus and rises. Since launching we’ve upgraded our space. After certain moments such as that upgrade as well as after gaining publicity and running events we take upward steps before it plateaus again. We’ve just had a meeting about making the next step up. Everyone involved is satisfied that the concept works and we are all committed to it. We’re happy and positive about the future. A little while ago we were still uncertain but we now feel we have shown proof of concept.”

What are your 3 most borrowed items?

“Pressure washer, pressure washer and pressure washer! Also drills, sanders and, seasonly, gazebos”

Which item have you found to be the most surprisingly popular?

“The heat gun!”

And what is the most unusual one or most unusual request you’ve received?

“The flexible drill extension!”

What are your hopes for 2020 and beyond?

“A year from now we’d like to see the continuity of our regular repair cafe, have the library open more hours and days than at present, have more volunteers to make that happen and see an increase in membership and borrows.

“So we’re aiming for slow, steady, sustainable organic growth. We all get on so well here, so part of main vision is to maintain the existing operating practice and relationships between one another.

“We also hope to have gone beyond our current ad-hoc methods of doing what it takes to make it work to being well-oiled and self sustaining.”

SHARE Oxford Library of Things can be found inside Makespace Oxford at 1 Aristotle Lane, Oxford, OX2 6TP.

Visit SHARE Oxford’s website, Twitter and Facebook.

I love that at SHARE Oxford you even get to borrow piece of mind … for free!

This month SHARE Oxford are celebrating their first birthday, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY! 🥳

Coming up I’ll be featuring the other 11 existing Libraries (Bath, Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Frome, Guildford, London, Plymouth, Stirling and Totnes) and all others who launch from here on in. This series began with 12 and I predict we’ll soon have lots more LoTs!

SHARE Oxford
SHARE Oxford – A Library of Things
Inside SHARE Oxford
Inside SHARE Oxford
SHARE Oxford’s extra storage shed
SHARE Oxford’s extra storage shed
SHARE Oxford launched in 2019 thanks to Alex and Maurice
SHARE Oxford launched in 2019 thanks to Alex and Maurice
SHARE Oxford Top Trumps!
Students from Oxford Brookes University created a bespoke Top Trumps set and playing board, using all of the items in the Oxford Library of Things!
SHARE Oxford at Makespace Oxford
SHARE Oxford at Makespace Oxford
Makespace Oxford
Makespace Oxford
Library of Things managers: Maurice from Oxford and Sam from Frome
Library of Things managers: Maurice from Oxford and Sam from Frome, inside SHARE Oxford
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Luca Loans from a Library of Things
6. Luca Loans a Camera & Tripod
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Find out why we use Peertube instead of Youtube

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Luca Loans from a Library of Things
5. Luca Loans Carpet Bowls
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Luca borrowed the carpet bowls this week and it was MONUMENTAL!

Find out why we use Peertube instead of Youtube

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Items donated for swap event
Bring, buy & swap this weekend!
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Items donated for swap event

Do you have gifts tucked under the bed or thrown in a cupboard that weren’t quite right for you? Stop feeling guilty and find them a new home!

We’ll be holding an “unwanted gift exchange” this Saturday from 10am-12pm at Frome Town Hall. You can bring, swap and buy items to find new things that fit you and see neglected gifts snapped up by others who will use them.

All kinds of small, quality items in new or good condition are welcome. There will also be plenty to buy for a small donation to SHARE if you’d like to come along empty-handed and find an unexpected treasure.

You can drop items off to Frome Town Hall in advance or bring them on the day. We’ve already had some great items dropped in, such as this unused bag and scarf 🌟

Items donated for swap event

For anything you bring, you’ll be able to swap each item for something else. You can also donate items at the town hall and we’ll sell them for donations to help SHARE grow.

Gather up your unwanted gifts and come along! We’ll have the kettle on and some biscuits out ready for you.

P.S. Frome Town Hall is also a drop off point for Re:Fresh Frome, who take unwanted toiletries to donate to disadvantaged young people in Frome.

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Luca Loans from a Library of Things
4. Luca Loans a Projector
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With the holidays coming it was a perfect time for Luca to borrow one of our projectors.

Find out why we use Peertube instead of Youtube

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Luca Loans from a Library of Things
3. Luca Loans the Crepe Maker!
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It’s a crepe/pancake maker up next as Luca loans from a Library of Things! …Can you guess his favourite filling?

Find out why we use Peertube instead of Youtube

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Share closes after 23 December and opens 6 January 2020
Happy holidays from SHARE!
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As another year (and a decade!) draws to an end, our volunteers and staff are taking a well-deserved break. This year was absolutely record smashing for SHARE! We were able to get some popular new items, put on a new swap event, and repair loads of stuff to stop it going to landfill.

Massive thanks to all of our members for making this year special and choosing to borrow instead of buy.

Our last open day before the break is Monday, 23rd December for our usual hours. We’ll be closed then over Christmas and New Year, and our first day back will be January 6th.

If you fancy adding some last minute extra cheer to your home, we’ve still got some decorations and tree holders in stock, so check out our Christmas section. And don’t forget to use our kitchen and dining items where you can. No need to buy pans or tins you won’t use until next year, or extra cutlery and crockery to fit everyone around the table – just borrow it from SHARE for a fraction of the price.

(Or borrow our new cocktail shaker set for a classy New Year celebration.)

We’ll be posting soon about what to do with unwanted gifts and how to smash your New Year’s resolutions in 2020…

But until then, we wish you a merry Christmas, a happy new year, and a peaceful couple of weeks. See you next decade!

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Luca Loans from a Library of Things
2. Luca Loans Table Football!
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For his first borrow from SHARE, Luca went for the table football! See how he got on in the vid below…

Find out why we use Peertube instead of Youtube

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Luca Loans from a Library of Things
1. Introducing Luca!
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This is the first in our new Luca Loans from a Library of Things series.

Luca, 10, from Frome will be borrowing items from SHARE:Frome and submitting video reviews. Before he gets the first one in we should introduce you to Luca … and what better way to do so than via his application for a Blue Peter Green Badge:

Hello, my name is Luca and l am 10 years old. I live in Frome, Somerset. I like I.T./gaming, and recycling by making cardboard box forts. 

I am applying for a Green Blue Peter Badge because I have been to many SHARE Repair Cafes and I also borrow things from the SHARE Shop instead of buying them. 

The SHARE Repair Cafes are events where lots of people come to get their broken things fixed by people with skills. So far, they have inspected over 200 items, weighing nearly 400kg and saving over £9000 if these broken items had to be replaced new!

Its very useful because we don’t have to bin as many things which is good for the planet and you don’t have to go and spend more money than you need. Also you get to learn life skills there and meet new people. 

Luca and Toodles
Luca and Toodles

The first Repair Cafe I went to was to fix my domino train (a tiny train that lays dominoes in a trail/line so that you can knock them over). 

It had stopped moving and I thought I would have to immediately bin it. Mum told me about the SHARE Repair Cafe and that I could try to fix it, so I said, “yes I would like to go and do that”. 

So she took me and Paul fixed it (and I learned some skills). There was a string stuck inside the mechanism and we just unscrewed it and took the string out and the train worked again!

There was some free food there as well. Like cake!

Luca and Paul
Luca and Paul

After that, we fixed our Acer laptop. It kept on overheating so the man took it home and the next time we saw it, it was working faultlessly! He told us that he had replaced the thermal paste for us. I learned that computers have thermal paste to stop them from overheating. 

2nd Repair Cafe

Then, the next time, was the worse of all times of the broken things. My only working headphones wire had snapped – dun dun DUUUUUN!

So, we took them to the Repair Cafe and a man soldered it together with his soldering equipment and he showed me how to solder. Soldering is like melting a bit of metal to join wires together to make a circuit. It’s practically like making glue out of metal – just stronger. 

Luca’s Acer
Luca’s Acer and headphones fixed!

Afterwards, Aliss showed me how to make a lunch bag for fruit out of recycled tents (that she had scavenged from Glastonbury festival). 

The tents would have gone to landfill if Aliss hadn’t saved them. So we were upcycling them.

Also, Aliss showed me how to use a sewing machine. So, I learned a new life skill. Now, I put my snack in the bag I made every day and take it to school.

Aliss also taught my Mum how to fix her dresses on the sewing machine and how to make bunting out of the tents for my den in the garden.

I think that it’s an amazing thing that they have done making a SHARE Repair Cafe and Share Shop because it is going to make everyone’s eco footprint go down. Also people will learn life lessons like how to fix their stuff next time. Also its a good way to meet loads and loads of new people from throughout Frome and you might be surprised and make a new best friend. 

Luca and Aliss
Luca and Aliss

Aliss also runs the “Light the Night” lantern parade in Frome which is where everyone parades through town with lanterns in the dark with samba music and the Christmas lights get turned on. Aliss taught us how to make lanterns with willow branches, glue and tissue paper so we can join in.

Aliss also came to our school and I luckily got to help make the massive angel lanterns to be taken along at the front of the parade. I helped to make the head of one, it was difficult because we had to position the willow rings on a template and then tape them together and they got bigger and bigger to make her head. 

This year, we also went to a lantern making workshop and I made a little illuminarti lantern to carry in the parade. The parade was noisey and fun. We all parade with lanterns through the streets of Frome and then the mayor turns on the Christmas tree lights (but that’s what they want you to think – there’s really a man with a power box who switches on the lights when the mayor says to! He had a walkie talkie and an earpiece and was up a ladder!)

Luca's Lanterns
Luca’s Lanterns

We also joined the SHARE Shop which is practically a library of stuff that you can borrow.

They say, “The average drill is used for only 13 minutes in its entire lifetime. What if, instead of buying that drill, you could borrow one instead?” (straight from their website). So they decided to put “A Library of Things” and you can rent them out to stop landfill and it’s to stop you from having to buy unnecessary items.

The first item we borrowed was a metal detector and we went to the beach with it to see if we could find any treasure. I thought I could actually make some money out of that. (But we didn’t!)

More recently we have borrowed a crepe maker and we had pancakes every day. My cousins came to visit and we all made crepes.

We also borrowed an electric bike which was a disaster we got lost in the woods and we got stuck in the mud! But we did have pizza when we got to our destination!

Luca's crepe crew!
Luca’s crepe crew!

We have also borrowed a football table that I beat Mum at basically every time! At the moment, we have borrowed a massage chair and on Monday we are going to get a dehydrator and make fruit crisps. After that, I want to borrow the candy floss machine. But my Mum wants to borrow the inflatable kayak.

There is an indepedent market every month in Frome. Edventure MAKE students make ethical stuff to sell at that market. Last market, I bought a lavender-scented fish made from recycled materials. His name is “Bob.”  He is beautiful and really cute. lt is supporting the local economy, like in the Fiver Fest. In the Fiver Fest, local shops that sign up to it sell things for £5, it’s to keep money local. We bought a meal at Nook, which I think is the best food in Frome and it fills every nook and cranny in your stomach!

So please consider me for a green Blue Peter Badge. Thank you


Luca loves fussball
Luca love fussball and Bob the fish!
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Black Friday poster
This Black Friday – Free Borrowing at SHARE!
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Black Friday falls on 29 November this year, but it seems the deals start earlier each year as more and more businesses take advantage of eager shoppers. This year, SHARE is asking you to borrow instead of buying – and we’re making it easier with one free borrow for everyone.

Black Friday can be a great opportunity to buy something you’ve been needing for a while at a better price. However, the biggest Black Friday deals are often electrical items, tech and other pricey goods. It might seem like a great price, but will you use it more than a few times a year?

You could save yourself a lot of money and have one less thing collecting dust in the garage by borrowing from SHARE. Check our inventory to see if we’ve got what you’re looking for – or just choose something fun to borrow for free!

Whether you’re a regular customer or completely new to SHARE, for one day only we’re offering a free borrow to everyone. Borrow something practical like our new leaf blower or have a bit more fun with some kitchen equipment like our candy floss or popcorn makers (perfect snacks to take along to Frome’s lantern parade and Christmas extravaganza in the evening). 🎄

You could even borrow one of our sewing machines to make some of your own Christmas decorations or gifts. Usually just 3 or 4 pounds to borrow for up to a week, you’d have to be an avid sewing fan to not save money by borrowing!

You’ll also be participating in #BuyNothingDay – an international movement against over-consumption for the good of the planet. 🌍

Here’s the “small print”:

  • 1 free borrow per member, only on items collected on 29 November
  • You must be a member of SHARE – if you need to sign up, please bring ID with you. See membership types here.
  • Borrow is for the standard loan length, which is up to 7 days for most items. Renewals will be charged at the usual loan fee
  • For items that require a cash deposit, the loan is free but the deposit will still need to be taken

See you on Friday!

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Swap, don’t shop this Winter
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SHARE Christmas Display

Don’t start your Christmas shopping just yet! Get a head start on finding perfect gifts and saving money for the festive season with our first ever…

✨ Swap shop!

Come along to Frome Town Hall on Saturday 23rd November from 10am-12pm to swap gift-worthy items & planet-friendly alternatives to wrapping paper. This is a free event, with tea and cake available for a small donation.

Swap your items for others that would make great gifts for Christmas, birthdays, special occasions or even just for yourself – why not?

😇 Why swap? There are more reasons than you think…

No matter your motivation, swapping has a lot of benefits for you and others:

  • Save money on gifts and wrapping
  • Help the planet by reducing the demand for production of brand new goods & shipping
  • Smile knowing that something you swapped or made will brighten someone’s day
  • Get unique gifts – handmade goods and items with history
  • Be part of the community. Why not bring your kids to show how important it is to share?

🎁 What should you bring?

If you think it could make a good gift, bring it along! You can also drop off things in advance to Frome Town Council if it’s easier than bringing them on the day. Here are some ideas:

  • Preloved gifts (to be loved again)
  • Preserves
  • Indoor and outdoor plants and pots
  • Art & craft materials
  • Books, music and films
  • Handmade items
  • Household / Bric-a-brac
  • unopened and in date food items to include in hampers
  • lovely baskets, unusual containers, nice re-usable bags and jars to ‘wrap’ things in!

And after Christmas, come and find any neglected gifts a new home at our Unwanted Gift Exchange! More details to come…

Frome Town Hall is on Christchurch Street West, Frome, BA11 1EB. There is wheelchair access via the side entrance and a lift available to the first floor where the Swap Shop will take place. Please note parking is not available at the venue.

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Fiver Fest is Coming to Frome!
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We are excited to announce that Fiver Fest will be coming to Frome on the 5th October! What is Fiver Fest, you ask? Part of the national Totally Locally campaign, it is one day to celebrate local businesses, often run by families or individuals, making a real contribution to our unique town. Spending just £5 a week in local shops can have a huge impact on our high streets, boosting the local economy and increasing employment. It’s also a great opportunity to step into a shop you’ve never been before and discover what makes Frome’s independents so special.

We, Share Shop, an community started and run business, will be taking part in Fiver Fest. To encourage the town to sign up and start borrowing, we will be offering £5 free credit when you join as standard or subscriber member (see our membership plans) on Saturday 5th October. Be quick though! We are open between 10am and 12pm.

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A volunteer’s perspective on SHARE
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This summer 5 university students began volunteering one afternoon a week at SHARE as part of a 10 week resilience placement with Frome Town Council. Not fully knowing what to expect we arrived on day one to learn a little more about what makes the shop unique and what types of customers borrow items. It was inspiring to see first hand the popularity of the shop with customers coming and going in small flurries throughout the day, intrigued to find out what else they could borrow.

Borrowing is an inventive solution to the ongoing problems with waste we as a society face. It was refreshing to see that not only is the shop helping to reduce landfill, but it also unites local business owners and residents to come together and support a common cause. The shop is more than just a borrowing space, it sparks a conversation about the importance of being aware of our consumption habits. In 2019, where advertisements for purported must have goods are aplenty, it can feel like you are never up to date with the latest trends or must have gadgets. However, that is where the SHARE shop steps in to allow you to try out items beforehand and simultaneously lend preloved goods. From parties to weddings to home renovations, the shop caters to a whole host of needs and relieves the burden of having to source storage space to house infrequently used items.

From a volunteer’s experience, working at the SHARE shop has been rewarding, fun and at times challenging. As membership numbers have risen in recent months and donations flow in, there is the task of keeping on top of logging items, coding them and organising them into appropriate categories and locations. With an abundance of musical instruments, DIY tools, garden machinery and camping equipment, there is always something to be getting on with, whether that be assessing the condition of borrowed items or adding sponsorship tags respectively. One of the more challenging aspects of the role involved putting our teamwork skills into practice when setting up tents in a nearby meadow to check they had all their constituent parts intact. On one of the warmest days in the UK, we took to the local field, wheelbarrow in tow and got to work. It was satisfying to see the bell tent holding up and knowing how quick and simple it was to construct makes borrowing equipment even more appealing for special trips away.

It was quickly apparent that many customers value SHARE, not only for its diverse inventory of items but also based on the skills and knowledge it provides to locals. SHARE is predominantly volunteer run and relies on the goodwill of others to offer their skillsets to mend items or sort through stock. Volunteering costs nothing but gives back so much. In the short space of time we have been at SHARE, a fresh insight into this innovative community project has been gained and a newfound desire to share more acquired.

Tess, Claire, Bridie, Poppy and Emma

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Summer isn’t over yet!
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We have lots of new items in store waiting to be borrowed for your summer holidays. Fancy trying a new hobby? Then check out our inflatable kayaks. Need something to brighten up the garden? How about out solar-powered fairy lights. Kids learning to bike ride? We have a wooden balance bike for that. For those travelling further afield, our new bell tent is proving to be a popular choice. Our fingers are crossed for some sunnier weather before the holidays finish. If not, our wide selection of tents are sure to keep you warm and dry. To check out our full inventory, click here.

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