Viewers of The Repair Shop were left with floods of tears last night after the team transformed a pair of boots worn by a WWII prisoner of war.
Malcolm Britton, from Leicestershire, appeared on BBC2’s program Last Night with a pair of boots and described how the boots belonged to his father Jack when he was a prisoner of war from 1940 to 1945.
Torn, he emotionally described how his father spoke of periods of starvation, as well as difficult marches through Germany and parts of Poland.
However, the team transformed the shoes, recycled the shoe, and filled holes caused by moth damage.
The transformation left many viewers emotional, with one saying, “These shoes have never felt so good.”
Viewers of The Repair Shop were left with floods of tears last night after the team transformed a pair of shoes worn by a WWII prisoner of war (left, before, and right, shoes after)
Malcolm Britton, from Leicestershire, appeared on BBC2’s program Last Night with a pair of boots and described how the boots belonged to his father Jack when he was a prisoner of war from 1940 to 1945 (pictured)
Another wrote: ‘The items that got sentimental during this week? pair of shoes! But what a story they carry and Dean did a great job with them.
A third commented: “I’m watching The Repair Shop and crying again over a pair of bloody shoes.”
A fourth added, “Nice job Dean, these shoes need to be treasured forever.”
Appearing on the programme, Malcolm told the Repair Shop staff: ‘These were my dad’s shoes when he was a prisoner of war in World War II and he walked in these through miles of Germany and probably Poland as well.
His name was Jack. When war was imminent, he and his two brothers immediately joined.
Soon they went to Norway at the beginning of 1940 and there he was arrested.
He never saw combat, he saw prison for the duration of the war. He was a prisoner for five years.
He really kept quiet about it, but after his death, we find the diaries he kept throughout the war.
It’s from the beginning of 1942 to the time the Americans brought him home. The prison term was horrific.
Many who watched the program admitted that they were left with floods of tears because of the story of transformation and movement
“It’s about a period of famine in 1942. I think little things like that can make you realize how terrible it was.”
The shoes are not mentioned in the diary, but what will they be worn in the winter?
Malcolm read part of the diary, where his father described the challenges of the war.
He told the Repair Shop team: ‘I don’t know what can be done if there is anything about the mites, but if the stitches are done, there is a bit of a dent in the sole and heel.
“I don’t want them to look brand new but I tidy them up a bit.
They reminded us of him and his courage and never willingness to give up.
‘He just kept going,’ he said tearfully, ‘not like a hungry prisoner. It is not only the memories of the war, but also the memories of my childhood.
He was emotional as he described the importance of shoes to the Repair Shop team, and couldn’t help but tear up
He described how his father signed up for the war effort but never saw combat because he had been captured
And honor what he went through.
“These shoes amaze me, to be honest,” said cobbler Dean Westmoreland.
He planned to clean the boot, build a new heel block and improve the stitching of the boot.
‘There’s over 70 years of muck and grime out there,’ said Dean. I think it will be an extensive cleanup job.
At the same time he also said that he intended to plug the moth’s holes with some wool and felting glue.
“Once the glue is in there, it mixes really well,” he explained. There is a lot of work to be done here, and a lot of holes to fill in the sides of the shoes.
Cobbler Dean Westmoreland said the shoes were “blowing his mind,” and gave the shoes a thorough cleaning job
Malcolm returns to the workshop to see the finished product, saying, ‘I’ve been thinking about the shoes and what’s going to happen to them.
They’ve had a life. It is very exciting that they will regain their former glory.
He was emotional when the shoe was revealed, saying, ‘Oh my word. It’s absolutely perfect.
I never imagined they would be like this again. This is amazing.
“They are very important to me,” he told the camera, “shoes.” It is a tangible reminder of my father who has been dead for many years now.
“But also remember what he went through in the war, and by association, we can’t forget what went before.”