Jay Blade fights back tears with heartbreaking Repair Shop ring restoration story
The Repair Shop: Customer brings in her wedding ring
Jay Blade welcomed widower Eve into The Repair Shop and it was his job to unearth the story behind the item she wanted to be restored. The lady explained how her late husband’s wedding ring was severely damaged when he was taken to hospital. Eve and her beloved Keith had designed one another’s rings and it was important to her to have it fixed so she could wear it for the rest of her life, and it was up to goldsmith Richard Talman to repair it.
“I’ve brought you my beloved late husband Keith’s wedding ring,” Eve said. “Which has been badly destroyed.”
“Tell us the history,” Jay encouraged and she revealed: “I met Keith in 1987.
“He was a widower of 56 and I was a divorcee of 48, and we met through one of the original dating agencies, I suppose.
“We had lots of lovely outings – theatre, concerts. He turned out to be just absolutely right,” Eve continued.
“And then we dated all that year and we married in December ’88.
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“He was an incredibly gifted engineer and the thought it would be nice if he designed my engagement ring.”
The camera then panned to her left hand as she explained the details of the ring: “His birthstone is diamonds and mine is pearl. So that’s me in his arms.”
“That is romantic,” Jay commented and Richard added: “How beautiful.”
“And then, I followed suit with his ring, which is damaged,” Eve said.
“So, why is it damaged?” Jay asked and she replied: “He was diagnosed in 2011 with cerebral atrophy, so it progressed from atrophy into Alzheimer’s.”
Those watching at home learnt how Eve cared for her husband for six years before he went into a care home, and it was during his final 18 months that Keith was admitted to hospital several times.
The last time he had to be taken to hospital was because his hands had swollen.
“What he had done, he had taken his wedding ring off his ring finger and put it onto his index finger because it had swollen,” Eve added.
“They panicked and sent him to hospital in an ambulance. By the time he got there his finger was so engorged, that they said the only way it could be removed was like that,” she said referred to the way the ring had been hacked apart.
“He’d been into hospital five times in a year and he’d always recovered,” the guest remarked, tearing up at the memories.
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“But the last time, it was just one time too many… and he never recovered. And that is why the ring is so special to me,” Eve stated.
Richard and Jay were visibly moved by her story and were unable to conjure up a reply for Eve.
Jay eventually said: “Eve, thank you for sharing that story with us.”
And Richard got to work restoring the ring, and preserving the memories.
“That is broken,” Jay commented when he took a closer look at the ring. “I’ve never seen a ring broken like that before.
“And the bottom bit there feels quite fragile. Like if you open it up, it’s going to snap in the bottom as well.”
Richard explained: “That’s where they’ve prised it apart and it’s ben at the weakest point. What I’m going to have to do is replace a small part of it.
“Also, one of the diamonds has been shattered where they’ve gone in with the cutters and another one has just been lost.
“So, we’re going to need to replace two of the diamonds.”
The first thing Richard did was heat up the metal, to soften the molecules which would allow him to reshape the ring into a round position.
“This is the most nerve-wracking part,” he commented before moving onto tapping down the jagged parts.
But the ring needed more gold added to it in order for it to be fully restored.
When Eve returned to The Repair Shop, she was “apprehensive” but “ready” to see the finished result.
“Oh my gosh. It’s so bright and beautiful,” she commented. “Richard, thank you. I don’t know what to say.
“I’m going to wear that for the rest of my life. And that’s me and Keith together again,” Eve said through tears.
The Repair Shop airs tonight on BBC One at 7pm.
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