Since the age of 10, Colin McLennan has been determined to fix anything. Whether it simply be a broken umbrella or a 1975 Mk 3 Norton Commando motorcycle, he can repair it. Now nearing the age of 79, Colin’s garage has become his personal workshop, filled with nails, tools and machinery to fix anything that is broken.

From a mere childhood hobby to a 60-year long profession, Colin continues to practise the art of tinkering, demonstrating that a lifelong passion for repair, coupled with unwavering dedication, can bring a remarkable career, full circle.

After leaving high school, Colin was employed as an apprentice motor mechanic and went on to repair many memorable machines.

“There was a lot of earth-moving equipment I worked on and it gave me a lot of satisfaction to get them going. They were losing money whenever the machines were down so getting them back on the road gave me a lot of pleasure,” Colin said.

“I still miss the smell of freshly dug earth every morning and the diesel smell.”

Colin focused much of his career working on cars and motorbikes and his passion for tinkering continued to grow over the years. He met his wife, Carmel during the end of his apprenticeship and much of their first home was built up from Colin’s hands.

“He’s made lots of furniture that I helped design and he’d make it exactly how I want,” Carmel said.

“We’d never have to buy something that doesn’t fit because Colin will make it exactly to size.

“It’s saved us a lot of time, money and tears over the years.”

Colin and Carmel keep busy with new projects, unlike other couples their age who Carmel says “don’t really have much to do.”

This is because Colin sees the potential in things that others see as junk. Recently, he found an old toy car someone left on their front lawn. Due to its tangled mess of broken wires and faded colours it was neglected by everyone else, but Colin gave it a second chance.

“I took a bit of time on that; it was a fiddly job. But now it’s working and looking like it’s going to a good home,” Colin said.

This project serves as a testament to Colin’s continued spirit towards the art of tinkering and his commitment to reviving forgotten treasures.



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