No he's not a singer, he fixes Singer sewing machines silly. Tony is his name, fixing machines is his game.
It has come to the time in Slow Splits life where I need to step up in the world of sewing. As I have mentioned in previous posts, with my spoons you get a drawstring canvas bag that is also handmade by myself. I've been making these bags with a Singer machine that was passed down to me from my Nan and as wonderful as that machine is, it's time for an upgrade.
When I was given my Nans machine it needed some tlc so after some research I found a place in North London that was a specialist shop for sewing machine repairs. I met Tony who took it off my hands and a couple of days later, I had a practically brand new sewing machine. Unfortunately there was no time for a chat with Tony but he did such a great job that I knew if I ever needed anything else, he would be my first port of call.
That time has come and I need an overlocker! Off to see Tony I popped and what a great trip it was. I told him what I was looking for and he got me sat down on the stool he was proud to tell me Geri Hallewell had sat on just a couple of weeks ago and a lesson in basic sewing commenced.
As interesting and informative as the lesson was, it was Tony telling me about his life that made the day so enjoyable. In this Aladins cave of sewing things, Tony has sat there for over 20 years fixing every machine you can imagine. He has walls of machines from the original Singers turned by hand to new, top of the range embroidery machines and everything in between. He has so many that even The Great British Sewing Bee come to him to supply the shows machines.
He's so popular, a photograph of him was entered into the BP portrait award*; he's been written about in newspapers and magazines and is more than willing to whip out the clippings to keep you entertained. I could have sat there all afternoon listening to Tony about how he bought the shop off his Uncle and the changes he had made to it over the years but unfortunately for me, he's a busy man. In the time I was there, two women had come to drop off a charity shop purchase that looked as if it had seen better days. That was no problem for Tony, he never seems to turn down a project.
I've always been one for keeping it local and shopping independent, where else do you get friendly service like that - certainly not from Amazon. He cares about his customers, he wants you to come and have a lesson and share his knowledge. Without people like Tony, this world would be half as interesting. If anyone ever wants a new sewing machine, or even if you want to pull down that one that's been in the loft for years, I suggest you get yourself down to Tony's Singer Sewing Shop and have yourself a chat with the man himself. He's bound to be there, and he will be happy to see you!
* Read the article about Tony and his prize winning portrait here