A knack for restoration work must run in the Fletcher family.

Steve Fletcher is the horologist on the beloved BBC show The Repair Shop where a team of restoration experts take precious family heirlooms and possessions and restore them to their former glory.

But did you know saddle maker and leather expert Suzie Fletcher is his sister?

The pair grew up in a big draughty house in the Oxfordshire countryside, and became fascinated with antiques and items that needed repairing as their dad had a clock and watch repair shop.

Suzie’s older brother convinced her to take part in the show in 2017 when she moved back to Witney after living in Colorado in the US and sadly losing her husband to cancer.

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She said: “Steve did the pilot series in 2017 and I was just picking up my life in the States where I’d been living for over 20 years. Five weeks later I was in the second series.

"Every time [Steve] called he looked to be having such a good time. I jokingly said, 'If they need anyone to do leather I'm your gal.' I really was joking but after several phone calls and a lot of reassurance from Steve, I agreed to give it a go and joined the team.

"I'm so happy I did, as this is one of the most enjoyable things I've ever been involved with. It's also helped me through some very dark days."

Suzie's grief resurfaced in a 2019 episode when whilst restoring a rocking horse, she found the name of rocking horse owner and participant, Julie's late husband written underneath the saddle.

She revealed she had received an abundance of touching messages from fans after the episode aired and described it as a "hug from the whole population."

Suzie had a lifelong love of horses and had been making bridles and saddles for her Sindy dolls since she was 14 before training at a London saddlery college where she also learned about making footwear and leather goods.

On the show she has restored everything from delicate linings in silver purses to iconic 70s furniture.

She admits she wasn't ready for TV fame at first.

She said: “I am a private person but I have had to learn a few new skills. And it such a worthwhile show to be involved with, that far outweighs anything. It’s ultimately about the people who come in and the item is the catalyst for them to tell their story.

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“There does seem to be a whole swathe of people who watch the Repair Shop and people do definitely recognise me,” she said. “We were quite naïve, that was something we had not really considered before we entered this wonderful world of TV.”

Steve Fletcher said he nearly missed out on being involved in the show after receiving an email in 2016 “from a company that I hadn’t heard of asking if I would be interested in taking part in a brand new show.

“Not trusting anything that is on the internet, I nearly deleted it and would have done if my partner, Mel, hadn’t stopped me saying that it all looks OK."

He said: “The best part of being on the Repair Shop is the reaction of people when they see their transformed item - from excitement to true deep emotion.”

The clock and watch repair business The Clock Workshop in Langdale Court has been in the Fletcher family for three generations as Steve’s grandfather opened it in Oxfordshire in 1910.

Steve’s son Fred, 20, has followed in his footsteps and works as a junior clockmaker at his workshop, and one of Steve’s four daughters, Milly, also works for the family business as an admin assistant.

Fred carried out the repairs on Witney’s Buttercross clock, which hadn't worked for three years, overseen by clock maker David Mitchell.

Fred is the fourth generation of Fletchers to repair clocks in Witney and will be in charge of keeping the clock running from now on.

Steve’s daughter Milly said: “My dad absolutely loves being on the show, he gets to work with really interesting people and they are like a little family down there.

“Yes he does get recognised in the street, it is very strange! He knows a lot of people in Witney so sometimes when people say hello he has to figure out if they are somebody he knows or a fan of the show.”