I love Freecycle

I subscribe to two Freecycle groups and enjoy seeing what people are chucking out and more amazingly what people ask for. People actually specify the make and model of baby buggy that they are looking for. Remember this is not to buy, this is for someone to give to them. I don’t know, young people these days are so ungrateful .. mutter..mutter..rant rant. When we were first “expecting” we caught a train to buy a McClaren carrycot/pram/buggy from someone for £18. Believe it or not I think the buggy part might actually be lurking in my garage somewhere. This was back in 1982 when shoulder-pads were the height of fashion and buggies were either blue and white stripes or red and white stripes and had hooks for handles to hang several tons (should that be metric tonnes?) of shopping on, against which you used your offspring as counterweight. Anyway, none of this nonsense about cross-country, cross-trainer, 3 wheeled, 4×4 vehicles that babies aspire to these days.

Talking of going cross-country, I have wondered offtrack here. I was about to announce that I had acquired something from a freecycler who lives a stones’s throw away from the Rugby Stadium at Twickenham where last night the Police were giving a concert. The freecycler suggested that I came to his house whilst the Police fans were safely inside the stadium having their eardrums perforated. What is it, I hear you ask. Well, it’s a sewing machine. Haven’t you’ve already got one?

Yes .. but …this is a HAND sewing machine.


There is no electrical power, and consequently no handy lamp placed strategically above the needle to aid elderly eyes with the threading. The other design feature not yet incorporated when this lovely object was manufactured, probably in the 1930s, is REVERSE. It took me a few minutes to work out that all you have to do is to leave the needle in the fabric, lift the presser foot and rotate the fabric so that it faces in the opposite direction. Does that make sense?

My machine is a Jones, even though it says “Kildare” on it. I have been told that these were made for Whiteleys, London’s first department store when it opened in 1863. According to UK Travel Search, London, “Hitler was particularly taken with Whiteley’s during a visit and vowed to make it his headquarters after Britain was brought under the yoke of the Third Reich.”


5 Responses to “I love Freecycle”

  1. anneholloway Says:

    Me too – where would I be without it after all – people throw away the most incredible things. Up North (that’s pronounced Oop North as in the way you say ‘book’ down south) they obvioulsy aren’t as picky as you London lot – although you do get the odd cheeky request for a fully working motorbike or car. The thing that tickles me is when people advertise a 20 year old washing machine which doesn’t work but they seem to think someone might be able to ‘fix it’. Come on! Just take it to the tip!

  2. twofishknitting Says:

    Thats cool, what a find. Well done you!

    I did get a hedgetrimmer, but you have to bang the whizzy bit on the ground to get it working. I am so afraid of loosing a leg I haven’t dared to use it yet LOL

  3. thelma Says:

    Also own a Jones hand sewing machine, mine belonged to an ex-sister-in-law, years and years and years ago. Not sure that she did’nt get it in America? Anyway she was a dab hand at patchwork..

  4. Juliet Says:

    Oh, it’s fab, I have one very like this, only it’s a Singer, which was my grandmother’s (my sister has my other grandmother’s, which is a Jones). Hope it gives you hours of pleasure. I have got through five useless electric sewing machines in my adult life, all of which went horribly wrong in one way or another, so I chucked them all out and rely solely on my trusty old friend – it has done sterling service, never breaks down and I can’t see any reason why it won’t go on for ever and run up a forth generations-worth of curtains and World Book Day costumes. You have given me an idea for a posting of my own now – thanks! (PS mine does ‘reverse’ but gets in a bit of a tangle in the process, so I ignore this ‘advanced function’ and stick to turning round in the time-honoured fashion)

  5. Juliet Says:

    Hi Ruth – thanks for your comment, yes it was a fab wedding – the more so because my sister’s in the middle of chemo for breast cancer, so it was all extra-specially moving and there wasn’t a dry eye in the church. I don’t usually fill my blog with hundreds of family photos, though, and normal service will be resumed shortly. In answer to your question, I found your blog (and your sister’s) after you left a comment on randomjottings.typepad.com – which I found in turn through dovegreyreader.typepad.com.

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