The Repair Shop guest ‘speechless’ at 1936 Olympic running shoes worn in front of Hitler

The Repair Shop: Guest gets emotional over restored briefcase

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A recent episode of The Repair Shop, saw cobbler Dean Westmoreland restore a pair of running shoes that once belonged to a woman who competed at the 1936 Olympics in front of Adolf Hitler. Guest Tom Wenham brought his grandmother’s running shoes onto the BBC show in a bid to get them repaired. But, he was left speechless when he finally saw the results of the restoration.

Tom’s grandmother, athlete Audrey Brown, was the original owner of the running shoes.

Audrey saw success at the 1936 Olympics, winning silver in the 4x100m relay.

The competition took place only three years before the outbreak of the Second World War, during a time where Hitler’s power was on the rise.

As a result many people chose not to attend the Olympics in protest of the dictator.

Tom brought his grandmother’s shoes to The Repair Shop, decades after they were worn at the famous sporting event.

He shared details of his grandmother Audrey’s experience at the 1936 Olympics: “I know that she certainly felt deeply uncomfortable about certain elements of participating.

“It was Nazi Germany’s way of legitimising themselves on the world stage,” he explained.

Tom added that Hitler watched Audrey run as the German team were nailed on favourites for gold, but accidentally dropped the baton.

As a result, America ended up taking Gold, Audrey and her Great Britain teammates took silver and Canada won bronze at the end of the event.

Tom explained: “So nan’s medal wasn’t presented to her by Hitler, which I think was something in hindsight she was quite happy with.

“But she was certainly aware of the enormous significance of the event and was very proud and wanted to represent her country.”

Speaking about the shoes, Tom said: “There’s a lot of gran’s stories and our memories tied up and linked to them.

“So, what I’m really hoping is that they’ll now be preserved in a way that we can have them on display,” he added.

When Tom returned to The Repair Shop to see the final result of the restoration, he was overcome with emotions.

Expert cobbler Dean revealed the newly repaired shoes and Tom exclaimed: “Oh my goodness.

He picked up the shoes and took a closer look at Dean’s impressive repair work.

Taking a deep breath, Tom said: “I’m sorry I’m speechless, that’s beyond anything that I could have expected Dean.

“That’s just unbelievable. Amazing. I cannot thank you enough,” he added.

“I hope I did Audrey proud,” Dean said.

“You certainly did. Oh it’s everything we could have hoped for and more,” Tom continued.

Dean replied: “Thank you. It was an honour to work on them.”

“You can picture her wearing those, pulling those on for an Olympic final. That’s something truly special,” Tom said.

The Repair Shop airs Wednesdays at 8pm on BBC One.

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