East Linton Tool Library is Go!
Updated: May 15
We are delighted to let you know that East Linton Tool Library is now up and running!
All membership fees go towards the upkeep of the Tool Library including rent, bills, insurance, etc. and will help us ensure the project is sustainable.
To discover how we got to this point, please read on...
Back in January 2021, having spent much of the first year of the Fixing for a Future project delivering activities online because of Covid-19 and still unable to proceed with a fully-fledged Repair Cafe, we decided it was time for a change of tack.
What would enable us to make the best progress in fulfilling our aims to promote the circular economy, enable an increase in skills to repair belongings, encourage an ethos of reducing consumption, waste to landfill and CO2 emissions and build community resilience?
The answer: Of course! A Tool Library!...
We post the suggestion of starting a Tool Library on Facebook and the response from all, particularly residents of East Linton, Haddington and Dunbar, is a resounding 'Yes!'
As luck would have it premises have just become available to rent at The Mart, East Linton.
It's a tired old cabin, former site office 'Rodger'. We're excited to get the keys and have a place to call our own.
As further luck would have it, Janet Morales, Network Manager at Edinburgh Tool Library, has recently moved to the area. Early conversations with Janet, who shares her knowledge and experience, help set us off on the right track.
We put out a call for volunteers and within a few weeks we have a team of 12. Among these volunteers is George Young, a student at the Chippendale School of Furniture. George offers to kit out our portakabin with storage.
He pays a visit to assess its potential...
and has a vision. He creates this brilliant 3D image incorporating workbench, social area and flexible modular shelving.
East Linton Tool Library: George, what inspired you to help out by building the storage for our cabin?
George: "I saw what Edinburgh Tool Library in Leith was doing and, since moving to Haddington and becoming a student at The Chippendale International School of Furniture, Gifford, I wanted to get more involved with the local community. I'm concerned about the environment and climate change so when I found out about the Fixing for a Future project and plans for East Linton Tool Library I saw the perfect opportunity to contribute by volunteering to kit out the cabin. It's been a great chance to put my new skills to good use and be part of an inspiring project that's all about less waste, building community and promoting a sharing economy"
(George has recently started his own business, Braw Wood, specialising in designing and making "wooden creations that will last a lifetime" from native, sustainable timber.)
Meanwhile, work is underway transforming the interior walls from lilac to a mellow shade of grey. Covid rules only one household. Thank you, Frida and Michael!
Gill Robertson brings a sparkle and some serious elbow grease.
George visits Move on Wood Recycling in Leith and chooses some beautiful looking and smelling larch wood. Having cut all the wood to size back at The School, George - assisted by his friend Gavin - delivers the timber to The Mart...
and proceeds to perform miracles, transforming this....
George's classmates from the Chippendale School help with making the furniture. The seating bench is a work of particularly fine craftsmanship. Seeing as our Tool Library is not just about tools - it's about chatting and friendships, imagining and working together to create better futures, sharing skills and knowledge and generally having a good time - we're going to need some sturdy seating.
George and his partner, Migle, take a break after building the workbench.
Work continues on beautifying the interior. Frida applies an undercoat and two coats of the uplifting shade 'del Sol' to our pegboards.
Now that the shelves are up and the floor's been laid, it's on with getting the tools into the cabin and putting everything in order. (The selection of tools has been bought in response to requests from the community for particular items to be included in the inventory).
A few of us have training in the online loaning system 'myTurn' from Co-Founder and CEO Gene Homicki.
Chris Chapman masters myTurn and sets to work methodically and meticulously uploading photos of each of our tools to the inventory, seeking out the details of every item and inputting all kinds of essential data, enabling us to become the fine-tuned enterprise that we are.
Brian Suttie carries out the electrical safety testing.
Dave Foley helps unpacking and weighing the tools. In order to record our CO2 savings we need to know the weight of every single tool!
George adds a couple of sleek storage boxes on castors.
Dan Harrison, who designed our supercool, timeless and attention-grabbing logo, helps attach sign to cabin to ensure all is level.
And we're ready to go!
A tool library is an example of a Library of Things, of which there are many in the U.S. and Europe and a rapidly growing number in the UK.
East Linton Tool Library is a member of Community Resources Network Scotland, the national repair, reuse, recycle charity. We are currently connecting with Chris Hellawell, Founder and Director of Edinburgh Tool Library, about setting up a national network of tool libraries.
It's a little over 3 months since we posted on Facebook to gauge interest in a Tool Library. It's been a real team effort and we hope that this will be a much valued resource for the community.
We welcome you to East Linton Tool Library
Come and join us!