The Repair Shop fans sob as elderly man sees long lost mum’s face for first time

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The Repair Shop had viewers ‘in tears’ as 82-year-old Derek admitted to seeing his mum’s face for the first time.

Derek brought in a small brown leather-look handbag which belonged to his late mother.

He got the bag from his cousin, who had been looking after it for more than 30 years.

Before that, it had been in the possession of Derek’s aunt for 50 years.

"Amazingly, inside the bag I found a photograph of my mother who I’d never seen before," Derek told Suzie Fletcher and Brenton West.

"So at the age of 82 I was able to see a photograph of my mother and a photograph of me as a young child.

Suzie was clearly touched by Derek’s admission, as she said the bag was "lovely".

An emotional Derek continued: "I grew up with my father and his wife, she was the mother I knew. It was only after my father died in the early 60s that she showed me a certificate which showed that I was adopted, so I then knew that Ida – who I’d called mother all my life – was not really my mother at all.

"It was quite a shock."

Derek said after doing some research online, he found his late mother’s death certificate which confirmed she passed away in 1938, aged just 25. Derek would have only been two years old at the time.

"It was so incredible to find this [bag] after all this time and to know that my mother had looked after me at that time."

Derek confessed his cousin Beryl told him that she was "such a loving mother".

"It’s the only tangible reference I have to my mother, so it means everything to have this," Derek said of the handbag.

He said it "filled his heart" to have the bag in his possession.

Fans of the show took to Twitter to share their own emotion at the touching scenes.

"Oh dear, in tears watching Derek on #TheRepairShop. He was 82 before he saw a picture of his mother who died when he was a baby."

Another wrote: "Such a sad story with the handbag. I’m sure Suzie can work her magic on it."

Someone else typed on Twitter: "The story behind the bag. You just know #TheRepairShop will do it proud," accompanied by crying and broken heart emojis.

A fourth added: "Right. The old boy with his mother’s handbag is going to send me over the edge."

Suzie admitted the art-deco bag needed "a good clean", but decided to reattach its missing strap.

She added a diamond design to the strap, and used faux leather to reinforce the material.

Suzie later added chains to the strap so it could be attached to the main body of the bag after Brenton repaired the main metal clasp.

And touchingly, the hosts had even blown up the photograph of Derek's mum, erasing the fold marks from it and placing it in a bold white frame.

When Derek was presented with the repaired bag, he was clearly impressed, saying, "Suzie, you've worked your magic."

"You are wonderful, thank you so much. I'm so moved," he added as he attempted to hold back tears.

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A tearful Derek even hugged Suzie after she presented him with the picture.

He said he hoped his mum was looking down and saying: "Well done darling.

"It's been a long, long time but at last we've found each other."

  • BBC

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