Arthur's special skill


Staying busy and motivated is the key to the golden years, says Rangiora retiree Arthur Linnell.

He believes the best way to keep your mind busy, is to keep your hands busy.

Now 80-years-old Arthur keeps active helping others in his community.

His special skill is repairing toys donated to the City Mission shop in Rangiora.

"A few years back I volunteered at the City Mission shop in Rangiora.

"A few donated toys were lying around that were busted or not working.

"They were going to be thrown out so I asked if I could try and fix them."

He found many just needed their battery connectors or switches cleaned to make them work again.

Arthur Linnell with a toy he rebuilt. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Arthur Linnell with a toy he rebuilt. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
The wooden toys needed a bit more work, with many needing replacement parts.

Arthur used the skills he has learned over his life to get them back into working order. He says his passion for repairing toys came from his father.

With a lifetime of experiences in a variety of fields, including nursing, mechanical and structural engineering, the former taxi and tour bus operator moved to Rangiora from Dunedin with his wife Colleen when they retired.

He then joined the Menz Shed to hone his wood-working skills.

"I believe in keeping busy. Keeping your hands busy keeps your mind busy.

"If you don’t, then you stagnate."

He likes designing and making things. Arthur is working on building tiny fairy homes and doors for children to place around their gardens or in other places.

He says there is always a demand for wooden toys as they last a lot longer, and are more durable than plastic and electronic toys.

But they do break down and need mending. Many of the toys he repairs have special memories for their owners.

Parents fondly remember the wooden toys their parents or grandparents gave them when they were young and now they would like to pass them over to their children.

One day he was asked to repair a broken ride-on wooden toy truck.

It was made of Medium Density Fiberboard and was damaged by age and the weather.

Arthur stripped it down, rebuilt many parts by hand and then repainted it.

"The happiness of the father, as he was now able to push his son around in the same wooden toy he had been pushed around in by his father, made it all worthwhile.

"I will never forget the joy on both their faces."

Arthur also keeps busy looking after his small garden and propagating plants.

"It keeps me happy and occupied."