Half term had taken it's toll on the Ercol table, and from beneath a liberal coating of glue, milk, bogies, glitter, jam and coco pops it was pleading to be rescued. How it has survived this long is testament to the British craftspeople who nailed this thing together 50 years ago. 

I picked it up eons ago from the Saturday morning tat auction at the cattle market, the kind of place you usually find precisely nothing you want. It was chanced on in amongst a stack of dented fire buckets and a leatherette chesterfield sofa that smelt like a hot Lilo. The table was the colour of HP sauce, with a stickiness only achieved through decades of being doused in Mr Sheen, by someone under the impression that aerosol silicon is beneficial to native hardwood. Bidding started at £20, but nobody was biting, all holding out for the gentle watercolour of the pope perhaps, so I stepped in and got it for £15.

80 grit disks and the random orbital sander soon got the top looking more like elm and less like a brewed condiment. 9 years on and it's uses are still being revealed, usually by the children; dance platform, den, operating table, Lego landscape, and just sometimes it gets eaten off. Now it was overdue for a little restoration, so a damn good clean, a gentle once over with super fine wire wool to shift the impressively adhered cereal, then the first coat of Osmo oil is going on while the children bounce the springs off the trampoline outside.

Rachel Lovatt