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The Repair Shop's Steve Fletcher had a very different career in younger years – see epic throwback photo

Steve used to work as a fireman in Witney

Steve Fletcher on The Repair Shop
Nicky Morris
Nicky MorrisTV and film writer
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Steve Fletcher is known and loved for being The Repair Shop's resident horologist and regularly wows viewers with his incredible clock-repairing skills. But did you know that the expert had a very different career before appearing on the popular BBC show?

Back in the 1980s, Steve worked as a fireman in Witney in Oxfordshire, which is where he still lives now and runs his clock and watch repair business, The Clock Workshop.

WATCH: The Repair Shop's Steve Fletcher wows fans with incredible glimpse inside garden

In 2021, the TV star reminisced about his days as a firefighter on Instagram, sharing a newspaper clipping from 1987 that featured a story about Steve, who designed a special clock for the fire department's German exchanges.

The article explained that Steve was a retained fireman for his local brigade in Witney and produced the clock for their German friends in the town of Ihringshausen. According to the report, exchange visits had been swapped between the brigades for several years and Steve decided to send the gift to celebrate their German colleagues' move to a new fire station. 

View post on Instagram

In the caption, Steve wrote: "1987! Someone added this to our local memories page on Facebook this week - great memory of my time spent with the Witney fire service and our German exchanges with our colleagues in Ihringshausen."

Fans took to the comments section to praise the post, with one person writing: "Awesome, lovely memories," while another added: "That's brilliant, well done."

Others couldn't help but notice how little Steve has aged since the late 80s, with one person commenting: "You haven't changed a bit, Steve," while another added: "You have never changed, Steve."

Suzie and her brother Steve Fletcher© Guy Levy
Steve with his sister Suzie, who is also an expert on The Repair Shop

Who are the experts on The Repair Shop?

Sonnaz Nooranvary, Lucia Scalisi, Julie Tatchell, William Kirk, Jay Blades, Amanda Middleditch, Suzie Fletcher, Dominic Chinea, Steve Fletcher© Guy Levy
Sonnaz Nooranvary, Lucia Scalisi, Julie Tatchell, William Kirk, Jay Blades, Amanda Middleditch, Suzie Fletcher, Dominic Chinea, Steve Fletcher
  • Jay Blades: Presenter and furniture restoration expert
  • Will Kirk: Carpenter and woodwork expert
  • Steve Fletcher: Horologist
  • Suzie Fletcher: Leatherworker and saddle expert
  • Kirsten Ramsay: Expert in ceramics
  • Dominic Chinea: Metal worker and car restorer
  • Brenton West: Silversmith, photography expert
  • Sonnaz Nooranvary: Upholstery Restorer
  • Amanda Middleditch and Julie Tatchell: Soft toy restores known as 'The Teddy Bear Ladies'
  • Lucia Scalisi: Painting and artwork restorer
  • Mark Stuckey: Electronics expert and radio restorer
  • Neil Fairley: Vintage electronics repairer
  • Hannah Weston Smith: Traditional Upholsterer

Steve Fletcher's early career and TV debut

Steve has been repairing clocks and watches for many years and runs his own workshop in Witney, which was founded by his grandfather over 100 years ago in 1910.

After gaining first class qualifications from a British Horological Institute college course in 1973, Steve began working as a third-generation horologist and eventually took over the family business from his father, who passed away in 2007. 

Jay Blades and Steve Fletcher© BBC
Steve with the show's host Jay Blades

MORE: The Repair Shop's Steve Fletcher wows fans with incredible restoration amid show break

MORE: The Repair Shop's Steve Fletcher wows fans with incredible glimpse inside garden

In 2017, Steve made his TV debut in The Repair Shop's first season and has amassed a legion of fans with his impressive restorations. 

The clockwork expert has his partner Mel to thank for landing the gig as she encouraged him to respond to an email from the company behind the show. 

Steve Fletcher and his partner Mel close up© stevefletcher.clocks
Steve with his partner Mel

"In 2016 I received an email from a company that I hadn't heard of asking if I would be interested in taking part in a brand new show," he explained in a previous interview with the BBC. 

"Not trusting anything that is on the internet, I nearly deleted it and would have done if my partner, Mel, hadn't stopped me saying that it all looks ok. I responded and a few moments later had a phone call from [producer] Shane who told me about the show and I agreed to appear on it."