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News - April 2020

By John Pegram (Secretary) Christchurch Men's Shed

Monday, 6 April 2020


Christchurch Men's Shed Contributor


Just two weeks into the lockdown and it is already starting to feel normal: Staying in is the new going out! Back in the 20th century when I was nowt but a lad, "Corona" was a bottle of fizzy pop, probably with a bit too much sugar and colouring but otherwise pretty harmless. Here in the 21st century, it's lost some of its sparkle and is nowhere near as much fun however shed banter is still permitted, encouraged even!

With the shortage of personal protective clothing continuing, I hear that the UK government has started issuing 6ft barge poles as in "I wouldn't touch him/her with a ...." And over in the USA, Donald Trump has ordered all businesses to install anti-virus software on their computers!

John MacBean provided a link to the Donoon Men's Shed Rap:

Put the kettle on!

Tools & Projects

When I was a teenager, I originally did a running repair on my dad's old hand drill with a rusty bolt back. 50 years later, I finally did a proper job with a brass bolt and a new wooden handle.

I've also curated my tools, well some of them anyway, and Marie Kondoed the putting drawer (that special drawer where you put things), re-ground my centre punches, fixed the wobbly handle on my go-to bench plane and mounted my new bench grinder and tool rest /jig thingy that I got for Christmas. But it seems that there is a malevolent force lurking in the home shed. I head out to do some fine wood working only to discover another tool that needs fixing first. The same thing happens when I try to turn a bowl on the lathe - it goes well at first then turns into another bloody Christmas tree!

In those heady pre-corona days (PC like BC and AD?), Barry Atkinson and John Blakeman were collaborating on turned bird houses.and produced very stylish ones. They just need to attract the right tenants now.

Jerry Russell spotted a goshawk while taking government approved exercise. Best I could do was a bullfinch but I have got blue tits nesting in my bird box for the second year running.

John Smith tells me that he has the tidiest shed in Christchurch - would anyone like to challenge that statement?

Last week, I took a deep breath (gulp) and fired up the hair clippers recently acquired from Amazon. The result was not quite as bad as I feared and in two - three cuts I will be in profit. Anyway, wearing a hat when I go out is not such a big deal. Just remembered, I can't go out anyway so it's ok.

Has anyone else noticed that work expands to fill the available space - what is everyone else doing with their extra home leisure time?

Books to read:

There are literally millions of books available to choose from on-line - let me have your recommendations and I will circulate them. I have a couple of very different suggestions to start with:

Tim Pears West Country Trilogy: The Horseman / The Wanderers / The Redeemed

K J Parker: The Engineer Trilogy: Devices and Desires / Evil for Evil / The Escapement

Christchurch Shed Members Facebook page:

This remains a work in progress but John MacBean thinks he will have it up and running shortly.

In the meantime, send me pictures of stuff you are doing at home - otherwise it really will be all about planes next time!

John Pegram

Christchurch Men's Shed

PS Just as I was about to send the email, I got a call from my old barber back in the midlands who I hadn't spoken to in several years - he must have heard about my battle of the clippers!

Contact Information

Robin Heels (Secretary)

  • 07547922246
Registered charity number 1175104

Find Christchurch Men's Shed

Greystones House, Waterford Road, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 5JL


Additional Information

Located in the Lower Hall of The Old School. The Old School is near Highcliffe Medical Centre and opposite Highcliffe Play Park by the pedestrian light controlled crossing.