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News - December 2019

By John Pegram (Secretary) Christchurch Men's Shed

Saturday, 14 December 2019


Christchurch Men's Shed Contributor


`Tis December and “The Season to be Merry”.

But it is also a time to reflect on the old year and look forward to 2020.

2019 had its disappointments for sure but was also the year that our Men's Shed really came to life. As well as the Summer BBQ and the Beer & Skittles events, membership (37) and workshop attendance was up and the number of projects and community work undertaken increased significantly. To top it all, it looks like we finally have a new home in the Old School House in Highcliffe. Even though we have not started transforming the lower hall into a workshop, it already feels like we belong there. Many thanks to everyone who has helped out with clearance and renovation work in the main halls. I have copied an extract from the Highcliffe Residents Association (HRA) newsletter below:

(Ian Hartnell)The past few months have been dominated by the work needed at the Old School. My wife Kathryn and I have spent most weekends with volunteers, some of them members, but most from Men’s Shed who have done an amazing job and all for sustenance of fig rolls and cups of tea!

It is planned to have a formal opening ceremony of the renovated Old School as part of our resumed AGM and Quarterly Members Meeting in the Old School on Monday 6th January at 7.15pm.

The memory that sticks in my mind, though, is that of Les and Richard clinging to Barry's shed roof in the teeth of a gale. However, Brian Vaughn will be arranging a day for us to go back and make a proper repair. Please, please let it be a warm, dry sunny day!

Shed Funds:

Our Somerford (mis)adventure cost us dearly in terms of lost revenue however through group and individual efforts we have started to recover the situation.

Len and Jerry undertook some building works with tools provided by John Blakeman and raised £90 for shed funds.

Sales of turned pens (John Blakeman) and Christmas trees (yours truly) raised a total of £130

Robert Fielder made a generous donation to shed funds in return for help from John MacBean with machining parts for a Japanese Embroidery Frame

The Skittles event raised a total of £115 of which £100 was added to shed funds. Thanks to Jerry for organising the event and to Margaret & Margaret for running the raffle with Allen Hennah taking home first prize. Despite some determined efforts, not everyone managed to worry the skittles! Brian and Tina Vaughn were the eventual winners with the highest individual scores. We demand a re-match! (Jerry please take note).

If anyone else can come up with fund-raising ideas or projects, go for it - and let us know if you need some help!

In the meantime, applications for funding have been made to the National Lottery 25 year Anniversary event, Screwfix and Greggs. So, fingers crossed.

Workshop Projects

Jerry made a carved Clam Shell; Ron a prototype Bug Hotel and 8 bird boxes for Druit Gardens in Christchurch from timber donated by John King; Len has been working on his amazing Saxon warrior helmet; and two benches that were originally located on the zig-zag path have been moved to the Old School House as a (community) restoration project for Men's Shed in 2020. Once restored, they will be re-located in Highcliffe by the Highcliffe Action Team (HAT).

We are hoping to be in a position to start converting the lower hall into a workshop at the School House sometime in January. The existing access doors, gates and locks need sorting then initial work will probably involve stripping out old fittings, constructing benches and re-building the end cupboard as a tool store.

Typical isn't it, for every three people doing an honest days work at the “Men's Shed School of Sharpening”, sharpening their blades, there has to be a supervisor?

New Donations of Tools

We received a donation of tools from Grace Johnson including a nice Stanley No. 4 bench plane, some very useful G-clamps, and a chop saw - many thanks Grace – also Barry Atkinson bought in some tools donated locally

Greystone's House Workshop closes for Christmas:

Our last day in the workshop this year will be December 20th (same day as our final Mudeford Club lunch). Greystone's House will re-open after the holidays on January 6th.

Active Highcliffe at the Castle on 19th January

We have arranged to have a table at the Active Highcliffe event at the castle in January to promote Christchurch Men's Shed. We will need a few volunteers to help out on the day together with some examples of our work, activities and community projects.

And that brings me to the final verse of the poem - the one I most look forward to:

Freezing wet December, then.....

Bloody January again!

Here is the link to the Flanders & Swan rendition on YouTube:

Maybe the original version is a touch more positive:

Chill December brings the sleet,

Blazing fire and winter treat!

So, for a winter treat, get down to the Mudeford Club on Friday 20th for a pint of Doombar. (Other drinks are available)

John Pegram


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.