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News - October 2019

By John Pegram (Secretary) Christchurch Men's Shed

Thursday, 7 November 2019


Christchurch Men's Shed Contributor


A voice in the workshop was heard to say "we haven't got enough nuts". Now, I am not sure that is strictly true, but I can confirm that the nuts were busy in October!

Down in the Workshop

It all started with a request to make a stable of Hobby Horses (and one Unicorn). Jerry Russell volunteered as project leader (was it a childhood memory Jerry?) but it ended up with everyone getting involved. The horses were finished last week and of course we had to take them for a test ride. The sight of grown men galloping around Greystone's House making horsey noises was something to behold.

The bench for the green (Elektra Beckum) wood working lathe was completed by John MacBean and Jeff Perkins almost in accordance with the detailed technical construction drawing.

The lathe was bolted down and Nick Mowll completed the job by running a new power supply to the lathe and adding an overhead LED light. The finishing touch will be to install a rack for the lathe tools. The lathe was donated to us by Gerald Scanlon and is a great addition to our workshop. Thank you, Gerald.

While on the subject of w/w lathes, Berry donated a set of turning tools and we now have most of the gouges and chisels we need with the exception of a 3/8" spindle gouge - funds permitting, we should have one by the end of the year.

In respect of funds, Jerry and Len are currently undertaking some local work in return for a donation to Men's Shed.

We will also be running a monthly raffle etc and looking for any further opportunities to raise a few bob for the shed.

We have lots of debates in the workshop about the sheer pleasure of using a finely tuned hand tool tversus noisy, space grabbing, power hungry, planet destroying, nasty power tools so I thought the hand tool aficionados among us would like to see that working class hero, Homer Simpson demonstrating an unusual technique with a bench plane. Who knew that Homer was a fellow lefty?

Barry's Shed

Brian Vaughan's plan of action to fix the leak in Barry's workshop roof was swiftly overtaken by events when the storm on Friday night removed the remaining felt in it's entirety . (I think the Brexit gods were angry!)

We rapidly moved on to Plan B which involved Richard Edwards and Les Mercer lying on the roof while the rest of us frantically nailed down a tarpaulin before we were all airlifted over the fence into the next garden. Hopefully the shed is now watertight giving Brian time to reactivate Plan A

Prostate Cancer Talk

19 men attended the talk (11 from the Shed plus 9 from HCA). Many thanks to Ian Bell for a relaxed but very informative presentation. For anyone who was unable to attend, more information is available at Also, Ian is happy to make a return visit to the shed next year if enough people are interested.

Bob Mackinnon - Silent Sailor repair job

Did anyone else spot the article about our very own Bob Mackinnon in the New Milton Advertiser regarding his repair job on a "silent sailor" silhouette which had been vandalised.

Bob was called in after earlier attempts to effect a repair had failed - well done that man!

Men's Shed Beer &Skittles at the Waterford on the afternoon of 20th November

Jerry is selling tickets for the event and I believe there are still a few available.

Visit of Councillor Carol Gardiner

Carol Gardiner visited our workshop at Greystone's House last week and was, I believe, quite impressed. Nothing to do with the fact that she had the undivided attention of 12 men of course. She stayed on for coffee with us and could not help but be aware of the space restrictions in our current workshop. I understand she has already generated some noise about us within the town and BCP councils which is a lot more than we managed to achieve previously. Thanks, Carol.

Things have been looking up at our morning workshop tea break. Home baked cakes, doughnuts, apple pies (apples provided by Sid White) and chocolate biscuits. My vote so far goes to John Mac Bean's gingerbread cake!

The Old School House

More than half of our members visited the Old School House to see the hall that has been offered to us as a Men's Shed workshop and to help clear out the rubbish from the main hall. According to Ian Hartnell, we shifted over 3 tons of stuff.

When the time came to head off to the Mudeford Club for lunch, we forgot to tell John King and he got roped in to help with the first van load to be taken away. Sorry John! Anyway, we all survived and made it to Mudeford where Sid White, one of our new recruits, entertained us with stories of going to school in the aptly named "Old School House".

A second work party went back last Friday. Where they spent the morning on their hands and knees removing staples from the floor in the main hall. At lunchtime they were bribed with bacon sandwiches and kettle chips to stay on for the afternoon shift and begin painting the hall. I expect there might be a call for more volunteers this coming Friday.

Everyone had a good chance to check out "hall three" which has been promised to Men's Shed. The room is approximately 30 ft x 17ft with 4 large windows down one side.

There is work to be done to convert the hall; including improving access, constructing a toilet block and sorting out the existing heating system, but there is definitely lots of potential.

The School house is on our agenda for discussion at the AGM next week (Tuesday 5th, 1.30 pm sharp at Greystone's House)

And finally, our resident doctor, Bill Davis is off to Australia to start a new life. Bill, if you get this email, good luck in your new adventure from all at Christchurch Men's Shed and please send us pictures of the local "shed" down under.

So that just leaves the poem:

Dark November brings the fog

Should not do it to a dog!

Something to look forward to then...

See you all on Tuesday.

John Pegram

Christchurch Men's Shed

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.