Welcome to the September Shed News. Somehow, despite relative shed inactivity due to Covid restrictions, this newsletter has so much information that it exceeds the website's maximum for a news page. and so it is coming to you in three instalments.
Ever felt like you had been hit for six - welcome to the new normal!
Our clifftop meetings were just starting to take off when the new restrictions brought them to a premature end.
I had hoped to get some more meetings organised including an autumn BBQ - even if we had to wear coats and scarves rather than shorts, t-shirts and sun hats.
There were 16 of us at our final clifftop do before the rule of six kicked in and it was good to see Allen Hennah, Keith Vinycomb, Jeff Perkins and John Fisher again.
The covid restrictions are having some strange effects on people!
John MacBean was spotted loitering outside Napoleon's Bar in Highcliffe at 10.30 am one morning - I'm sure I saw him rattling the door despite his protestations that he was only wanting to look in the boxes of old tools by the clearance shop next door..........and then Les Mercer emailed me with a request for some ideas of what to do with 100 wine bottle corks he claims were given to him by a friend (yes Les, of course we believe you!)
If you have any ideas for Les and his 100 corks suitable for a family magazine, let me know and I can pass them on.
Despite all the gloom, we do have a couple of pieces of good news!
We have been successful with two grant applications, one from Christchurch Parish Council to allow us to purchase PPE to the value of £450 and one from Highcliffe & Walkford Parish Council for the purchase of a dedicated woodworking bench to help with building the new workshop at the School House. The bench arrived earlier this week in flat pack form and is currently stored in my home shed.
The HCA executive committee at Greystone's House have decided that Greystone's will remain closed at least until the end of the year. This decision was made in part because very few groups wanted to re-start with all the restrictions in place and partly because of the difficulty in getting volunteers in to manage the centre at the present time.
The petanque group will be allowed to use the courts with certain restrictions in place but will not have access to the building.
Men's Shed have been given limited permission to open the workshop for a maximum of 3-people at any one time and with covid precautions in place (masks / sanitiser etc) but only for the purpose of maintaining tools in good condition (we are concerned about the damp conditions and lack of use causing tools to deteriorate) but it does mean that members will be able to access and/or borrow tools.
Access to the workshop will be by prior arrangement only as I will need to be on hand to open up and we will not be able to use the kitchen or canteen.
The workshop currently looks like the Mary Celeste!
We had some tools donated through Jerry Russel plus a load of reclaimed timber dropped off in the main workshop. In the back store room, the shelving system that was in place when we took over the workshop has collapsed scattering tools and equipment everywhere - so there is work to be done!
While Greystone's has been shut down, the exec. committee took the opportunity to undertake some maintenance work plus re-decorating throughout.
We had a volunteer work party from Men's Shed go in and remove and then replace many of the fittings, curtain rails, notice boards, shelves etc. for decorating and it looks like we will need to go back one more time to get everything ready for re-opening. Thanks to Rob, Phil, Jerry, John Mac and Brian!
The School House
In the meantime, we are still waiting for some news on the lease for the School House - the hold up seems to be purely down to HRA's solicitors who are taking an inordinate amount of time to come up with a draft lease for us to review.