Learn the Drums, or Come & Play
Join the Camera Club - Any Phone or Camera will do
Make a Waistcoat with John
Make a bowl perhaps?
Get some grub by Les
Learn or Play Along with us

As a child, I was unable to take part in active sports, and tiddlywinks got incredibly boring.  Along came my Gran and patiently taught me the basics of knitting, crochet and cross-stitch. I took to cross-stitch most of all, and did quite a bit in my early years.

Then came studies, work and family, so time became limited (and it just wasn’t the thing to do).

Now, having retired, and not being particularly proficient with a hammer, I have joined the growing squad of Fabric Engineers to renew my acquaintance with a needle and thread.I have finished a number of small kits, which I will be making up into cards intended as birthday or other occasion cards, each with a “masculine” theme, such as trains tractors, cars, etc., and these should be ready for sale quite soon.

My next projects are, a 1956 BSA Gold Star motorbike, which should be about 9 x 6 inches when completed, and an ambitious project to reproduce a 1960s etching by George Chapman called ‘Going Home’, depicting the end of a shift at a Colliery. I hope Mr Chapman won’t mind the liberty - it will be in aid of Maesteg Shedquarters! No promises on the latter, though, as it is likely to be even bigger than the bike.  The work is going to be interpreted from a computer download of the etching, quite an undertaking.

I have found stitching therapeutic, tough enough to keep an active mind interested and something of a talking point with my fellow Shedders. If anyone out there is interested in this activity - don’t be shy............

Check out Maesteg Shedquarters.........

For several years the Shed has had a close relationship with the village of Llangynwyd and its church, St cynwyds. We have repaired and restored a communal bench in the village and made book rests for their record books when they hold open days. We have also contributed to their Quilt and Craft Festivals by showing some of our members’ crafts.

This year we were asked if we would like to have a table to display and sell what we make in the Shed, we said yes. This year was different as the festival would have to be held in St Michael’s church, Maesteg. St Cynwyd’s Church dates back to before the time of Elizabeth I and the church hall was one of the first schools in the valley and are in need of renovation. Because of that, the three day festival needed to be moved for this year.

 Shed members spent weeks making wooded planters, bird tables and turned items, tatted jewellery and since it was a craft festival tatted scissors keeps. Friends of the Shed also made needle cases and pin cushions.

The work on show was amazing as you walked in the door you were met with waves of colour. I mean that as the quilts were draped over the pews and they look like wave all the way from the back of the church to the front. As St Michaels is a much larger church than St. Cynwyds the organisers were afraid they would not be able to fill it, but they did. The organisers made over £1000 for St Cynwyds.

Anyone who has done any handycraft work would appreciate the thousands of hours of work that had gone into producing enough quilts to fill such a huge space. There was only one quilt for sale it was for £110 and it went very quickly. For those who were interested in quilting there were dozens and dozens of different patterns as no two quilts were

The Shed table was manned for the three days. The turned items went on the first day. All the planters went and we had to take orders. Altogether we made £76. Selling the goods, was only part of why we took the table it was also to use the opportunity to sell idea of a Men’s Shed. We were able to talk to men and women from a wide area of S Wales. We find that women are our best recruiters. One woman begged me to get her husband out of the house, not for her benefit but for his.

ShedQuarters Commissioned to Build New Art Project

The woodworking group and the craft group are working on an exciting project. The Shed has been approached by an eminent artist Mel Brimfiel who as asked us to be involved in an art project that she has been commissioned to produce. Of course we said yes.

Mel has been asked by the National Psychosis Unit, at Bethlem Royal Hospital to produce an art work around the theme of mental health, loneliness and isolation. She has asked Sheds from around England and Wales to produce chairs. They will be normal size chairs with a hole for a speaker in the middle of the seat (with the tendency of the Welsh to give everything a nickname, they are known as “commodes”). We have been asked to produce two chairs, one will be plain the other will be upholstered with a made up patchwork cloth. Shed members will be recorded and their voices and stories will come from their chairs.

The design of the patchwork is called the “Courthouse Steps” since we meet at the Court house. It will also be embroidered with our name “Shedquarters” and the symbol of “7777” Between the design the “Courthouse Steps” and the 7777 which signifies “The old parish” the nickname for Measteg. Those in the know will know where the chair came from.

The art work will go on display in the Kelham Island Industrial Museum, Sheffield, the Chapter Arts Center, Cardiff and The Tetley in Leeds during 2020.

 

Men’s Sheds Members Visit Modular Factory

Men’s Sheds’ are social groups or enterprises set up in local communities for the benefit of men who would normally spend large amounts of time alone.

The idea originated in Australia and was developed by the health board to tackle growing concerns of social isolation amongst the male population.

They found that boredom caused by retirement, unemployment or long term illness could manifest itself in declining mental health.

Sheds spread to Ireland and then the rest of the UK – which now boasts 500 sheds at the time of writing.

Men’s Sheds bring together men with skills in a variety of areas to learn from each other, socialise, enjoy days away and share a meal. ‘Shedders’ can be artists, collectors, carpenters, archers, story-tellers, amateur radio enthusiasts, train spotters and model makers.

Anyone is welcome – and any interest, skill or project is given equal consideration, especially if it could attract new members or gain valuable income to support the development of the group.

Two members from a shed local to the Wernick Buildings factory originally visited to collect off-cuts of timber for their woodworking shop.

The guys were so excited by the facility that a tour was arranged for the whole Maesteg group. Eight Men’s Sheds members were shown the inner workings of the modular building factory, with the Wernick Buildings team remarking that the group was “the most enthusiastic, inquisitive group witnessed on a factory tour”.

John Gates, Men’s Sheds Maesteg Chair commented: “I think we were all impressed and surprised. We all had the wrong idea of the type of buildings you produced. Some of us were brought up in prefabs after the War or saw the classrooms that our children were taught in, hot in summer and cold in winter. We were impressed with the method of production and the quality of the workmanship. Thank you again for arranging such an enjoyable visit.” 

Garfield finished his waistcoat and is proudly showing it off:

ShedQuarters Members photo pages.

Loss of our friend Roger

I expect that by now most of you would have heard of the death of our friend and member Roger Akerman. His very quick, dark humour will be missed. He had a way of saying things that were at the same time dark but funny. He had a way of bringing you down to earth by cutting across your argument but he would not just point out where you were wrong but also come up with an alternative.

He was someone who cared about our shed, our members and what our shed stood for. He worked hard behind the scenes with his wide range of contacts and worked hard to bring in new members for the shed. His common sense, advice and enthusiasm will be missed by us all.  

Roger was a founder member of ShedQuarters and served as Treasurer for the first two years, until his health started getting the better of him. He helped cook our food and sometimes stepped in to cook the whole meal when Les was away.

His funeral service was held on Monday 18th March, 2:00pm in Saron Chapel Nantyffyllon. Followed by a service at Coity Crematorium, Bridgend, at 3:15pm. The reception was held at the Harlequins Club, Maesteg.