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Men's Sheds Play Elvis at Porthcawl Festival Bridgend 2017

It was a beautiful warm Saturday September 23rd when a few ukulele players got together to play at the Elvis Festival at Porthcawl, Bridgend.

Men's Sheds Squirrel's Nest Bridgend and Shedquarters Maesteg were much appreciated at the festival. They started playing along the esplanade, away from the large P.A. systems and the crowd were soon joining in. After only 20 minutes of playing, they were discovered by the MC of the Dog Show and ushered to the arena to play, to get the crowd warmed up before the show.

Later they had Elvis dancing in front of them and a karaoke singer, who may have been a little inebriated, as she introduced herself by asking, "where's your f****ng coinage pot?". Anyway, the crowd seemed to enjoy it!

If you want to learn the uke or any other instrument, come along to ShedQuarters on a Thursday, we are a friendly bunch. If you already play an instrument and want to join in, come along.


Listen to our new Podcast for September:

Make a Ukulele? Why Bother?

I play the ukulele, a "cheap and cheerful" instrument, very affordable, and easy to play. So why bother to make one? To which I'd say "why not?". There's something very satisfying about making things, and making things you can use is doubly satisfying, I find.

Having trawled through the very many sites on the Internet under "cigar box ukuleles", I came up with a design which I was convinced would be an improvement on most of those simple ones I'd looked at, and off I went. I've now completed my first one, and it's playable! Not the greatest sound,  and not loud enough without amplification, but it stays in tune, and is certainly better than the super cheap ones which seem to be on sale everywhere. However, I've also learned some very useful lessons, which I'm trying to put into practice in my second build.

Firstly, if all the websites do things in a particular way, there's a good reason for it! Secondly, like any good project, precision is important - "near enough" doesn't work, and I had to spend time recutting bits of the ukulele to make sure everything fit together tightly. I also learnt a fair bit about how sound is made, and which parts of the instrument are crucial to a good tone - might seem obvious to many, but not to me!

Eventually, it would be nice to make more of the instrument, but this time I bought the fretboard, the machine heads and the strings. The photos show the bits at a midway stage in the project (right) and the finished article (left).

Garfield and Alan from the Shed are building similar, improved versions of this model, and I'm trying a different approach with my new attempt. I'll add to this short article once we see whether or not we're improving. In the meantime, if anyone wants to join us, let me know. 

Article by: Les Jones


Nice Day for a ShedFest

On Saturday 2nd September we had our first ShedFest with the help of Sheds in Bridgend in partnership with Awen Cultural Trust, Bridgend County Borough Council, Halo Leisure and Local Community Coordination.

Men's Sheds came from all over Bridgend, Maesteg ShedQuarters, Squirrel's Nest and the Caerau Old Gits were there, among others.

Children enjoyed the bouncy castle and other entertainment, Squirrel's Nest demonstrated their woodwork skills, Caerau'sShedFest 2017 Men's Sheds Wales ShedForce served the free burgers and sausage rolls while ShedQuarters showed off their photo club and other skills, in our tent occupied by our Chairman John Gates and our photo expert, Phil Hillier.

There were also local men from Ogmore Valley, sharing their skills, including an arts exhibition, archery and a bike track. The archers had a long queue of visitors waiting to loose a few arrows at the targets.

Musical entertainment and singalongs were arranged by Les Jones, the Musical Director of ShedQuarters and The ShedHeads with skilled accompaniment by Richard Keen of Squirrel's Nest. Even Andre's 10 year old son, Aaron, joined us on drums for a few numbers.

Richard brought some ukuleles and taught visitors to play a few chords, while Aaron taught a couple of girls the drums.

The day was hot and sunny, ideal weather and judging from the smiles and laughter, a good time was had by all. Thanks to all those involved, especially Andre Van Wyk, in making this happen and be so successful.


We now have members learning how to repair clocks at ShedQuarters. Clock repair is a very rewarding pass time and can be developed into a small business, after a lot ofClock Repair Men's Shed Wales practice.

Here you can see Roy learning how to strip and re-assemble a small clock he brought in. The next project he will attempt will be stripping an antique French movement, cleaning, polishing and re-assembling it ready for it's housing.

Another member has brought in an American Ansonia mantel clock circa 1890. His clock has no anchors for the dial, no glass and a poorly repaired hinge. He has already helped in adding copper anchor tabs to the rear of the dial, removed lead solder from various places around the bezel and has measured the correct size for the glass with a digital vernier.

In the next session he will help drill the dial anchors and cut a new clock glass from a sheet.

Clock Repair Maesteg

County Shed Name Website Phone Activities
Bridgend ShedQuarters Maesteg shedquarters.men 07896 621429

Clock repair, band, workshop, instrument making, photo club, cooking, podcasting with radio broadcast


ShedFest 2017 ShedQuarters Maesteg shedquarters.men 07896 621429

The event will take place Saturday the 2nd of September at Ogmore Life Centre starting 10am and finishing at 3pm. There will be wet weather provision outside as well as indoor activities, so no need to stay at home in case it rains!


Bridgend Caerau Men's Shed


07966614459 Caerau Men's Shed meets every Friday at 1pm to 3pm at Noddfa Community Project Caerau Road Caerau. Every man is welcome over the age of 18. For more information contact Phil John or Chris Davies

  • 25/08/17 - Optimised site speed, activated Joomla cache, activated hosting compression, deferred java load and created thumb album in Google Photos.
  • 27/07/17 - Added eBay camera items for a 10 day listing. Upgraded Ozio Gallery.
  • 17/07/2017 - Added a pdf download page for music sheets and a menu item under ShedHeads in the Activity menu. Added Ozio Gallery component and plugins for the photography club, this can be accessed under the Activity menu also.
  • 15/07/2017 - Added eBay menu and put on our first auction. Tried using wrapper module to display listing in an article, but it doesn't like https :-(
  • 27/06/2017 - Added responsive css to centre radio and podcast buttons, need to tidy this up when I have time. Added the Constitution under the About menu item. Still need an HTML 5 answer to playing Celtica live feed in a pop-up for mobiles, at the moment it asks for app.
  • 25/06/2017 - Set up secured site with SSL, now use https://shedquarters.men when logging in, the http site will disappear shortly, so change your links. Archived Love2Walk and featured ShedForce. Set up eBay account for the Shed. Added site map generator to back end and added the site map to Google on https://shedquarters.men. OK - so added a couple of lines of code to .htaccess and it now redirects the http to https anyhoo.
  • 10/06/2017 - Added archived articles menu. Added search to the menu and added class search-1 to the search page to increase search results font size and add 50px padding to the left. Added class button-centre and div wrapped Celtica Radio live feed button before formatting the page.
  • 09/06/2017 - Server Side added ShedQuarters email addresses to hosting email accounts. Added contacts to contact list. You want to be on the contacts list? Let me know under Administration subcategory.
  • 08/06/2017 - Added 3 instructional videos to the Author Help menu under Home (Logged In). Added RSS Feeder.
  • 06/06/2017 - Added Production Notes menu and details article under Activity Shed Radio menu, for front end signed in users. Added contact form with form mail. Added 2 videos for setting up Firefox.
  • 05/06/2017 - Added 2 video lessons , compress your photos and upload them to Google. To access these, log in and under the home menu go to Author Help. Added calendar list at the bottom of the page for authors and above. It works in all pages if you sign in from the front. This will make it easier for people that create events from the front end to see their event has been published.
  • 04/06/2017 - Added Celtica Radio Feed button to the main menu. It opens a pop-up where the radio can be played in the background. Both the button page and the pop-up will be embellished later. It functions at the moment.
  • 31/05/2017 - Added User Article manager to the front end. Log in the front end, go to Home and select Article Manager. From here you can see all your articles and edit them before publishing. Changed line 60 in uam.php to clear error report. Test advanced web page maker for the front end.
  • 30/05/2017 - Today I changed the date format on the events list. Checked a front end user management system to make it easier for authors to edit their work before publishing. Added another permission level for authors ready to publish. Created a help video for back end events for editors.
  • 29/05/2017 - Today I changed the menu for mobiles and am wanting to add a way to include an easy download link for files in articles. This will allow people to list PDFs in articles, such as song books, that can be downloaded by people wanting to join in with the music.
  • I intend to create some instructional videos to enable anyone to create their own articles and I will also include a photo gallery that can be embedded in articles, so you can share your photos.
  • The website is here, now it is down to you to use it.