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


We Had a very interesting meeting last Thursday. Several months ago we were approached about the idea of setting up a “Repair café” in the Maesteg/Bridgend area. We invited Phoebe Brown from the Repair Café Wales Team based in Cardiff to come to talk to us.

Phoebe made a very strong case for the café, about the need to reduce the amount of equipment that is now going into landfill. When often with a small repair, they could have been put back into use for many more years.

She also spent time explaining the support and training that could be available from the Repair Café Wales organisation should we decide to go ahead with the project. Our members asked some pertinent and interesting questions about procedures and liabilities of running the scheme, which Phoebe answered easily, they were obviously questions that had been asked many times before.

Also present were Jackie Prosser from BAVO and Chris Southern from Men’s Sheds Cymru. Jackie promised BAVO’s support and help for the start up. A question was raised about the pool of expertise needed to cater for the variety of items that could turn up on the day. There will also be a need for volunteers to run the café. From “meeters and greeters” and those to look after the paperwork etc. As the Repair Café  will be a separate organisation from the Men’s Shed the call for “Fixers and Volunteers” will be made to the whole community.

Chris liked the idea of involving the members from a cluster of Sheds. This would fit in with one of the objective of the Men’s Sheds, that of working for and with the community. This would also bring in a greater pool of expertise to draw on. If the idea worked in this area then it could be spread across Wales.

The members decide to “Have a go”. Firstly we need to contact the other Sheds in the Bridgend area to see if they would like to be involved and to run a pilot day in the Maesteg area to see in it would be viable.


Garth Parochial Church Council

Thank you very much for your kind and generous donation of £52.The money will be used to support the men of the Llynfi Valley and surrounding area. 

The aim of the Shed is to provide a safe environment for men to come together to work on projects, share skills and experiences. It s only through the generosity of organisations, such as yourselves that we are able to do that.

Thank you again


Occasionally the ISS crew will broadcast Slow Scan TV (SSTV) on the Amateur Radio VHF Band at 145.800MHz. Over the next few days they will be sending photos over this frequency that can easily be decoded on a phone app, this is demonstrated in the video below.

If you want to know about Amateur Radio and how it can help relieve isolation, come along to the club on a Thursday at 10:30. Getting into Ham Radio couldn't be easier now, there are three tiers (Foundation, Intermediate and Full) and there is no Morse Code to learn, unless you want to later. The Foundation allows you to get on all the bands with a power limit of 10 Watts, but that is plenty to get into many repeaters and Europe, there are also digital modes, where you can speak to people all over the world on 1 Watt.

As you can see, you don't need a load of expensive equipment, a handheld starts at about £25, the antenna is less than £10.

We have had some more feedback regarding our chair artwork from Mel Brimfield. She has sent us a video and some photos.

A Boxing Day Mining Disaster at a Maesteg Colliery

You can just imagine the news paper headlines in 1863.

At the meeting of the Shedquarters Men’s Shed last Thursday 10th June, Mr. Roy Meredith gave a talk and power point presentation on the disaster at the “Gin Pit” Maesteg. No it was not names the Gin Pit because they produced gin. It did produce coal and also iron ore to be used in the iron works. Which was where the Tesco’s store is situated today, just below the Gin Pit. It is believed it was named the Gin Pit after the horse driven machinery that wound the coal and iron ore up the shaft. The depth of the shaft was only 345 feet deep. Maesteg town centre is built where the coal seams come very close to the surface.  The coal was worked on an incline, so the actual workings would have been lower than that.
The colliery shaft is situated in what is now Maesteg Welfare Park, in front of the hospital. The area is fenced off because whatever they used to fill the shaft has started to settle. There is now a memorial to the 14 man and boys who died on the 26th December 1863.
The coal part of the pit was worked using the “Pillar and stall” method. The stall was a narrow road way driven into the coal in a grid fashion. Leaving the pillar squares to help hold up the roof. The stalls are worked to the boundary and then worked in retreat. It is then that the coal within the pillars is removed and the roof allowed to fall in. This method of working was notorious for the difficulty of ensuring good ventilation for clearing any gas(methane) out of the workings.
During the inquest it was stated the on an inspection that took place on Christmas Eve, the “Fireman” did not find any gas. Christmas day was a holiday so no inspection took place. It was when the work started back up on Boxing Day that the incident took happened. The incident was blamed on a 21 old man and a 14 year old boy who it is thought took a naked flame into the workings and that was what caused the explosion. The verdict of the inquest was accidental deaths. Both the 21 year old and the 14 year old were among those who died in the explosion.
It was not known what compensation was paid to the families of the men and boys killed.


A giant music box will surprise visitors to a Sheffield museum – and the message behind it is crucial

A ‘sculptural sound system’ taking the form of a vast music box is to go on show at Sheffield’s Kelham Island Museum – putting the spotlight on organisations that work to boost people’s mental health.

By Richard Blackledge

The new piece, called Stand, has been created by artist Mel Brimfield and composer Gwyneth Herbert in collaboration with more than 100 mental health service users, singers, museum volunteers and members of the Men’s Sheds project in England and Wales.

A choral composition sits at the centre of the installation. This began with a recording of a long-term inpatient, Patrick, reciting poetry at the Bethlam psychiatric hospital in London, which was captured by Brimfield as part of a year of research.A writing process then followed, guided by a series of workshops led by the artists with groups such as inmates at HMP Parc Prison, academics at Kings College and the choir at Maudsley Hospital.

The installation comprises an elaborately hand-painted, 15-sided platform, in the middle of which Patrick’s recitation plays from a speaker embedded in a gold-leafed tree hung with hundred of polished semi-precious stones.

A circle of 15 chairs is gathered around the sculpture, each one designed and built by different chapters of Men’s Sheds, as well as Kelham Island Museum volunteers and technicians, using crafts ranging from whittling, marquetry and wood turning to stained glass.

A speaker is built into each chair relaying parts of the composition, performed by members of Harrow-based ensemble More Than Just a Choir.

Gwyneth said: “In our songwriting workshops, we explored emotions and subjects around mental illness such as isolation and connection; loneliness and community; anxiety and healing; the loss, finding and sharing of voice.

 Gwyneth Herbert and Mel Brimfield at Kelham Island Museum. Picture: Jonathan Turner

“Common to many shared stories was an exhausting experience of collapse, slow recovery and relapse without appropriate community support.

“As a central principle, we’ve structured the harmonic sequences and melodies to assume a looping, cyclical form in response, uniting initially tentative individual voices in the circle to slowly build to a euphoric choral swell before repeatedly fragmenting to dissonance.”

Mel added: “The accessibility and value of creativity to the isolated is both the subject and method of ‘Stand’.

“At a time of disastrous austerity cuts to mental health services, we’re uniting and foregrounding the organisations who provide crucial opportunities for socialising through communal activity.

Kelham Island Museum. Picture: Andrew Roe

“It’s an artwork that’s been made with and for the community, and is hopefully a celebratory testament to the potential of collective action.”

Men’s Sheds are places where older men can go to practice skills such as making and mending, tackling the problem of loneliness. The movement began in Australia and has since spread across the world.

Chris Keady, museum manager at Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust, said Kelham Island aimed to ‘tell the stories of the people and communities behind Sheffield’s industrial past – the makers and the craftspeople’.

“This newly-commissioned artwork gives a new perspective on the process of making, collaborating and wellbeing, and is very different from anything our visitors will have experienced at Kelham Island Museum before,” he said.

The artists worked with members of the Men's Sheds project - a Men's Shed in Hartlepool is pictured. Picture: Frank Reid

Stand is on show at Kelham Island from January 26 to March 8. It then tours to Cardiff, Leeds and Leicester.

The project is part of the Meeting Point scheme, run by the Arts&Heritage agency.

Visit for details


Two Sheds had a brew up on Brew Monday

Two sheds met today 20 January, "Maesteg Shedquarters" and Parc Prisons', "Head in the Shed". The occasion was what the Samaritans’ called Brew Monday. Everybody else calls it Blue Monday, as it is the time the Christmas bills come in but it is not yet payday. The third Monday in January is the time when people feel low and depressed. It is the time of year when people are more likely to self harm or even commit suicide.

The Samaritans’ who are in the front line of help if anyone has these dark though came up with the idea of getting together to have a “Brew Up”. Everyone feels better after a good cup of tea or coffee. But more important than that is the getting together, the companionship that goes with the cup of cheer.

We met and introduced ourselves and said what we were either good at or what liked. After a cup of tea or coffee we soon broke up into small groups to talk to others in the group that had similar interests to ourselves. The prison kitchens had provided some very nice cakes and for one of the group whose birthday it was there was even a box of chocolates.

Besides the talking that was going on one of the Head in the Shed members entertained us to an impromptu puppet show that had us in stitches. The next project for the prison Shed is to put on a full puppet show for the children visitors. 

When someone said it was time to go we did not believe that the time had passed so quickly. Everybody had enjoyed themselves so much that they said that it should become a monthly meeting