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

Ukulele Tuition at The Court House Maesteg

The Court House Ukuleles Maesteg will soon be hosting Tuesday ukulele tuition sessions (with complimentary coffee or tea) at £3.00 per session.

These sessions are aimed at beginners mainly, but if you are an intermediate player, you will be welcomed. The sessions will be fromUkulele Tuition Maesteg 11am until 12:30pm and will include chord progressions, strumming patterns, songs and effects/amps/recording, if you are interested.

No music theory will be taught, but if you want to know, we will help, we will teach you Tab, which is much more useful for fretted instruments than standard notation.

You also have the opportunity to jam along with our resident ukulele band, the ShedHeads, if you wish.

If you need help choosing a uke, we can give you some advise, the first being, ensure a low string height at both ends of the fret-board.

We have club ukuleles so that you can try a session with one of ours, before you buy. Practise sheets, chord sheets and song sheets will be provided.

All adults welcome, if you are at a loose end during the day, want to get into some accompanied singing or want to join a uke club, come along and join us.You will soon be at a decent standard, the uke is a very easy instrument to learn, if you have 30 minutes practise time a day and some patience.

Uncle Dave Macon, a famous banjo player of the 1920s/1950s, was asked in a radio interview, "can you read music", he answered "not enough to hurt my playing".

Phone Mark on 07896 621429 for more details and when our sessions will start.

The Court House, 4 Station St, Maesteg CF34 9A

On Thursday the 15th February we were given a talk by Steve Maddern which we found very interesting, informative and thought provoking. The subject of the talk was Depression. Depression is a condition that is very insidious, it creeps up on you often without you realising or knowing. It was interesting because most of our members have openly admitted to feelings of depression.

I found it interesting and informative because as someone who suffers from bouts of depression I could see what would make those bouts worst and how I could ease them. I know that I feel worst if I stopped going out, if I withdrawn from family and friends or if I stopped doing things I enjoy.   

Most of our members have worked in heavy industries and are feeling the ill health effects of that work. Many of us either have the responsibility of caring for a partner or are suffering from the loss of a partner and are therefore susceptible to feeling depressed.

An important thing to remember is that depression is not weakness of character or imagination. It could be a natural reaction to life or there could be a medical or dietary reason. It is impossible to just shake your depression off. One of the most unhelpful things that you can have said to you is “to pull yourself together”

It was thought provoking, because the thought that was going through my mind as I listened to Steve was; I can now see why the Men’s Shed organisation was set up. There are two ways to overcome depression one is with professional help and the other with self help. Professional help could be in the form of medication or with the help of a Medical Health Professional. The other way to overcome your depression is to use your network of friends to help you overcome it.

Steve spoke about doing again the things you used to enjoy doing. The body produces its own feel good chemicals called “endorphins”. These are produced when you exercise, go for a walk, dig the garden, learn something new, a craft or a skill.

By Joining a Shed you could renew, or create a new network of friends. Friends who may have similar problems to yourself and therefore you can help each other through the bad days. Helping someone else could be a way of making you feel better about yourself. Several of our members have said that they feel better after passing their skills on to others. You have the opportunity to try or learn new things. The other thing we try to do is to provide a nutritional meal. A good diet has been proven to reduce depression. Sharing a meal is an excellent way of reducing loneliness and isolation another cause of depression.     

Last Thursday 8th February, we were visited by Rhian Cook from Melin Being Greener. She talked and gave advice about changing energy providers, finding the best tariffs and dealing with debt on utility bills.

If anyone wants to discuss any of the above, please call her on 08081 082398 or 07779 449490.

Maesteg Summer Festival now has a Ukulele Festival Too...

The first Maesteg Ukulele Festival is being organised by the Maesteg Ukulele Club and will be held on the 28th July during the Maesteg Festival Weekend. The ShedHeads are already booked to play.

The venue is at Maesteg Celtic RFC, Garth, CF34 0NE.

The hall itself has a stage similar to the one at the Usk festival, the hall itself is slightly longer than Usk, but about same width.

Confirmed are :

Kool Hand Ukes
Bridgend Ukes
Pencoed Ukulele Band
Shed Heads
The Buskuleles of Usk
Neath Ukuleles
Maesteg Ukulele Club

Invites are coming in thick and fast. I have been challenged by Chris, the Chair of the Caerau Men's Shed, to a quiz event either at the Caerau Shed or at the Court House.

What shall the answer be?

Food Safety in Catering Course

Congratulations to our members who received certificates for passing an assessment in the "Highfield Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering". We would like to thank those members for taking time out to sit through the session and in taking the assessment. We would also like to thank the members who since taking the course have been helping out in the kitchen.

During our Christmas Dinner on the 30th November both Andreas Van Wyk and Les Jones were awarded "Stars of the Shed" awards. The awards were in the shape of hand made stars suitable for hanging on their Christmas Trees.

Both Les and Andre were fundamental in forming the shed and have been a constant support in our efforts to expand our activities within the shed.

Well done to you both