Newsletter #46

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Stonehaven and District Men’s Shed  Meeting 15th March 2018

The regular meeting was held in the Community Centre, Bath Street with many members braving the poor weather to attend.

Following the social period, the business of the Shed was discussed and chairman Bill Allan updated the members. The lease for the Civil Defence Bunker, the interim Shed, is still in preparation but we are hoping for an early entry. The two Shed operations teams are preparing the necessary procedures to facilitate operations in the bunker.

Funding for the permanent Shed is more difficult in today’s financial climate but sources are being consulted and applications made.

The new season for the Land-train is about to start and Shedder Jim Stephen has requested the Shedders support the annual spring clean of the Land-train. This request was discussed and a good response to help was obtained. Meet at the Groundwater site, Spurryhillock at 09:00hrs on Tuesday 20th March.

Poly-tunnel news: The bad weather continues to slow things down but plans are being made to lay the gravel paths round the raised beds in the allotment grounds. Peter will advise when helpers are required.

Events News:

Allan reported on the bowling event, this went well and Allan was thanked for all his efforts to arrange the activities and catering.

Events team leader Robert is investigating options to celebrate the Shed second anniversary with his team.

Shedder Kenny has arranged a visit to see the new Aberdeen Harbour extension on Thursday April 26th and it is hoped that a visit to the Portlethen Shed on the way home can be arranged, details to be announced.

The speaker was Shedder Peter Newell who talked about the Gallipoli campaign in World War 1 and, for the Royal Navy pensioners in the group, The Royal Navy Division and their actions. Peter has visited the battle sites, war memorials and, along with the various maps showing the details of the campaign, he showed photographs he had taken. The campaign had been planned as a naval expedition but in the first attempt to storm the narrows and occupy Constantinople 8 major warships were sunk or badly damaged. This resulted in a change of strategy and plans were prepared for naval landings. Unfortunately, this allowed time for the Turkish forces to prepare for the battles ahead and the campaign quickly became a stalemate as the British, British empire and French forces could not force a break through. A decision was made to withdraw from the peninsula and the effectiveness of the withdrawal was in stark contrast to the loss of life throughout the stalled campaign where the British, British empire and French forces casualties were a quarter of a million and the Turkish army a similar number of casualties.

Peter was able to include information on some of the key and famous personnel in this engagement including Rupert Brooke who was commissioned into the Royal Navy division. Unfortunately, he died from an infected insect bite, on a hospital ship, before he reached Gallipoli and is buried on the Greek island of Skyros.

This was a fascinating talk and Peter was thanked warmly by the Shedders.

The next meeting will be on the 22nd March in the Bath Street Community Centre at 12.30hrs.  There is no planned speaker and the Shedders are requested to bring along their projects and hobbies to show and explain to the members. Shedder Paul has purchased an 8 ball so the pool table is ready for use at the meeting.

Tea, coffee & biscuits are available.

Newsletter #45

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Stonehaven and District Men’s Shed Meeting 8th March 2018

The regular meeting took the form of a sports afternoon in the Stonehaven Indoor Bowling Rink. Over twenty members took part and for those shedders new to the sport, Allan Wood had arranged for two coaches from the club to assist him with setting up the bowlers, giving them the benefit of their experience in how to deliver the bowls and where they should be aiming.

It was a fun afternoon with much merriment when bowls went in the wrong direction due to the bowl bias being on the wrong side. Shedder Tony took some photographs of the action and these can be seen on the website.

Allan promised us a “fly” and struggled to get the members away from the rink and seated for their tea or coffee and a scone. Terrianne had prepared the food and this was well received by the members. Following the tea break it was back to the bowls to complete the games and win the bragging rights!

This was an enjoyable session and Allen and the two coaches were given a warm round of applause for all their work.

George has spotted something! Could it be that the missing Jack is behind Billy.

Peter reports that Wednesday’s session in the Civil Defence Bunker achieved a lot.  The tidy up continues and the representatives from “The Secret Bunker” were able to remove furniture, fittings and maps for their bunker exhibits.

Andy reports that the “Living with Hope” session led by Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action went very well. The challenges faced by the community were clearly set out by Professor Karen McArdle and the working groups explored the themes highlighted by the professor’s wellbeing study. A follow up session “Looking Forward” is scheduled and this will explore how these themes can be addressed and next steps. Andy will represent the Shed at this meeting.

Poly-tunnel news: After a break because of the bad weather, Peter attended Carronhill School to assisting the pupils in carrying out the first planting of seeds for the new year. These included onion sets, broad beans, peas and radishes.

Events News: Events team leader Robert is investigating options with his team, to celebrate the Shed second anniversary.

Shedder Kenny has arranged a visit to see the new Aberdeen Harbour extension on Thursday April 26th, more details to be announced

The next meeting will be on the 15th March in the Bath Street Community Centre at 12.30hrs.  The speaker is shedder Peter who will talk about the Gallipoli campaign in World War 1 and highlight the actions of the Royal Navy Division in that campaign.

Tea, coffee & biscuits are available.

Dates for your diary:

26/04/18 Visit to Aberdeen Harbour (details to be announced)
April Shed 2nd Anniversary event (details to be announced)

Further details can be obtained by e-mailing info@StonehavenMensShed.co.uk.

Newsletter #44

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Stonehaven and District Men’s Shed Meeting 1st March 2018

The regular meeting was held in the Community Centre with over twenty members braving the ice, snow and biting wind to attend.

Following the social period our chairman, Bill Allan, talked about Shed activities. There was a meeting on Friday with Council Officers at the Council offices in Stonehaven. Bill was accompanied by the secretary and vice chairman. The meeting was to discuss the leasing arrangements for the interim Shed – civil defence bunker and funding arrangements for the long-term Stonehaven and District Men’s Shed. The meeting went very well and efforts are being made by the Council to create an agreement that should enable early entry to the interim Shed. They are facilitating the storage of Shed tools and materials in the bunker and Shedders are encouraged to come along on Wednesday 7th March at 10:00 to the bunker and support the tidy-up and storage process as the council remove the last of their documentation and the Secret Bunker team remove the civil defence equipment and posters.

Funding is proving more difficult and as services are being reduced, grant providers are seeing an increase in the requests for funding.

It is planned that any social area in our long-term Shed will be similar in size to the Community Room in the Bath Street Community Centre where the Shed weekly meetings take place. The separate workshop areas will be locked off to support the Shed Health and Safety Policy.

The Shedders discussed the possibility of the Shed being a community hub or resource and agreement was reached that outwith Shed regular meeting times, the social area could be made available to other groups involved in craft activities or hobbies.

The Shed is committed to the wellbeing of the members and the community and Andy reported that he had taken up an invite to the “Living with Hope” session in Fetteresso Church. Where there will be feedback on the study and discussion of its key themes – culture, social isolation and empowerment. The Shed already has links to many of the organisations taking part as their members have met Shed members and talked at the Shed. CHiP, Stonehaven Medical Practice and NHS Grampian are just a few examples.

Attendance at the “Living with Hope” events will strengthen that linkage with other community groups.

Poly-tunnel news: Peter thanked the Shedders for the work done at the poly-tunnel and said that there is still a bit to do. We need more topsoil and gravel to tidy up the access paths round the raised beds. It is planned to have the regular meeting at the poly-tunnel when things warm up a bit and “encourage” the Shedders to support the garden activities.

Events News: Allan reported on the arrangements for the indoor bowling event on the 8th of March. There will be coaching for new bowlers and hands will be measured to supply appropriate bowls for all. Meet at the Bowling Club after 12:00hrs and there will be refreshments available in Terrianne’s Café, please read the flyer for details.

Events team leader Robert reported on the Shed second anniversary social evening. He is investigating options with his team.

The speaker was Shedder Rosco who arrived with his Virtual Reality (VR) equipment and went on to describe the set-up and allow the members to try out the VR headset on a variety of scenarios and games. Rosco loaded the various scenarios into his VR player and these included underwater exploration, African safari and games. Shedder Stuart was our first volunteer to take the headset and enter into the diving programme. The Shedders could see on the large flat screen TV what Stuart was looking at as he turned his head to follow the action. The event started off slowly as the cage was lowered into the ocean. A pair of large Manta Rays swam by and then as the light dimmed with depth, luminous jellyfish fascinated by the cage lights came to take a look. All very peaceful and relaxing until the serenity was broken by a shark attack. A Great White Shark took an interest in Stuart and charged at his cage. This was so realistic that Stuart was soon striking out with his feet kicking at the shark and punching out, virtual reality became very real for Stuart. The members were keen to try out the system and experience Virtual Reality scenarios. The session went well and Rosco given a warm round of applause.

The next meeting will be on the 8th March in the Stonehaven Bowling Club at the Recreation Grounds. Please gather there from 12:00hrs to allow suitable bowls to be issued and training to take place. (Don’t forget the CDB on the 7th at 10:00hrs though)

 

Dates for your diary:

07/03/18 Visit to the Civil Defence Bunker to shift furniture, at 10:00, please bring any donated tools or machinery
 

08/03/18

 

Indoor bowls event, meet at 12:00hrs at the Stonehaven Bowling Club. Note: this session replaces the regular meeting in the Community Centre.
April Visit to Aberdeen Harbour (details to be announced)
April Shed 2nd Anniversary event (details to be announced)

Newsletter #43

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Stonehaven and District Men’s Shed Meeting 22nd February 2018

The regular meeting was held in the Community Centre with over twenty members attending.

Following the social period our chairman, Bill Allan, talked about Shed activities. Members have continued the working in the Civil Defence bunker, our interim Shed, to store and tidy up the rooms. This is in preparation for the council to remove the last of their stored materials, some of which will be taken away and gifted to the Scotland’s Secret Bunker attraction near St. Andrews, prior to us moving in, subject to lease. On the subject of the lease for the interim Shed, Bill reports that the council, despite manpower shortages in that department, are working to progress the lease document, he is planning to meet with the council on Friday and will raise the lease status with them.

Secretary Douglas reported that we have now received a cheque to the value of £3,000 from Grampian NHS to support the purchase of equipment for the Shed workshop. This is a generous award and shows the importance that Grampian NHS places on the establishment of a Men’s Shed in the district to support the health and wellbeing of the population. Douglas went on to tell the members that a donation of £560 has been made to the Shed following the recent bereavement of Mark Murphy where a collection was requested at the funeral to support local charities. This offer was well received by the Shedders who expressed their appreciation to Mrs. Nicola Murphy for this very generous donation.

Douglas went on to tell the Shedders that the promised grant of £2,000 from Shell has already been received and the purchase of the defibrillator and first aid kits will go ahead so as to be ready when the operations eventually start at the Bunker.

Shedder Peter was not available but Andy was able to report on behalf of the Shedders who had supported Peter in the work in the bunker to prepare the furniture for transportation. We will return to the bunker on Wednesday 7th March at 10.00 to assist with the final tidy-up and furniture removal. All are welcome to lift and shift. Please note this is a good opportunity for those Shedders with donated tools and equipment to bring them along so that we can check them out as fit for purpose.

Poly-tunnel news: George reported that we had a good turn-out at the Polytunnel and a lot had been achieved that morning. Thanks to Ian with his mop, and Peter with his cloth, the polythene walls were washed down. The composting area was cleared and the pallets erected to form compost silos. The plastic containers were sawn in half and filled with soil ready for planting. David and Robert built the cold frame and Peter N directed operations with his usual panache.

Events News: Allan reported on the arrangements for the indoor bowling event on the 8th of March. There will be coaching for new bowlers and hands will be measured to supply appropriate bowls for all. Meet at the Bowling Club at 12:30hrs and there will be refreshments available in Terrianne’s Café, please read the flyer for details. Names to Allan as soon as possible.

Events team leader Robert reminded the meeting that we are coming up to our second anniversary. Following the initial meeting in Mackie Academy to gauge interest, on the 29th of April 2016 the trustees were elected and the Shed established. Robert and the events team will plan for celebratory event, an evening meal with partners invited.

 

In response to the request from Shedders to get out of the Community Centre more often, Shedder Duncan suggested a visit to see the new harbour extension works at Aberdeen. He will arrange a tour of the site and a visit to the harbour, supported by Shedder Kenny. Andy said we may be able to arrange a bus through the good offices of Age Scotland.

There was no speaker and the Shedders were shown a video of the building of the Men’s Shed in Aberchirder or should that be Foggieloan or Foggie*? As the Stonehaven Men’s Shed members declared.

Thanks to Wally and his mastery of all things web related for showing the video. The link to the site is given on the right.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcdgCfYHOqw

It was an interesting and informative video and shows how the Shedders in Aberchirder prepared the site and then built their Shed. Jason Schroeder the SMSA executive officer narrates and talks with the Shedders. The video sparked off a wide-ranging discussion and was well received.

*Foggieloan? given the name of the town changed to Aberchirder over two centuries ago, even our members are not that old!

 

The next meeting will be on the 1st March (tomorrow) in the Bath Street Community Centre at 12.30hrs.  The speaker is Shedder Rosco who will talk on “Virtual Reality” and will bring along a headset so the members can experience diving with sharks.

Tea, coffee, cakes & biscuits are available.

Dates for your diary:

07/03/18 Visit to the Civil Defence bunker to shift furniture, at 10.00, please bring any donated tools or machinery
08/03/18

 

  April

Indoor bowls event, meet at 12:30hrs at the Stonehaven Bowling Club. Note: this session replaces the regular meeting in the Community Centre.

 

Visit to Aberdeen Harbour (details to be announced)

 

April Shed 2nd Anniversary event (details to be announced)

Newsletter #42

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The regular meeting was held in the Community Centre on the 15th of February with over twenty members attending. New Shedders Murray and Bert introduced themselves to the group and were made welcome.

Following the social period our chairman, Bill Allan, talked about Shed activities. Members have been collating and checking the tools and equipment which have recently been donated into storage in the interim Shed – the Civil Defence Bunker. A big thank you to the Shedders who helped to transfer, store, and to start to collate the equipment. A further session to continue with this work in the bunker is planned for next week. Names please to Peter. On the subject of the lease for the interim Shed Bill reports that the council, despite manpower shortages in that department, are working to progress the lease document.

Secretary Douglas reported that we have now received a cheque to the value of £2,000 from Shell U.K. Ltd. Community Awards Charitable Fund. This to be used for the provision of a defibulator and first aid cabinets for the Shed. Our aim is to fit the defibulator and its heated cabinet in a prominent position outside the Shed to make it available for community use. Our thanks go to Duncan for arranging this excellent award.

Poly-tunnel news: George reports that, with the warmer weather, now is a good time to prepare for the new growing season and asks that members support him and Peter in the preparations required at the poly-tunnel. There is ground preparation, construction of wooden compost bins, and cleaning of the tunnel walls to be done. Members meet at the poly-tunnel at 10:00hrs on Thursday 22nd February.

Events News: Allan reported that he has arranged our indoor bowling event for the 8th of March. Meet at the Bowling Club at 12:30hrs and there will be refreshments available in Terri-Anne’s Café. We will put out a flyer giving full details in plenty of time prior to this event.

Events team leader Robert reminded the meeting that we are coming up to our second anniversary as a Men’s Shed. Our inaugural meeting was in Mackie Academy on the 29th of April 2016. Robert suggested that we celebrate the anniversary with a meal and that we invite the partners of Shedders too. This was well received and Robert and his team will work up the details. We had hoped to be resident in our own premises by this time but it looks like a local hotel will have to be booked.

Our speakers this week were Zarah and Ian from

Their topic: “The stigma that is hearing loss”.

  Zarah said that their presentation on hearing loss had already been made to groups in Aberdeenshire and began by talking about how we hear, and the anatomy of the ear. She was supported by Ian who is an audiologist who tests hearing and prescribes hearing aids.

The causes of hearing loss and why hearing can deteriorate were explained. Ian said his primary job is to check that ears are healthy and that a hearing test is free. Hearing can change with age, what to look for to identify the symptoms of hearing loss were explained; TV too loud, can’t hear folks on the phone, asking someone to repeat their last statement and difficulties in hearing when there is background noise are typical symptoms. Ian spoke about how hearing loss changes lives and how hearing tests are carried out; the three-minute check and the full test. He went on to discuss hearing aids, their technology, different sizes and other options. He was happy to answer questions from a clearly interested audience and talked about hearing tests, prescriptions for hearing aids, guarantees, costs, other service providers, battery life, the NHS and home visit services. He finished by repeating what he had been told by a happy customer and how the hearing aid he supplied had given the user a new lease of life making him “feel younger not older”.

Zarah left a selection of brochures on hearing loss and solutions with us to keep in the Shed. The talk was informative and entertaining and the members gave a warm round of applause to Zarah and Ian.

The next meeting will be on the 22nd February in the Bath Street Community Centre at 12.30hrs.  There is no speaker and Shedders are requested to bring along their latest project or hobby and show it to the group.
Tea, coffee, cakes & biscuits are available.

Dates for your diary:

22/02/18 Visit to the Poly-tunnel: meet at 10:00hrs at Mackie. Note: the regular meeting will take place in the Community Centre at 12:30hrs.
08/03/18 Indoor bowls event meet at 12:30hrs at the Stonehaven Bowling Club. Note: this session replaces the regular meeting in the Community Centre.
April Shed 2nd Anniversary event (details to be announced)

Further details can be obtained by e-mail from info@StonehavenMensShed.co.uk.

Newsletter #41

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Stonehaven and District Men’s Shed Meeting 8th February 2018

The regular meeting was held in the Community Centre with 30 members attending. New Shedder Peter was welcomed and members will remember Peter from the interesting talk he gave on the history of the Stonehaven open air swimming pool.

We had as guest speaker Andrew Bowie M.P. who had been voting till late the previous day in Westminster and took the sleeper up to meet this commitment. His chief of staff Gregor Ironside had requested that they join the members, for their social period to share tea and a biscuit, so they could meet and talk with the group in an informal manner to find out more about Shed and its members. Thanks to Peter Cooper and his wife for the home-bakes.

Following the social period our chairman Bill Allen presented on the history of the Stonehaven and District Men’s Shed and the status of our endeavours to find a location for our Shed. He also outlined the materials, support already gathered and the business plan to maintain the Shed on an ongoing basis.

Andrew then talked about being a new M.P. in the House of Commons and his experiences there. He waited weeks to get into an office and is currently working from a converted police cell in a Westminster annexe. When asked about the material state of the parliament building he explained that the proposed major remedial works are required and that there are still electrical cables from the initial installation of lighting into the building. One of the key milestones for a new M.P. is their maiden speech in parliament and keeping the butterflies in the tummy in check was not helped by the Foreign Secretary turning around in his seat to watch while the speech took place. Thankfully his speech was well received. Andrew went on to speak about other parliamentary duties and his role as a member of the House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee.

The talk was informative and entertaining and the members gave a round of applause for Andrew and his Chief of Staff, Gregor.

Following the talk, the M.P. had to leave for another appointment and the business of the Shed was discussed. Shedder Jim talked about the Radio Scotland programme “Our Story” and the interviews on air with the members of the Inverurie Shed. It is well worth listening to.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09qqh2w

Events team leader Robert is looking at an indoor bowling session in late March. Events team member Allan said that he will go ahead and make arrangements to include a “fly” in Terri-Anne’s café in the club.

Shedder Duncan advised us that Shell had made a grant of £2,000 to cover the cost of a defibulator, heated cabinet and first aid cupboards for the Shed. It is planned that the defibulator will be fitted outside our permanent Shed for use by the community. Duncan was thanked by the members for his actions.

Poly-tunnel news: Peter asked the members to support the preparation for the new growing season in the poly-tunnel. Please turn up at 10.00 on 22nd February and don’t forget work gear. Thanks to Wally and Paul for taking the wooden pallets to the site ready to be made into compost bins.

The next meeting will be on the 15th February in the Bath Street Community Centre at 12.30.  Our speaker is Zarah from Specsavers who will talk about audio and optical issues.

Tea, coffee, cake and biscuits are available.

 

Dates for your diary:

22.02.18 – Visit to the Poly-tunnel: meet at 10.00 at Mackie

Late March – Indoor bowls event (date to be finalised)

Further info from info@StonehavenMensShed.co.uk.

Newsletter #40

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Stonehaven and District Men’s Shed Meeting January 25th 2018

The regular meeting was held in the Queens Hotel Stonehaven and this change of venue allowed the members to take part in the annual celebratory tribute to the life, works and spirit of the great Scottish poet Robert Burns (1759- 1796).

The Burns Lunch was a huge success with twenty-eight members attending the celebration of the bard. Glasses were charged for the toasts: the haggis was celebrated in fine style after being piped in by Garry Brindley, with Ian Smith as the hauder, and addressed by Billy Hunter. Alan Wood delivered the Selkirk Grace. The food was excellent and served promptly by the hotel staff. At the end of the meal there were recitations by Peter Newell and Ian Smith to complete the event.

Piper Garry was so encouraged by his reception and the welcome he received from the Shedders that he has offered to pipe us in when we officially open our interim Shed.

Heartfelt thanks were given to Robert, Ian and Allan for their organising skills, the piper Garry, Billy, Allan, Peter and Ian and the owner and staff of the Queens Hotel.

Following the lunch, the Shedders continued to socialise and secretary Douglas was able to announce that we have now received a grant of £968 from Age Scotland to purchase dust control equipment for our Shed.

The next meeting will be on the 1st February in the Bath Street Community Centre at 12.30.  There is no planned speaker and members are encouraged to bring along projects or hobbies to talk about with the Shedders. We are hoping to get access to the Civil Defence Bunker later on in the afternoon as this will allow the members to see the equipment, tools and furniture we have been collecting and storing in preparation for Shed start-up.
                             Tea, coffee, cakes and biscuits are available.

Dates for your diary:
8th February visit by M.P. Andrew Bowie
TBA – Visit to the Poly-tunnel at Mackie
TBA – Indoor bowls event

Further info from info@StonehavenMensShed.co.uk

Newsletter #39

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Stonehaven and District Men’s Shed Meeting January 11th 2018

The regular meeting was held in the Community Centre Bath Street. Over twenty members attended and new Shedders Ian and Derek introduced themselves and were made welcome.

Following the social period, the business of the Shed was discussed.

Secretary Douglas reported that we had received a grant of £90 from the pop-up sweetie shop that operated in the Town Hall during the Ury Player’s warmly received pantomime “Puss in Boots”. Our thanks to Mrs. Mary Sutcliffe for her generous award.

Shedder Duncan reported that he is preparing a grant request with Shell for a defibrillator and other medical equipment for our interim Shed. We are seeking advice on the equipment that we should identify.

George and Peter reported on our horticultural activities to prepare the poly-tunnel for the new growing season. The inside walls will require to be sterilised and outside gravel paths prepared round the new raised beds. Peter will organise a session to carry out these works.

Events Team leader Robert reported that we have over 20 names for the Burns Lunch and he is hoping to add more names to his list. A flyer will be sent out, please pass your name to Robert. He also raised the possibility of arranging an indoor bowls afternoon in the spring.

Andy reviewed the activities questionnaire completed by the members to indicate the nature of the activities they would like to see available in the Shed after it is operational. Apart from social activities in the Shed, the members expressed an interest in developing and building new skills in woodworking, model-making, musical instrument repair, Information Technology, internet use and smart phone operation were the main technology related activities from a long list which also included cooking and regular talks related to health topics.

The speaker this week, Tim Green, was introduced by Secretary Douglas as they have been working together to progress the award of £968 which would allow our Shed to purchase dust control equipment. The monies will be made available within 12 months but only after we have access to our premises in the Civil Defence Bunker. Tim is the Community Development Officer (Men’s Sheds) for Age Scotland.

 He explained the history of Age Scotland; it was formed in 2009 from the merging of Age Concern Scotland and Help the Aged with the strategic aims of:

  • Promoting positive views of aging and later life
  • Helping older people to be as well as they can be
  • Tackle loneliness and isolation

Age Scotland has leaflets offering advice on many topics and there is a helpline for support: 0800 1244222. Tim left leaflets and other advice with the group including the survey and publication The Shed Effect which includes conversations with members from Sheds across Scotland to gather evidence for the Age Scotland survey. The presentation was well received, especially insights into the conversations reported in “The Shed Effect”. During a busy question and answer session Tim talked about the impact Sheds have made and also the Westhill Shed return on investment (ROI) document which identifies the financial benefits for the Shedders, their families, the community and the NHS. He also talked about fund raising including abseiling from the Forth Bridge. On conclusion Tim was given a warm round of applause.

 

The next meeting will be on 18th January in the Community Centre Bath Street.  The room is open from 12:30hrs The speaker, Andy Hall, is internationally recognised as an author and for his photography. The topic will be “The Art of Photography”.

Tea, coffee, biscuits and cake will be available.

 

Dates for your diary:

25th January – Burns Lunch

TBA – Indoor bowls event

Further info from info@StonehavenMensShed.co.uk.

Newsletter #38

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Stonehaven and District Men’s Shed Meeting December 21st 2017

The regular meeting was held in the Community Centre Bath Street. Over twenty members attended and were made welcome.

During the social period, shedder Allan spoke about the topic of last week’s speaker Rod Macdonald, diving on the wrecks of ships sunk off Stonehaven whist sailing in convoys round the coast of the North Sea. He told us that his father James Wood had been a Leading Seaman on HMS Rodney and had been on convoy protection duties for ships carrying essential war supplies to Russia. The Russian government has now recognised their actions and struck a medal to honour their work and sacrifice for the war effort, the Artic Star.  Although James has sadly passed on Allan was able to request a posthumous award of the medal and proudly shows it in the photo below. Allan was warmly thanked for telling us about the award and showing us his father’s Artic Star.

Other Matters: Chairman Bill led a lively session on the business of the Shed and involved all the members.

Secretary Douglas reported that the Scottish Men’s Shed Association has issued a new newsletter:

https://scottishmsa.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/December-2017-Newsletter-www-Final.pdf

The newsletter is a good read with stories from sheds across Scotland and useful information on sources of funding. Our Shed’s award from Age Scotland gets a mention.

Shedder Robert reported on behalf of the Events Team on the Burns Lunch planned for the 25th January. He has received prices from local hotels and will be putting out a flyer with all the details. Shedder Andy reported that he had been able to find an excellent piper who will do justice to any fine haggis making its way to the luncheon table.

Shedder Tony asked about setting up a walking group, we are aware of the group that meets at the Plainstones on a weekly basis. We can pursue this further and we have access to Walk Leader training by contacting Carolyn Lamb.

Poly-tunnel news; activities are on hold until after the festive period.

There was no speaker this week and so the leaders of the two working groups making preparations to start operations in the proposed interim shed reported on their activities. Shedder Peter talked for the Bunker preparations group and reported on the difficulties obtaining access to the Civil Defence Bunker. Our change of use application was approved in July for a two-year period but we are unable to gain entry as the lease is in preparation. We have been able to store some machinery and furniture in the building but detailed arrangements including access ramps and railings for our disabled members can not be put in place until we have access. Shedder Andy talked on behalf of the Operations group and was able to report that sufficient members had successfully completed First Aid training to allow a roster of Shed Safety Supervisors to be prepared. We also have the machinery layout inside the bunker agreed and a working set of Health and Safety procedures.

The members appreciated the work of these two teams and offered their support in preparing for operations in the bunker.

The next meeting will be on 11th January in the Community Centre Bath Street.  The room is open from 12.30. The speaker is Tim Green from Age Scotland. As was stated earlier, Age Scotland have just made a grant to our Shed enabling the purchase of woodworking machinery.

Tea, coffee, biscuits and (sometimes) cake, are available.

Dates for your diary:

25th January – Burns Lunch (details to be finalised but it will, by majority vote, be held at lunchtime – noting the name; Burns Lunch )

Further info  from info@StonehavenMensShed.co.uk.

The trustees wish all our Members and our friends A Peaceful Christmas and a Guid New Year!

Sorry I didn’t get this out before Christmas – I was on holiday and had received death threats if I took my laptop.

Newsletter #37

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Stonehaven and District Men’s Shed Meeting December 14th 2017

The regular meeting was held in the Community Centre Bath Street. Over twenty members attended and were made welcome. New shedder Roger introduced himself to the group and was warmly received.

Following a social period, the business of the Shed was discussed.  Andy reported that he accompanied our secretary Douglas to the Betteridge Centre this week to accept a grant of £2,000 made by the Meikle Carew Windfarm, the fund is administered by the Kincardineshire Development Partnership. This grant will allow us to purchase new woodworking equipment for our shed. Andy and Douglas accepting the cheque in the presentation photo below. 

 

Chairman Bill reported that the council are working towards the preparation of the lease for the Civil Defence Bunker and we hope to be starting operations in our temporary shed early in 2018.

Shedder Jim talked about the “Stoney Cares Christmas Day Lunch”. This is a wonderful opportunity for those people who otherwise would be alone at Christmas to enjoy a Christmas lunch together. The meal is free to all and can be booked by e-mail stoneycares@outlook.com or by text/ call 07510313800.

The Events Team were thanked for arranging the Xmas lunch, which was a great success.
Events coordinator Robert talked about the Burns event which will replace the regular meeting on 25th January. He will investigate suitable venues for this lunchtime event.

The speaker this week was Rod Macdonald from Stonehaven. Rod is a member of the Explorer’s Club of New York and an accomplished diver who has written many books based on his diving adventures across the globe. Rod focussed his talk on the shipwrecks close by Stonehaven. These ships foundered as a result of enemy action in the North Sea during the Second World War. Shipping was formed into convoys off the West coast of Scotland and sailed round the North of Scotland before heading South.  Most ships were lost in actions due to attacks by German aircraft based in Norway. Rod related the loss of SS Creemuir in 1940. There were only 12 survivors and Rod made contact with the last survivor of the wreck, Noel Blacklock, who described the action and the sinking of the ship. Following further successful dives, the ship’s bell was recovered and presented to Noel. Rod was thanked for this fascinating presentation and given a warm round of applause.
Some of the books written by Rod are shown below, and there are further details on his website: http://www.rod-macdonald.co.uk/

The next meeting will be on 21st December in the Community Centre Bath Street.  The room is open from 12:30hrs. There is no planned speaker and Shedders are requested to bring along any projects they are working on to “show and tell”.

Tea, coffee, biscuits, and (sometimes) cake are available.

 Dates for your diary:

25th January – Burns Lunch (details to be finalised)