Newsletter #22

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Stonehaven and District Men’s Shed Meeting August 31st, 2017

The regular meeting was chaired by Andy Lorimer who welcomed the Shedders to the Mackie Academy Poly-tunnel. This was an opportunity for the shedders to see the results of the planting carried out by our Poly-tunnel gardening team and the students from Mackie Academy.

Shedders Peter and George gave a report on the activities of the poly-tunnel group over the year. It has been a successful planting year and the fruits of their labours were everywhere to see. Tomatoes in abundance, including the green zebra striped variety. Courgettes, Broad and Runner Beans to name but a few.

A crop of potatoes was lifted and the shedders were happy to contribute to the funds for next year’s plants by buying all the crop (no “boilings” were taken we’re happy to report). Beans and tomatoes were also available.

George spoke about plans to extend the area under cultivation by 20 square meters as this would allow a couple of raised beds for the students to use. The existing fence will be moved back by 4 meters and shedders were asked to assist in the work. A plea of “not on a regular golf day” was made and this will be arranged.

Peter spoke about the activities involving the students and work done to tidy up and replant the planters round the school. We will also be planning to complete the existing sensory garden in the academy playing field. Peter asked for additional regular volunteers to support the polytunnel activities and the sensory garden project.

Following these briefings, paintbrushes were raised and the group set to work painting the wooden fence around the poly-tunnel.

        

A big thank you to all the shedders who met at the Poly-tunnel and assisted in lifting the crop of potatoes, then painting the fence around the tunnel.

Also thanks to Robert for bringing along his camper van and providing us with hot water for the teas and coffee.

If you would like to join the regular Poly-tunnel team please contact Peter and let him know.

Andy then spoke about the work ongoing to prepare for entry into our temporary Shed in the Civil Defence bunker and the actions being taken to progress our CAT transfers. We are hopeful to gain entry to the bunker next month.

The next meeting will be on 7th September in the Community Centre Bath Street.  The room is open from 12.30. We will be looking at the training required for the Shed Safety Supervisors and have invited a first aid trainer to talk with us.

Newletter #21

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Stonehaven and District Men’s Shed at the Harbour Festival August 2017

Some of the crew manning our stall

Just some of the team of shedders above, Peter Cooper, Robert Stirling and new shedder Dave Thomson ready at the stand at the harbour. We all had a great day, meeting lots of people; we were wished well by a councillor from Falkirk who had helped in setting up sheds in her area. We also had a talk with the vice chair of the Portlethen Shed. Offers of tools were made and these will be graciously accepted when we move into our temporary premises in Arduthie Road. Folks who signed up for more information will be added to our growing mailing list.

The whisky trail was a great success and the bottle of rare malt won by Mr. Mutch from Inverurie but the greatest fun was the young people searching the lucky dip tub, and a big thanks to shedder Paul Tosh for arranging the lucky dip.

Our next outing is to the Shed’s Poly-tunnel at Mackie Academy 12.30 on Thursday 31st August. Robert will be providing the hot water for the usual teas/ coffee from his camper van and there will be biscuits! We will be gathering in the tatties so wear appropriate clothing.

Please note it is a school day so parking at Mackie will be restricted. (more…)

Newletter #20

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Stonehaven and District Men’s Shed Meeting August 17th, 2017

The regular meeting was chaired by Andy Lorimer who welcomed the Shedders. New shedder Dave introduced himself to the group and was given a warm welcome.

At the start of the meeting we were joined for tea and biscuits by Caroline Lamb, Public Health Coordinator who is based in the Kincardine Community Hospital. Carolyn introduced herself to the group and outlined some of the responsibilities in her portfolio. Reducing alcohol consumption, smoking, dietary issues & obesity, early years for our young folks and Community Capacity, which means getting people engaged in activities that improve welfare and health, including setting up walking groups for both exercise and companionship. Carolyn is keen to support Men’s Shed activities and offered to set up “cooking for men” sessions when we have our own premises. Carolyn was thanked for her support and will be welcomed back when we have our own premises.

Peter Newell then gave a report on the activities of the Shed members who set up and ran the stall for the car boot sale on August 13th. The boot sale went well and the funds generated will help support fitting out our Shed when we move into the bunker.

Bill Allan, our chairman, is in hospital at present and Peter reported that the card signed by the members last week was well received and cheered him up.

Robert Stirling spoke for the Events Coordination Group about the requirements for the Stonehaven and District Men’s Shed stand at the Harbour Festival. Volunteers to set up and man the stand were requested and a list was drawn up.

The CAT application for the Green Shed is in the final stages of preparation and will be submitted next week.

Andy spoke about the document “The Shed Effect” which is a collection of stories, personal insights and experiences from members of Sheds across Scotland. The document sets out the advantages of Sheds, both for the individual and the community and is presented in PDF. If you don’t have a reader then please use this link https://get.adobe.com/uk/reader/, but please make sure you untick both the optional extension and McAfee installs if you don’t need them – be surprised if you did! The reader is from a legitimate Adobe site – we would not take any interested party into software danger . Please click the link, have a read through, and let us know your thoughts; http://www.ageuk.org.uk/documents/en-gb-sc/the%20shed%20effect.pdf?dtrk=true.

Poly-tunnel News

Peter reports that the tomato, peppers, courgettes, onion and bean plants are all fine. The Poly-tunnel  is the venue for our regular meeting on 31st August when the potatoes will be ready for lifting and – great opportunity – the shedders can help lift them.  The key thing will be how to keep the tea and coffee hot for the workers! The Stonehaven Annual Summer Show is taking place on 27th August and would give a great potential for us to show our produce and tell of the work being done with the Mackie schoolchildren on a few projects. Peter will investigate the requirements for our attendance.

There was no planned speaker for the meeting this week but the various working groups continued planning their activities to prepare to operate the bunker.

Dates for your diary:

Sunday 27th August – Stonehaven Harbour Festival. Robert asked the shedders to support the Shed’s stand and just come along.

Thursday 31st August – The regular meeting will take place in the Poly-tunnel at Mackie Academy, wear your boots or wellies dependant on the weather. The usual tea/ coffee and biscuits will be there.

The next meeting will be on 24th August in the Community Centre Bath Street.  The room is open from 12.30. The planned speaker is John from CLAN who will talk about their activities and the support that they offer.

Tea/ coffee, as always, is available.

Newletter #19

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Stonehaven and District Men’s Shed Meeting August 10th, 2017

The regular meeting was chaired by Andy Lorimer who welcomed the Shedders.

The main business was preparing to fit out the Bunker for use as a temporary Shed and we heard reports from the two groups set up to manage the transition to the Bunker. Shedder Peter Newell spoke first about the Preparation Team. The water supply to the bunker has been reinstated, cleaning material has been obtained to deep clean the building especially the kitchen and toilets. He met with Dianne Strachan earlier this week and discussed the removal of confidential waste, possible asbestos material, power supplies, phone connection and the lease. The meeting was positive and all the actions required are being progressed.

Shedder David Ross reported on the Operations Team visit to Westhill on Monday 7th. Westhill Chairman Nick Pilbeam made them welcome and proceeded to carry out an induction to the Westhill Shed. Nick then discussed at length their safety management system and demonstrated the various forms, policies, procedures that they have developed during their four years of operation. A fine lunch was followed by a lengthy question and answer session. Nick finished by offering to supply copies of materials used by the Westhill Shed to inform the procedures being prepared by the Operations Team.

A list was circulated for the shedders to update, with equipment already donated that they are holding for us and any equipment they would like to donate. Shedder Andy then spoke about the role of the Shed Safety Supervisor as seen at Westhill and following a lively discussion a volunteer sheet received nine signatures for this role. The aim is to have a rota of at least ten, so this is a great start. These lists will be sent out to the greater membership by the Secretary Douglas.

The CAT application for the Green Shed is in the final stages of preparation and will be submitted soon.

Poly-tunnel News

Peter reports that the plants are fine, tomatoes, peppers, courgettes, onions and beans. The regular meeting will gather at the Poly-tunnel on 31st August. The potatoes will be ready for lifting and the shedders can help lift them. Ian Smith asked about preparing bedding plants in the Poly-tunnel, Peter asked for two more regular volunteers for the team to help plan the activities for 2018, to include bedding plants and the sensory garden.

The speaker was Shedder Robert Stirling. Robert is a Tai-chi for Health coach and instructor. He was the lead instructor in Stranraer and trained seven instructors. He follows Dr. Paul Lamb’s methods for the alleviation of Arthritis, Diabetes and Osteoporosis issues. This is gentle exercise from the Yang and Sun traditions. Robert gave a demonstration of the arthritis alleviation Tai-chi and this was well received by the Shedders who gave Robert a warm round of applause.


Dates for your diary:

Sunday 27th August – Stonehaven Harbour Festival (help man the Men’s Shed stall). Robert has asked for volunteers to man the stall.

The next meeting will be on 17th August in the Community Centre Bath Street.  The room is open from 12.30. There is no planned speaker, so bring along projects to share with the group. Carolyn Lamb, Public Health Coordinator will join us for a coffee and biscuits at 12.30 and introduce herself to the group.

Newletter #18

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Stonehaven and District Men’s Shed Meeting 13th July 2017

The regular meeting was chaired by Andy Lorimer who welcomed the members and a new member, Stuart. Stuart introduced himself to the group and was warmly welcomed. He has a hobby of making guitars and will be bringing along examples of his craft to show the shedders.

The shedders asked about the current status of the process to achieve a permanent location for our Shed. Andy then gave a report on a meeting chaired by Aberdeenshire Council regarding the future of the Green Pavilion. Andy along with the Shed Secretary Douglas Knox attended the meeting, led by Willie Munro. Also attending were other Green Pavilion user groups. Following a discussion on the actions taken so far by the council, Willie asked each user group to explain their thoughts on the alternatives offered by the council. For the Stonehaven and District Men’s Shed Douglas Knox explained the difficulties related to Health and Safety, due to power woodworking machinery, should we share premises with other groups. The meeting then considered options to manage the multiple CATs (Community Asset Transfer) now in place and the Stonehaven Recreation Grounds Trust said they would investigate a CAT for the Green Pavilion and would be prepared to manage the facility for all the current user groups. Willie was keen for this proposed CAT to go ahead alongside the existing CAT from the Men’s Shed. Others who had prepared CATs or were considering CATs offered to withdraw in support of the Recreation Grounds Trust. Willie then advised the meeting that a previous survey had identified asbestos present in the fabric of the building. When asked about the council preparing a current structural survey report and sharing the findings he advised that he would investigate this.

Willie went on to say that the civil defence bunker at Viewmount, subject to planning permission for change of use to interim Men’s Shed, was still in the planning process.

Following the Council meeting our agent I.D.D. Ltd. was informed that the full planning permission requested had been agreed subject to various conditions and with a two-year lease. A discussion on the actions required to prepare the bunker for use took place and Andy Lorimer outlined the procedures that must be in place to meet our Health and Safety Policy requirements. A Safety Committee and a Wellness Committee will be required to manage a safe transition to the interim premises.

The Men’s Shed had a successful five days supporting the community by managing the Folk Festival campsite in Mineralwell Park. Shedder Robert Stirling, who led the team in the Park, then gave a detailed report, what went well, where we can take lessons from our activities to provide an even better service next year. Robert was supported by Shedder Peter Newell who captured the comments on flip charts. Folk Festival chairman Charlie West wrote thanking us for our endeavours and telling of good reports from the campers. We also received a vote of thanks from the Parkrun team who use the park on Saturday mornings for their 5K run. They reported that their run went ahead as usual with no difficulties posed by the campsites. Robert closed the session by looking forward to next year and repeating the activity, as we build a rapport with the campers, but requested that we set up an Events Coordinator for 2018 with his own support team. Robert was given a round of applause for his leadership and enthusiasm in managing the campsite.

The poly-tunnel work continues but the classes from Mackie and Carronhill are now on holiday. The sensory garden work scope will be planned and resources arranged for the end of the school summer holidays.

 

Peter Newell is looking for shedders to support these and other related projects. He also suggested that we meet at the poly-tunnel to show all the shedders what has been achieved.

Andy had arranged tabards with the Stonehaven and District Men’s Shed logo for the volunteers at the campsite and these were issued to the poly-tunnel volunteers.

Poly-tunnel News

Peter reports that the plants are doing well, tomatoes, peppers, courgettes, onions and beans. The Zebra striped green tomato plants continue to do well, lots of flowers.

Planting has finished and it is now mainly watering and tending the plants.

There was no planned speaker for the meeting as time was required to work through the arrangements for the interim shed in the Civil Defence Bunker and also review the Mineralwell Campsite arrangements.

Dates for your diary:

Sunday 13th August – Car boot sale (help organise the pitches/ run our car boot sale pitch)

The next meeting will be on 27th July in the Community Centre Bath Street.  The room is open from 12.30. The speaker will be Shedder Robert Stirling who is a Tai-Chi for health instructor, so bring along your leotards.

Tea/ coffee, as always, is available.

Newletter #17

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Stonehaven and District Men’s Shed Meeting 1st June 2017

The regular meeting was chaired by Andy Lorimer who welcomed the members; over twenty were present.

There followed a busy session as the arrangements for the Feein’ Market stall, soup ’n’ sandwich afternoon, and the Mineralwell Campsite were discussed. Shedders were asked to put their names forward for both the Feein’ Market stall and the Campsite duties.  Then followed a report by the chairman.

Report for Members meeting on Thursday 1st June

Chairman Bill Allan reported that SDMS Planning application for change of use for the bunker at Viewmount was submitted and is registered as valid. The change of use notification appeared in the Mearns Leader last week and it was hoped that we would hear from the Council in early July. An application has been submitted for grant funding to provide the equipment for a Woodworking workshop for the bunker and it was pointed out that the type of equipment we would obtain would be readily moveable for when we find a permanent facility.

Regarding a permanent facility, we await the outcome of the Council consultation process with the current users of the Beach pavilion. Pending this we will continue with the CAT process for this facility in the hope that those groups are satisfied with the alternatives. He pointed out that there are no other options currently on the horizon for a permanent facility. If all are satisfied we can continue with the process; if not we have a dilemma as it would be difficult to share premises because of the fact we require a permanent workshop for our activities raising concerns regarding available space, Health and Safety issues, etc.

In answer to a question on rumours on the availability of the building in Cowie Lane it was agreed that it would have been an ideal venue but that TFL are in the final stages of securing it for their activities and, as they had declined an earlier offer of sharing, it was no longer part of SDMS plans.

Poly-tunnel News

George tells us that planting in the tunnel continues. The shedders are preparing a second raised bed for the tunnel, a request for topsoil and manure was made and Mike O’Hagan has promised sufficient quantities of both. The Zebra striped green tomato plants are growing well. A painting squad for the fence is required. Volunteers should arrive for 14:00hrs on 8th June.

Mackie has asked the shedders to get involved in a further gardening project – more on this later.

Some members of the ‘Tunnel’ crew

We have committed to looking after the camp site in Mineralwell for the Folk Festival and a subcommittee has been set up to organise this event.

The Secretary Douglas reported that we had been awarded £500 by STP. This to be presented at the Feein’ Market.

We had a very interesting speaker for the meeting and a full report on her talk will be given after the election.

 

Dates for your diary

Thursday 15th JuneSoup’n sandwich event in the community centre (replaces the regular meeting)

Thursday 6th July – Sunday 9th JulyMineralwell Campsite management (supporting the

Stonehaven Folk Festival)

Sunday 13th AugustCar boot sale (help organise the pitches/ run our car boot sale pitch)

 

The next meeting will be on 15th June in the Community Centre Bath Street.  The room is open from 12.30. There is no planned speaker as this is a social event with soup/ sandwiches and cakes/biscuits available.

Tea/ coffee, as always, is readily available.

Further info from info@StonehavenMensShed.co.uk.

Newletter #16

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Stonehaven and District Men’s Shed Meeting 18th May 2017

The regular meeting was chaired by Andy Lorimer who welcomed the members, over twenty were present. A visitor Margo Wilson dropped by to introduce herself to the shedders. Margo is a Community Link Worker based in Carronhall, working with the NHS and specialising in Health and Social Care for older adults. The group is keen to hear more about the work done by Margo and has invited her back as a speaker for one of their regular meetings.

There followed a busy session as the arrangements for the Feein’ Market stall, soup’n sandwich afternoon, and the Mineralwell Campsite were discussed. Shedders were asked to put their names forward for both the Feein’ Market stall and the Campsite duties. Robert Stirling has volunteered to lead the group who will run the campsite during the Folk Festival. Mike O’Hagan and Wally Burnett demonstrated a project, a wire and loop game, they had made for the stall. It is a test of skill, move the loop along the bendy wire without setting off the buzzer and lights. Mike’s wife Maggie did the background artwork including the castle and war memorial.

 Mike and Wally with buzzer gizmo

Regarding a permanent facility and to refute adverse comments circulating on social media our secretary Douglas Knox read out a statement setting out the actions we have taken over the last year to obtain a facility and the CAT application for the Beach Pavilion. This came about as a result of discussions last year with the council where around 20 possible sites were discussed. They informed us that there was a review of town and country halls being undertaken and that facilities in Stonehaven including the Beach Pavilion could form part of that review and may become available. As we had been unable to submit a CAT application for Cowie Lane because of procedural issues, we felt that we should ensure we would not miss out on the beach pavilion should it become available. In answer to the obvious question on existing users we were told by the council that alternative facilities had been identified for all the users. Work to clear the bunker is progressing and dependant on submission progress we may get access by July 2017.

 PolyTunnel News

George tells us that planting in the tunnel is underway. The ventilation system is working well. Zebra striped green tomato plants now planted out into grow bags .

The speaker for the meeting was shedder Andy Lorimer who has trained, coached and assessed Offshore Installation Managers in Emergency Management competence in the UK and overseas. Following a video showing the actions taken to manage the effects of a major gas escape and explosion on an offshore platform, Andy answered questions on emergency management and the assessment process. The presentation was warmly received by the shedders, many of whom had worked offshore.

 

Dates for your diary:

Saturday 3rd June – Feein’ Market (help set up/ run our Men’s Shed stall)

Thursday 15th June – Soup’n sandwich event (replaces the regular meeting in the community centre)

Thursday 6th July – Sunday 9th July – Mineralwell Campsite management (supporting the

Stonehaven Folk Festival)

Sunday 13th August – Car boot sale (help organise the pitches/ run our car boot sale pitch)

 

 

The next meeting will be on 1st June in the Community Centre Bath Street.  The room is open from 12.30, meeting business and briefings start at 13.00. At 13.30 our speaker is Tonya Pentland who will talk about the activities of the Border Force.

Newletter #15

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Stonehaven and District Men’s Shed Meeting 4th May 2017

The Community Centre being closed for the local elections gave the members an opportunity to go out for the afternoon and two visits took place.

The first visit was arranged by shedder Peter Newell and John Strachan, the Station Officer, to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in Stonehaven. The group was made welcome by Crew Manager, Gavin Strachan who then drove out onto the forecourt one of his immaculate vehicles. Given the number of visitors (17) Gavin split the group in two and he shared the tour duties with Firefighter Mathew Crabb.

Shedders viewing an immaculate vehicle

 

There followed an informative session where the equipment for firefighting and also rescue was laid out and its use explained.  Several accounts of recent incidents where the equipment was used were also given. The groups were then shown round the station. The visit was a great success with Gavin and Mathew answering many questions from the shedders. Peter Newell thanked Gavin and Mathew for the visit which was warmly received by the group.

The shedders then relocated to Mineralwell Park to meet Sandra Hayes who has managed the Stonehaven Folk Festival campsite in the park for over 10 years. The shedders have been looking into activities supporting the local community and are considering talking over the responsibility for the management of the campsite for the duration of the festival. Sandra was able to explain how she was able to manage the safe operation of the site and still find the time to provide very welcome breakfast bacon rolls for the campers. This was an informative session with Sandra answering all our questions. It is now looking very positive for the Stonehaven and District Men’s Shed taking over this important community role. Chairman Bill Allan thanked Sandra for her generous actions in meeting with the group at the site and explaining in detail the arrangements that worked so well.

We have applied to Aberdeenshire Council for the change of use for the civil defence bunker at Viewmount to a temporary facility for a Men’s Shed. We have received a letter from our local M.P. Stuart Donaldson who thanked us for the visit he made to talk with the trustees and he also made a donation to our funds.

Shedder Peter Newell updated the group on the progress in preparing the Mackie Academy Poly-tunnel for use. The watering system is now in use and the ground by the tunnel rotavated. Potato planting and salad vegetables planting has taken place and Shedders are looking now to start planting in the tunnel. Shedder Andy said that he has some zebra striped green tomato plants in small pots that he is willing to donate.

Dates for your diary:

Saturday 3rd June – Feein’ Market (help set up/ run our Men’s Shed stall)

Thursday 15th June – Soup ‘n’ sandwich event (replaces the regular meeting in the community centre)

Sunday 13th August – Car boot sale (help organise the pitches/ run our car boot sale pitch)

The next meeting will be on 18th May in the Community Centre Bath Street.  The room is open from 12.30, meeting business and briefings start at 13.00. At 13.30 shedder Andy Lorimer will discuss the arrangements to coach and assess Offshore Installation Managers for their emergency management skills.

Tea/coffee, as always, will be available.

 

Newletter #14

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Stonehaven Men’s Shed Meeting 20th April 2017

Jim Mackenzie chaired the meeting which was attended by over twenty members.

Trustee Wally briefed the group on the presentation made by the Trustees to our MP Stuart Donaldson and his constituency support manager Kate Monahan. The presentation identified, as temporary premises for our Shed, the civil defence bunker at Viewmount, dependant on successful planning and business control approval. Regarding a permanent facility, we have raised a Community Asset Transfer Request for the sea front Green Shed should this be available following the council’s Public Hall Asset Strategy Report. The presentation was well received and Stuart offered to write to the council chief executive to move things forward regarding obtaining premises for the Stonehaven Men’s Shed. He indicated a preference to move directly to a permanent facility.

The fundraising proposal to manage the Mineralwell campsite was then discussed. Trustee Jim has been talking with the council as there is an ongoing issue with the location, in that the usual campsite is not available following the installation of the new all-weather football pitch. The original campsite grass has been turned over and the council plan to establish the location as a wild flower meadow. A working group is being formed and a site meeting with the council will be set up to discuss and locate an area suitable for use as a campsite.

Shedder Peter Newell then talked about the progress in preparing the Mackie Academy Poly-tunnel for use. He is looking for volunteers to finish setting up the watering system and to rotovate the ground by the tunnel.

Peter also reported that he is arranging a visit to the Fire Station with John Strachan the Station Officer on 4th May when the centre is closed for the local elections. Following the visit there will be an opportunity to take a walk together for socialisation and a wee bit of exercise.

There followed a very interesting presentation by Jane Mitchell and Ed Garrett from Aberdeenshire Council Voluntary Action. Ed is an Area Development Officer and talked about supporting voluntary groups, promoting volunteering, good practice and governance of groups, also helping organisations with funding access. Jane as a Health and Social Care Officer aims to help organisations to work better together to promote wellbeing. She will send details of various groups to raise the profile of our Shed. A litter pick at Dunnottar woods was mentioned. Following the talk, a lively question session took place and was warmly received.

Our second speaker was Maggie O’Hagan, wife of shedder Mike. Maggie not only talked about silver jewellery manufacture but also demonstrated several of the techniques she uses to make these exquisite pieces. In the absence of our own workshop the shedders like to see examples of handmade craft objects and this presentation certainly met that aspiration. This fascinating talk was also well received and Maggie warmly thanked.

Jim closed the meeting by thanking all who attended.

 

Dates for your diary:

Tuesday 25th April – Litter Pick Dunnottar Woods

Thursday 4th May – Community Centre closed: Men’s Shed visit the local Fire Station for a tour

Saturday 3rd June – Fee’in Market (help set up/ run our Men’s Shed stall)

Thursday 15th June – Soup’n sandwich event (replaces the regular meeting in the community centre)

Sunday 13th August – Car boot sale (help organise the pitches/ run our car boot sale pitch)

 

The next meeting will be on 4th May, meet at the Stonehaven Fire Station, Brickfield Road AB39 2LN.  Timing to be indicated by e-mail to the group.

Following the tour there will be an opportunity to take a walk as a group (weather dependant!) up to the castle or as far as we want to go.

Newsletter #13

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Chairman’s Report for end April

Premises

Short Term

Since the last meeting, we have engaged Gary Black to submit the applications for planning and building warrant for the Bunker. He had a constructive meeting last week with the Council and the feedback is that they will be happy to enter a short-term arrangement with us subject to successful planning and building control application approval.

Long Term

As agreed at the last meeting we have submitted a CAT for the Beach Pavilion (Green Shed) and will continue to pursue this application to ensure that we do not miss out on it if the Council are able to find suitable and acceptable premises for the current users. We believe the Council’s Town and Public Hall asset Strategy report will go before the Policy and Resources committee in Woodhill in April and thereafter for public consultation, so it is doubtful that any decision on this will be made till the second half of the year.

At last month’s meeting, I agreed to contact the Sea Cadets to see if we could assist in completing their new facility and thus hopefully bring forward the availability of their current premises in High Street. Kenny and I visited the new facility but there is little we can do to help and the current estimate for completion is the 2cd quarter of 2018, depending on funding availability. However, it is apparent that the Council see this facility as a potential revenue earner and as such there must be real doubts about its availability for Men’s Shed in the longer term. We have been advised that we can in fact submit a CAT for this facility but as it is over a year till it is available, we have plenty of time.

Members Meetings

It is extremely encouraging to see our potential members turning up regularly and contributing to discussions and presentations.

Several of the members visited the bunker and there is general enthusiasm for this as a short to medium term solution for Men’s Shed premises

Also, we are now getting regular publicity in the local Press with the reports of these meetings.

It is also pleasing to see that we have secured the use of the polytunnel at the Mackie Academy and are getting it set up for use of members.

Fundraising

We are pursuing local and National sources of funding for running costs for administration, planning consent and for alterations and modifications which will be required for our premises. We also require a range of woodworking equipment and associated plant. Once up and running we would hope to generate funds through making, repairing and selling items at fairs and car boot sales and carrying out projects in the community.