Shedders throw open the doors to welcome new faces on group’s first anniversary
- Credit: Nick Butcher
One year ago, a group of men with big ideas and lots of enthusiasm joined together to kick-start a project offering friendship and a place for people to get their hands dirty.
And now, after spending around 3,000 hours refurbishing their new home at the former Lowestoft Players' hut in Pakefield, the Lowestoft Men's Shed group is throwing open its doors to welcome new members.
Bill Mountford, a founder member, said: 'The men have rolled up their sleeves and done all the hard work themselves in the last 12 months. We've put up new fencing, a new roof on the workshop with rainwater guttering, painted inside and out and cleared the garden among other things.
'And with that work now coming to an end we are at the point where we can open the doors and start doing whatever people want to use the Men's Shed for.
'The idea is to create a social club where guys can come together that isn't a pub.'
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The Lowestoft Men's Shed currently has 22 members, and is open to any man over the age of 18.
The idea started in Australia and there are now around 400 Men's Shed groups in the UK.
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Lowestoft members meet twice a week to share their thoughts, experience and skills, with many retired electricians, plumbers and carpenters. Some members are also keen chefs and beekeepers, and the group is exploring the possibility of setting up their own kitchen and building their own beehives.
The group has received grants from a number of sources to help the shed get off the ground, and runs under the umbrella of the Seagull Theatre in Pakefield, who are tenants of the building.
The anniversary open day is being held at the Lowestoft Men's Shed base, 32A Stradbroke Road, between 1pm and 4pm on Saturday, September 23. Demonstrations of machine tool use are planned and refreshments will be available.
Anyone who can't make the open day but would like to find out more about joining can drop in on Wednesday and Saturday mornings when the group meets, email firstname.lastname@example.org or search for Lowestoft Men's Shed on Facebook.