Change is a natural part of life . . . . [ending with marbles!]

Quoting from Teesside LIVE 

The towns and villages of North Yorkshire sit on Teesside’s doorstep. Places such as Whitby, Runswick Bay and Sandsend are popular destinations for days out to the seaside. The area boasts award-winning fish and chip restaurants, pubs and hotels and was showcased when the Tour de France came to the region in 2014.

The headline story for us and our neck of the Moors wood is a BBC Documentary on 17th July at 9pm.

Click on the picture below to see more. 

Click on the delightful vista to see something worth seeing

The towns and villages of North Yorkshire sit on Teesside’s doorstep. Places such as Whitby, Runswick Bay and Sandsend are popular destinations for days out to the seaside. The area boasts award-winning fish and chip restaurants, pubs and hotels and was showcased when the Tour de France came to the region in 2014

This begins a new blog emphasising some of the changes that can be positive despite  that which is somewhat negative! If you have thoughts, please do contribute anything that is meaningful to you.


Change can involve a rest!

A card with best wishes from Whitby District Sheds!!


Hopefully you too can see a little ray of sunshine.


(and we don’t mean Eddie)



Response to the above from Shedder Colin Easterby. One word Response from us – WOW.

Letter to the Editor: A recent high school grad reflects on the ...What a beautiful kind thoughtful thing to send Graham I loved the card and the poem very thought provoking ,gives people like me still on lockdown on my 17th week hope and the light although a different light at the end of the tunnel, is opening up and not constantly blocked up as previously! 
People like you and others give people like me hope with continuous friendship,inclusion, support and encouragement which has helped me, and is still helping me as well as Debbie Swales, Isabelle Harrison, Peter Richardson Wet Wheels Yorkshire and no doubt others I have not met yet? In my book you are all unsung heroes and you need to know that your endeavours are greatly appreciated !
Many thanks for coming into my life  Graham and becoming a constant in my life!
Still in Larpool the escape route has been discovered and blocked up we are holding an enquiry tonite and we have asked for shovels instead of tea spoons?
Pardon my attempt at humour we are constantly told we are not in Larpool to enjoy ourselves!
All the best to every one,
Big Colin, Larpool


We are so pleased with what Colin writes. Pleased that various people (not forgetting Brian, Martyn, Malcolm and indeed Tom involved in the Staithes Shed) are part of Big Col’s support family! Debbie Swales, Isabelle Harrison and Peter Richardson are all involved in the new (to be publicly announced!) Whitby Community Alliance. 

Staithes Shedder Malcolm responds to Colin (unexpected but it shows the grass roots caring that may exist in a Shed). 

Afternoon Colin, 
Hope all is well with you and yours. Don’t give up on the escape plans, otherwise, as General Saito said in the film Bridge over the River Kwai, ‘Be happy in your work’.
I was struck by the title of your email to Graham, 
‘Change is a part of life that is quite natural and each point on the trajectory can have its beauty’
It reminded me of Desiderata, a beautiful poem by Max Ehrmann in 1927. Hard to believe, a poem as relevant today as it was 93 years ago. One line not too dissimilar from your line:-
‘Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.’
Old timers such as me, having surrendered a lot of things from my youth, remember Desiderata from our student days, as follows,


GO PLACIDLY amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Desiderata - The Best UnexpectedEnjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

By Max Ehrmann © 1927

Keep digging Colin. There’s light at the end of the tunnel. Fingers crossed it aint a train coming in the opposite direction. 


Schools building bridges

There are reconnections with Sleights and Eskdale Schools again, plus the Scouts who in normal times are part of the Sheds as landlords of three of the properties we use as Sheds (including the Youth Shed). 

Graham and Bob have been impressed with their local school in Sleights and the drive and vision of staff there that includes getting messy doing humble jobs like painting school railings! But the schools are adapting quickly to Covid change AND seizing opportunities to redefine the way they work in their communities.

Eskdale School has a draft document that is informing their thinking on their School Ethos. Below is one section, the first, in a fuller document that goes into the “yes, but how?” of it. That’s best left with them because that part will be a “living” document that will undoubtedly evolve with experience.

Surely this is NOT a bridge too far!

Eskdale School – A place of belonging – A place of inspiration

  1. Our vision for our community

Eskdale School serves a close-knit, but somewhat isolated community comprising the North Yorkshire coastal town of Whitby and the surrounding coastal and moorland villages. Its geographical position means that in some ways the community can feel a little cut off and removed from the wider world. On the other hand, Whitby has historically been an outward looking port, renowned for its trading links and explorers.

These two aspects of our community are reflected in the school’s motto. We are a place of belonging and place great value on nurturing a sense of pride in our local area and creating a caring environment in which our young people can develop and grow into responsible and considerate members of society. We are also a place of inspiration and encourage our students to explore the wider world and understand that they have a vital role to play in it.

We have recently begun to share that vision of the school using the imagery of a bridge. Bridges across the river Esk (for which the school is named) are an important reminder for our community that we are not isolated or cut off from the wider world and that our role as a school is very much to build and strengthen these bridges. The role of the school as a bridge can be seen in several different ways:

  • A bridge between childhood and adulthood.
  • A bridge between primary and further / higher education
  • A bridge between all members (and generations) of our community.
  • A bridge between town and country communities.
  • A bridge between our small and seemingly isolated community and the wider world.

As well as the two main principles of belonging and inspiration, we have used the word BRIDGE to identify other key values and qualities that we hope to instil in the young people we educate:

  • Belonging
  • Respect
  • Inspiration
  • Dignity
  • Generosity
  • Engage

To quote the poet Phillip Larkin:

“Reaching for the world, as our lives do, 
As all lives do, reaching that we may give
The best of what we are and hold as true:
Always it is by bridges that we live.”

Sheds like building community bridges too. We wonder where all this might go.


Positive Change – Labrador Shed, Gold Coast – Len

Yes, many of the Sheds in Australia are now open with, of course, new procedures and ways of managing down risk. We’ve chatted with other Sheds in Zoom conferences, got some inside track on how Sheds are determining for their circumstance how it should work. 

We are now looking at the ways our Sheds could operate and a range of measures that protect but also relieve some of the very direct and hard impact on some individual Shedders.

Here is Tongue & Groove, Labradors newsletter. First after Shed doors cracked open. I did censor one bit for our consumption because sometimes kids do look on here.  The way Len and others do what they do is inspirational to several of us.

T & G July 2020 (2)

Change (or the final stages of a big clean up!) comes to Staithes

Getting there, The wood inside has been moved into two piles ready to decide between the Shedders how to reduce the piles of wood. You can have too much of a good thing:-)

Here is the workshop now. 

Finally, anyone for marbles?

One of Graham’s neighbours put this manhole cover out for the scrap metal man. Graham acquired it and soon it will be set into a piece of garden furniture (a low table) for kids to play marbles on. 

Who remembers playing this on pavement manhole covers? Remind yourself in the video clip 

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