Forging Ahead

There’s certainly a noticeable increase in newcomers in all our Sheds. They are a rich mix of  personality types and interests, all with a story of Covid-19 isolation but also a tinge of isolation from changed life circumstances.

There are also some interesting developments in the Shed infrastructures.

First, a message from a past member who is one of life’s overcomers with an indominable spirit. Despite being confined to a wheelchair with limited bodily movements due to motor neurone disease. There’s one of our library photos of Ian Lawson below. 

This is Ian. He took to pyrography and did some great pieces of work. Ian is a staunch campaigner for those with disabilities.

“I hope that you’re well and are able to resume normal life again. 
My Girl Friday is doing some tidying up for me outside and asked me what I want to do with the above. Both need restoring hence me thinking of your Men’s Sheds. They are for nowt, what you do with them after restoring them is up to you.
Stay happy and busy.   
Regards  Ian Lawson”

In the  6 years of Whitby Sheds there have been and still are some memorable characters who made/make the Sheds. Bert, Denis, Malcolm, Peter, Ted,  from the past and Colin, Tom, Maggie and more in the present.  

We estimate that around 120 men and women have been regularly attending Shedders. All bricks in the building of the Sheds. It was in November 2015 that Graham first met Karen Atkinson of NYCC and the magic began!

We collected the pew and rocking chair from Ian today (Monday 15th Nov). Ian looked much the same, with the same sparkling eyes!!

Here are some photos of on now.

Krampus Kart completed.

Tony & Ted. Ted’s bench refurb is behind him








The Christmas Shed for St. Mary’s display

Tony’s masterpiece











Something’s not square?! Martyn with new Shedder Jack. 

Phil at Staithes on the bowl. We are looking into having a second lathe










One of 4 SHED signs made in pottery by a man from Mickleby to whom we offloaded clay and a potter’s wheel.

This is “Shoulder to Shoulder: the development of Men’s Sheds internationally and for women. Interested, contact Graham. Note it sits on a copy of an application for funding to combat self-harm and isolation.

Staithes Sports & Social Club dais. Where a Santa’s Grotto is to be built by the Shed. The lights were off!

The news item by Phil that has brought two new members.

Graham’s plywood Red Kite for his new garden. A rather dark shade of red!

Stockton fireworks. Nothing to do with Sheds but enjoyed by a Shedder.







Remembrance Day service at Norton with veterans and many children from uniformed organisations.

Held at Norton Cricket Club (a place rather like Staithes Sports ans Athletics Club)








This is a badge given to every child at the Remembrance event. A soldier holding the hand of a young girl caring for war graves in Arnhem.


The Stick Man of Helmsley

We welcomed  another new man today, Keith Pickering. He is a walking stick maker of renown located in Helmsley’s Walled Garden complex and now a resident near Staithes. Yes, he is willing to tutor some of us but wants to also learn from others. We’ve discussed the possibility of Zoom classes between our Sheds with Keith tutoring with maybe help from two of our Shedders who dabble in the stick art too. 

High Sherriff of North Yorkshire to visit

We received a request for the High Sherriff, Mrs Venetia Wrigley, to visit the Whitby Shed on Tuesday November 30th in the afternoon. It’s a non working time at any of our Sheds but, hey, let’s go for it. We are pondering a Christmas social that afternoon for Sheds, Beach Sweep and Krampus preceding the visit. 

High Sheriff's Badge of Office - The High Sheriff of Staffordshire

The reason for the visit is outlined in this Yorkshire Post article from March 2021. It is to thank small charities for the work they do to support people in the community. We can also use it as an opportunity to thank Two Ridings Community Foundation who (with others) have funded our Shed start-ups. Venetia is one of the Trustees.

THE new High Sheriff of North Yorkshire will spend her year in office thanking all the small charities for being community lifelines during the pandemic.

Through her links with local charities, Venetia Wrigley knows just how much work has been done by volunteers and local groups during the pandemic and how much it has been needed.

Already a deputy lord lieutenant for the county, she was sworn in to her new Queen’s Representative post at a socially distanced ceremony at York Crown Court earlier this week.

She said: “After a very tough 2020, I am ever hopeful that 2021 will bring a semblance of normality for everyone.

“Restrictions allowing, my ambition is to meet and thank the representatives of the many small charities who have been a lifeline to the members of our community during the pandemic, particularly those who have struggled to feed their families, the elderly who have felt isolated and the homeless who were faced with a particularly cruel winter.”


We all have a responsibility to safeguard one another. Below is a PowerPoint on the subject addressing the basics of what the signs of abuse may be and how to guard against it individually and as a Shed collective. 


Every Shed is different, so the above dwells on the principles of safeguarding rather than being a prescriptive model to pick up and use. Use it to challenge our thoughts on the matter, however.

Health & Safety

Whilst we are considering safeguarding, we might as well look at H&S through the UKMSA lens. We are not a workplace nor workers in the sense of being a production unit. That means we are exempt from the vigour of formal Health & Safety Regulations. We still have a duty of care towards each other, however, and need to adhere to safe working procedures, safe equipment and tools. and a safe health environment.

Here is a presentation from UKMSA on the subject which we hope you will look and listen to.

UKMSA Safeguarding October 2021

Norton-on-Tees is where Graham now lives.

There’s a Shed on the cards for early next year in premises that need some TLC. It involves working with other organisations too. All good stuff. Maybe some Shedders will come over to work on it (if I ask them nicely).  🙂

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