Warm Places, Warm Hearts, Warm Friendships

Shedder Rob Shilson has been wandering off his well beaten tracks to the heights of West Cliff and Green Lane. He had twigged that there was some free warmth on offer in the form of Warm Rooms open for people to meet and relax at. Here is Ace Reporter Rob’s report . . . .

Warmth (and more) Comes to Whitby
You may have noticed that Warm Rooms are springing up all over Whitby. These are venues that anyone can visit to share warm, have a cup of tea and chat with others.
As our exciting new venture the Whitby Doing Place progresses I decided to visit a couple of Warm Rooms I had heard about to see what was going on.
My first call was the Whitby Christian Fellowship’s West Cliff Church on Skinner Street. Following the success of their Mustard Seed Cafe (a non profit eatery) Pastor John Winter and team has now added a Warm Room and it is indeed a very warm room!
I was met by John, made to feel very welcome and introduced to others there.
On this occasion four or five people were chatting and two reading. Again the group welcomed me.
In these situations, as an icebreaker, I usually mention my involvement with the Whitby Town Shed. This is almost always met with interest and keeps the conversation flowing. To my amazement from behind me a voice called out ‘I used to be a Whitby Shedder!”. This was Peter, sitting in the corner doing some paperwork. He had indeed been a regular at the shed some years ago before my time. Lockdown had come along and he had been unwell. He had not realised that we were open again.
I explained that there had been a few changes but he was most welcome to call in.We spoke of our hobbies and interests and he said he would check us out. (He came along the following week)
Two ladies had come from a nearby village and said that they always call in when in town and that they enjoy the cafe. John is very involved himself in this project and I get the feeling that he checks that everyone is OK.
A lovely place..I will go again… .
. . . . . On to Warm Room 2
My next visit was to the Green Lane Community Centre’s Warm Room.
A spacious modern building and again very warm! Reception showed the way and I was welcomed by a lovely group of about 8 ladies.
Just then a man walked in…yes it is a mixed group it’s just that apparently the men arrive later! Lively conversation ensued and again I promoted our project.
 The lady to my left immediately showed an interest. She is a keen knitter and crocheter and had all her kit with her. She seemed very community minded and said she would like to have a table at the Doing Place.
Chatting continued and focused on how good this ‘thing’ is. How it brings the community together, prevents isolation and loneliness and is so good for our mental health. At this point I was offered cake but had to leave as I had another appointment…I will be back!
Two Warm Rooms, each a little different, and both offering so much to the local communities, long may they continue.
One things for sure… its not just about the physical warmth it is about relationship too.

Marie Keen has needed to shield for quite a long while. the Shed kept up regular contact. Marie has recently signed up for two distance learning qualifications covering embroidery etc. Marie has a relevant degree in this stuff! The time came when she could venture out again and into the presence of the Shedders and Doing Placers!

Marie’s photo of Royal Fisheries fish and chips.

I’ve had a wonderful time down at Whitby Shed today, so lovely to see everyone again.
Bryn made me endless cups of tea and Katie, Betty, Rob, Tony, Graham & the others made me so welcome.
It’s the first time I’ve been out fully dressed with shoes on  since 6th October  last😁😁.
If that wasn’t enough I had this lovely box of fish and chips before coming home! 😋

So, a warm welcome return to the Shed for Marie where she also met some of those involved in developing Whitby Doing Place – alternative creative . . . distractions

My Story, My Song

Colin Easterby is another person (formerly at Staithers Shed and Whitby Shed, who remains a Shedder at heart despite being in care homes since early 2020 and in hospital prior to that. He has his ups and downs because of his personal circumstances but he is a “fighter” and is adept at reinventing relationships with friends old and new through social media  and video conversations on WhatsApp and Zoom. 

Colin was one of the Shedders who joined in with “Talking Sheds at the Kitchen Table”. during lockdown on Zoom. Colin’s love for over 40 years has been singing in male voice choirs in West Yorkshire and for the past 13 years with the Dalesmen Choir. 

Colin has endured a lot in recent years and has learnt a lot through it.  Colin is planning to share his story and his voice in a project he and a few supporters are working on. 

Colin and Marie might not be able to regularly attend a Shed building but they remain an active part of their Sheds!

Words of wisdom from Piglet about Difficult Days (from a Facebook post)

“Today was a Difficult Day,” said Pooh.

There was a pause.

“Do you want to talk about it?” asked Piglet.

“No,” said Pooh after a bit. “No, I don’t think I do.”May be a cartoon

“That’s okay,” said Piglet, and he came and sat beside his friend.

“What are you doing?” asked Pooh.

“Nothing, really,” said Piglet. “Only, I know what Difficult Days are like. I quite often don’t feel like talking about it on my Difficult Days either.

“But goodness,” continued Piglet, “Difficult Days are so much easier when you know you’ve got someone there for you. And I’ll always be here for you, Pooh.”

And as Pooh sat there, working through in his head his Difficult Day, while the solid, reliable Piglet sat next to him quietly, swinging his little legs…he thought that his best friend had never been more right.”

A.A. Milne

Sending thoughts to those having a Difficult Day today and hope you have your own Piglet to sit beside you 🧡  {words written by the person who posted the extract on Facebook]

Warm inter-generational interactions

One of the new elements in The Doing Place is a table (and big space!) for youngsters who are being home educated. A setting for them to learn together in an unusual setting really. Not many places where kids can create distractively with say Lego Technic under the same roof as Krampus Krew (with big heads!), the Shed (some headless chickens) and Sounds Creative with headphones, silent keyboards and sound desks. 

Richard’s boxing day

Krampus Krew on a roll

Piercing holes in bottle tops

Marie back to the Shed with her design folder. Great to have her among us.

Not a zebra but Katy. She’s working on her second upcycled table.


It’s early days, but already some of the youngsters are getting to know Graham’s stupidity (a 14 year old gives him a pitiful look) but one met Marie also. Mixing generations is such a rewarding experience for all ages. Then the parent/teacher/principal also meets others and can interact. Rosie met Marie and discovered they both had interests in arts.

Such a setting really is a joy to be in and a rediscovery of youth for some. So, warmth is given in incidental relationships. 

Warming Staithes

Three warm projects being worked through.

  • First to try to improve the warmth of the place (temperature and atmosphere) through having a wood burner installed (scrap wood is something the Shed produces!). Being evaluated carefully.
  • Second, to combat condensation that gathers after our sessions and causes drips from the longitudinal roof bars. Evidence seen on the floor! Several solutions {albeit probably partial?) in the form of anti-condensation paint (liquid insulation!), polystyrene sheets with sealed edges, engineered products in thin board form, sprayed on insulation . . . . .  Cost may well be a determining factor especially if it is not DIY.
  • Third and maybe the most exciting given that there are many non-Shedders of the woodworking type who might benefit from a distracting activity of the growing kind. Need to keep the plants and planters a bit protected from the weather and cold! 

Finally, Aussie Henry 

Some may remember Henry, Graham’s eldest grandson who visited Whitby, Staithes and Norton Sheds over Christmas.  He has a great interest in things aviation related. This is a photo his dad sent. 

Do you notice anything?

It’s a nice picture of “shades” but Graham has only just realised on reflection what it hides. Just that. Reflection!

In the lens of the sunglasses there is the reflection of a plane on the ground. It could be said that it is in the eye of the beholder!

Henry visited an air display on Saturday at which the Aussie equivalent of the Red Arrows did a red, white and blue flypast.

Their base is in Sale, Victoria not far from where Henry lives. 


Men’s Health

Several men in our Sheds have had concerns about matters prostate related. May just be checks (the PSA tests), problems with peeing and passing bladder stones or indications of prostate cancer. The latter was the subject of a presentation at the Harrogate Shed event last year.

One of these gents is taking on board the issue and looking into the possibilities of establishing a group that can provide mutual support in Whitby district. 

Some helpful men’s health booklets have been identified and Rob is obtaining some copies for each of our Sheds (BayThorpe, Whitby, Staithes and Norton) to have available on a booklet rack. Whitby Town Shed plan to make some holders from thin ply. for each Shed.

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