Weedkiller, Alliances, Yorkshire Post

It is very encouraging that from within our 4 Sheds there is a call of nature, a call to the wild of extreme Shedding! Well, we are getting hopeful and getting prepared. 

We start this new blog with a sorry tale from Shedder Malcolm of near (or possibly actual) horticultural disaster.

“Just a note to make you smile.
Having constructed my self irrigating boxes, nearly killed myself filling them up with what seemed like half a ton of compost, carefully planted out some seedlings, beetroot, lettuce, with tomato, broccoli in my second hand marijuana pots, Ann suggested I use the watering can to water in the seedlings. The hose pipe sprinkler being too aggressive. 

Malcolm would never do a silly thing like this.

So picked up the steel watering can from the shed and gently watered the seedlings in. Did the same the next day.
A day later, I noticed Ann using the same steel watering can, adding what I thought was plant food to the can. No. It turns out to be weed killer which she then advises me this steel watering can is for weed killer!!!! The red plastic watering can is just for watering in.
Thanks a lot. I’d been watering in my seedlings with weed killer. Nice one!!!
Touch wood, they seem to be surviving.
Anyone for a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich? You’ll get high on the Magic mind blowing tomato before the weed killer kicks in. Very tasty.” 
Whitby Community Alliance (WCA)

We are part of it now. One of about 14 parties from the voluntary sector. It will soon be made public through the Whitby Gazette, although it is not a state secret! It is a coming together of organisation to support each other and through that strengthen the voluntary sector support for people in the wider Whitby community who have a wide range of needs. The Alliance is people focused.

Clair Robinson of Carers Resource and Graham Zoomed with our friend Duncan Atkins to brief him on what has been going on since just before lockdown. It could all have easily ceased therefore but the group turned from a first meeting with tea, coffee and cake to Zoom from scattered homes. 

Claire prepared a summary about WCA for Duncan.  Here is the most relevant part:

Our perceived need:

The Whitby Community Alliance has identified the following needs to be addressed:

  • To work together in order to ensure the VCSE landscape emerges from the pandemic in a strong position to collaboratively provide services and maximise resources into the future, across our district (for some the need to work together will be a critical aid to survival)
  • To bring together VCSE services to reduce duplication/confusion of support within households/families we may often ‘share’ (or could share more effectively to ensure appropriate specialisms are deployed – right service, right time). This will include the strong development of the Alliance’s collective relationship with healthcare and statutory services (better harnessing the collaborative impact of cross-sector working)
  • To ensure we are jointly working on the key needs/issues relevant to the district – working together to elicit and respond to the voice/needs of our residents
  • To improve efficiencies and effectiveness of the VCSE community within the area – this will include sharing of training, productivity of volunteers (retaining/capitalising on those stepping forward during C-19 response) and a commitment to helping each other succeed in these challenging times. Our ambition is that this will become an organic and trusted body as the Alliance develops.

It is a very welcome development. There have been past attempts to bring the voluntary sector together apparently, but they were not successful. It is up to all (including Whitby District Sheds) to build good connections. We already work with several of the Alliance members.

The Alliance has established a sub-group to look at food provision for people who are in vulnerable circumstances. Foodbank4Whitby and Malachi’s Storehouse were also involved in the initial Zoom conversation which investigated scope.

For Graham this is a key element of the success of community cohesion in Frome and the Compassionate Community described in The Compassion Project [book] reported in several preceding blogs on our web site. 

In a related but separate initiative Graham and Roger are looking to work with others on the community connection element demonstrated in Frome. Their Talking Cafes and Community Connectors. The working title is Crisscross Connecting involving Crisscross Connectors and Crisscross Cafes (paralleling Frome).

More Shedders on the Alliance and Crisscross as things develop further.

BayThorpe in the Yorkshire Post news in action out of doors

A great advertisement for the Men Shed movement – for men and women – during this week’s ShedFest celebrations, online this year. 

Tony, Ray and Ted from Whitby Shed got together last Tuesday in Ray’s garden, reminiscing of times past but looking forward to times to come. I hope they thought about the lovely ciscular pub tables we were given and that are sitting in the Whitby Scout Hall for us to refurbish for our Sheds to use or to loan out.  Tony and Norman touch base too. Elaine and Betty are in touch too (not literally, of course).

Elaine (her name keeps cropping up) and Roger are looking to muster the workers to complete the order for bird boxes paid for by Scarborough Borough Council. We broke the back of them before lockdown and it is simpler ones to be made. None of the terraced boxes for sparrows or owl boxes.

At SAMS, Littlebeck the Shed behind the chapel has been recarpeted. Yes, that is what has happened! Our Sheds are weird and wonderful leaning towards the weird and in this case the Shed is used by the Chapel for small functions. Thus we originally built the “Big Green Box” – of double wardrobe proportions – to hold many of our smaller items and to reveal a small workflap with vice where Bob & Malcolm make their walking sticks. There’s not many Sheds with carpet. Shedders do not wear carpet slippers though!

At Staithes we have carried on to get the majority of the wood extension finished and set to with moving the wood mountain. Our aim is two more sessions next week with 3 people to continue the work ready for opening. The broadband, large screen and camera are working well. It’s been a surprisingly productive lockdown.

And a top coat going on the school gates in Sleights


That was Sunday morning. Later Sunday afternoon Bob was replaced by someone with stamina for the job and youth on her side, Laura. She is a pupil at the school. So Staff, Shed and Pupil did the railings and gates as a shared endeavour to improve the face of the school. 

We think its time the Shedders smartened themselves up!




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