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Well our Christmas bash has now been and gone and what a cracking morning it was. I didn't actually count everybody but at a reasonable guess about 80% of the membership turned up and a fair number brought along their significant other halves. The main picture was taken fairly early on in the proceedings so doesn't show the full number.
Plenty of food, I don't think that we will need biscuits for a few days, as Marie-Antoinette is reputed to have said "Let them eat cake" - mince pies all round. Many thanks to everybody who supplied the victuals.
Thanks also to HSBC for screwing our bank account up, as compensation they gave us 12 bottles of extremely good wine, 10 of which were raffled off to members the other two were used as a prize in the draw for members who attended at least twice since November 11th. Asda also came up trumps with 2 very nice food hampers. As Chris H described them - "both the same except for the differences" (one had dark chocolates and the other milk).
Chris H's Christmas quiz was something else, 20 questions about Christmas of which I knew the answer to about 3, still I don't think that Bamber Gascoigne has anything to worry about at the moment.
The trustees would like to wish all members, their partners and families, all of our benefactors, Father Christmas and all his elves and helpers, a very happy and restful Christmas (we are all retirees after all and deserve some rest) and a wonderful New Year. Let us hope that 2019 starts to bring peace and calm to those parts of the world that are presently riven with war and that Brexit gets sorted out the way that you would wish.
In April 2017 Sue Mason gave an extremely interesting and informative presentation on the necessity for Wills, Powers of Attorney, Tenancies in Common and other legal intricacies that, if you hadn't thought about it you certainly need to. She very kindly agreed to give another presentation to us. This presentation was open to members, members families and friends.
When she gave the presentation in 2017 then it certainly opened my eyes to the ramifications of dying without these safeguards in place. For example, did you know that at our age if your grandchildren's parents were to die, guardianship would not necessarily pass to you unless it was specifically written into their parent's wills - Social Sevices would get involved and goodness know where that would lead?
If you were to die intestate then your next of kin would have to deal with the Official Solicitor, and believe me, that is one extremely expensive and difficult department to deal with.
Sue is a very personable and pleasant person to deal with, although she is not a solicitor she is a highly qualified will writer and from personal experience is a pleasure to arrange these sort of details.
If you missed the presentation but would like to contact Sue speak with Chris Hodgson.
Asda asked us if it would be possible to make them a fireplace for the store (presumably so that Santa could find his way in). A rough (very rough) design was produced and passed to the craftsmen in the workshop who within a few days had developed this fantastic creation. Sorry Santa, Asda have enough presents so don't get confused with this fireplace.
We have already had enquiries for two more so maybe it could be a new line for the Shed.
When can we start on our own hovercraft? (6 images)
Well the Shed has started to spread it's wings by offering to help in the restoration of the Hovercraft Museum at Lee-on-the-Solent, the only museum of it's type IN THE WORLD. We are starting in a small way, initially by sprucing up the new toilet block. Well let's be honest, at our age it's one of the important features of any building.
Once we have finished this bit I think that the members working on it will want to see if they can get the Princess Anne seaworthy again, maybe for next Summer, although I don't think that the staff at the Museum are too keen on the idea.
Another excellent open day with a visit from Fareham's Lady Mayoress, Cllr. Susan Bayford. I may be wrong but I think that she was very impressed with what we are doing and how the Shed has developed. She was presented with a lovely bouquet supplied by a local florist.
There was a lot of interest from prospective new members both in the workshop and in the computer systems and 3D printer. A comment was made by one prospect that he "thought that the Shed would be all about woodwork and associated crafts" but was surprised to find the level of IT that we have, I am not sure why, after all we are living in the 21st century and if we can help members in this new environment then that can only be for the good.
Unfortunately the organisation of the event left a great deal to be desired. Basically it was a disaster from the seminars point of view. According to the programme they should have started at 10:00 but in fact didn't begin until 11:30, but hey ho, when they did start they were extremely interesting. It was a shame that Solid Solutions pulled out as that would probably have been just as informative.
The representatives of the companies that were there were all very approachable and extremely helpful. I would guess that most members have by now seen how the 3D printer in the Shed works but Frazer Nash showed how metal powder 3D printing occurs.
As far as getting the models into a printable form Faro showed a couple of alternative 3D scanning systems but at c£3,500 we would need an exceptionally good justification for that sort of spend.
Graitec, Frazer Nash and Isodo3d have all offered to come to the Shed and give a presentation of how and what they do. The Graitec VR (virtual reality) was, if you have not experienced something like it already, not to be missed.
All in all, even had there been nothing about 3D printing the Museum is extremely well worth a visit. It is has a small but perfectly formed footprint with many exhibits shoehorned into a small building.
On Friday the 28th September seven members of Fareham Men's Shed visited the Screwfix Live exhibition at the Farnborough Exhibition Centre. Following the instructions of the satnav we travelled north up the A3 and were then guided through quiet little villages which seemed to take us forever with speed limits at times reduced to just 20mph!
The extended journey took its toll on some members resulting in the convoy of 2 cars splitting up to find a garage that could offer more than just fuel!
We were amazed at the size of the exhibition centre and were taken by bus from the car park. We had all pre-registered so had no trouble in getting our voucher for a free goody bag reportedly worth £30!!
After exchanging mobile numbers we split up as we all had different reason for attending. It was agreed we would all do our own thing and meet up at 13.00 at the area B refreshment stand.
The next 2 hours was spent being impressed with the way technology had moved on. There was everything on show from special carbide blades that would cut anything and allow you to handle even steel after it had been cut (it was only warm not hot as you would expect) to little door bells with cameras, super-efficient boilers and lots and lots of fixings!
With 10% off everything some of us picked up the odd bargain, well you can never have enough screws can you?
The refreshment stand in B area did not have a lot to offer, so again we split up with some taking advantage of the sunny day they went outside to get ripped off while others moved to area A to share the same experience but inside!
By about 14.00 we thought we would collect our goody bag and venture home without the use of the sat nav.
The impressive goody bag contained a 4 pack of AA batteries, a paint brush, a roller, a 2 metre tape rule, a pen and a pen with a screwdriver bit in the other end if you could get the top off without breaking it, a pair of sticky gloves (I think the rubber had just perished) a very good dust mask but sadly no book of stamps or cuddly toys as Brucey would have said and best of all a leather football but no valve to inflate it.
So all in all it was a good day with the seven members doing a bit of bonding (nothing to do with the sticky gloves!) but now wondering what to do with 7 leather footballs!
The Macmillan coffee morning held on 27th September proved to be a very successful venture with takings more than doubling last year's event and enabling us to pass over nearly £400.00 to the organisation.
The rehearsal room at the Theatre was packed to the gunwales with a visit from Fareham Borough Councillors Bryant and Clubley.
Stubbington Fayre really was a raving success, ideal weather, great turn-out of members and very profitable for the Shed. The rat got well and truly splatted and compliments flowed fairly freely about the friendliness of the members and the quality and value of the hand made products that we had available. Orders were taken for the bug houses and various other items.
Thanks to Oliver, Shedric's long lost cousin was discovered in the undergrowth at the back of the Theatre. He is making a brief visit and was hoping to find a forever home in this country (his paperwork is in order) by showing himself off at Stubbington Fayre this year. Unfortunately he has since returned to his shelter in the Theatre but he is still hoping. Alan P also created some wonderful wooden light pulls for sale. They are pictured here along with a few other bits and bobs.
We were asked to perform some decorating tasks at Redlands School a while ago. The paint came, the weather came and some of the Shed members came to transform some very tired looking benches at Redlands School into a little bit of sunshine - et voilà.
"I was delighted with the refurbishment of the benches and tables at Redlands Primary School. School funding is extremely tight and to have this work completed without charge, has been a tremendous help to us.
No doubt the children will enjoy their lunch time in the quad more, now that the benches and tables are looking so bright and cheerful.
Please especially pass on my personal thanks to Mike who visited the school on several occasions and helped me with the shopping list of items for the work to be completed.
The work of Fareham Men's Shed is excellent and a real bonus to the local community.
A cracking day out, the weather just couldn't have been nicer, sunny, very warm but not in the least bit humid. Splat the rat went down a storm as did the wine or whine and there was a good deal of general interest in the Shed. There were certainly a fair few things exhibits that sent some of us straight back to our youth, a traction engine, a really cracking Morgan, some Lambrettas and a Vespa but no parkas. And just to finish a wonderful day, there were two exceptionally patient and really beautifully turned out shire horses taking people for a ride around the field. Next year will be a definite activity.
There was a very good turnout for the EGM with 32 members attending. The fact that becoming a charity affected our constitution and rules was accepted and the day just moved on to the grand opening performed by Nick Girdler of Radio Solent fame.
A packed venue, very well supported by all of the charities that attended. I must admit my favourites were definitely the guide dogs, such beautiful and well behaved animals although the Dalek didn't disgrace him/herself either.
Shedric Fundunt drew a fair bit of attention, but then he has always been one for grabbing the limelight whenever he could. His chauffeur complained that he was a bit stand-offish on the journey - didn't say a word all the way.
Many thanks to Hayley and all of her helpers from 1Community for all of the work that they obviosly put in - we couldn't have had a better position, front and centre as you walked into the event.
The open day on the 23rd proved to be very successful. A number of new and prospective new members appeared and hopefully had a very enjoyable experience.
We made the News( - Link to the article)
One new member who made his presence felt was Shedric, our new mascot - there he is, front and centre in the article - many thanks to Richard for acting as Dr Frankenstein and midwife. The next stage must be to zap him and turn him into an automaton. With all of the thunderstorms that we have had lately we should be able to do it fairly easily.
Many thanks to Mick Foster, Rod Parker, Geoff Culverson, Keith Curtis, Colin Mansbridge, Brian Pike, Graham Bell and Chris Nixon for all of the effort put into denuding Marks and Spencer of the surplus bits and pieces after the closure. Also thanks to Alan and Kevin for driving the van. It took 3 journeys but hopefully the Theatre will now have enough racking to keep them busy for a few months and we should have landed up with the necessary storage and filing cupboards and drawers that we were after - pictures to follow when we have managed to sort the theatre stores area a bit more.
Above all many, many thanks to Helen, Lorraine and all of the other members of staff at Marks and Spencer for their kindness and help (especially with the lift) and of course to Marks and Spencer for allowing us to be released on their unsuspecting store.
A couple of the Shed's members turned a dark and dismal area into half a dozen very cosy changing rooms for the cast of productions. It should prove somewhat more pleasant than what they have been used to in the past.
The pictures show a few of the important stages in the progress and just to add a bit more spice a video of part of the ceiling going up can be viewed on You Tube. We now have water flowing (controllably) into and out of the new kitchen area along with a sink and the necessary accouterments like a kettle and urn. Thanks to Rod for saving the sink and taps from the skip, Adam from TFT for donating the worktops and above all to Bob and Chris Hodgson for all of their efforts. The electrical supply is now connected and certified. Thanks to Ern Bowles and Geoff Culverson for feeding the armoured cable through, that must have been one hell of a wrestling match. The layout for the workshop has been agreed. The computers are up and connected to the Internet.
He keeps on about his ark for the RSPCA, but I still can't work out how he's going to get the animals in. - Apparently it will be a collection box for the Ark at Stubbington so maybe the coins will go in two by two. He's enjoying himself but Bob looks a bit worried in picture 2.