Blokes in the Suttons are busy building the area’s first ever Men’s Shed in Long Sutton.
Forget the idea of a lonely man cave – or a hideaway at the bottom of the garden – this Men’s Shed is all about friendships, skill sharing and serving the community.
Oldest member Eric Seeking (90) has already crafted a wooden wheelbarrow for Long Sutton In Bloom while, all around him, new-found mates are transforming the glasshouse ‘shell’ at Silverwood Garden Centre into workshops, with a kitchen and social seating area.
Some cladding is already lining glass walls and sparks Pete Beeby (66) is up a step ladder, fixing the wiring, as one of the team transforming the place.
In one spot, a donated trailer is waiting to be restored to its former glory before eventual sale to help fund the running of the Men’s Shed.
There’s a lathe for the woodworking workshop and a forge for the metal working workshop.
The Men’s Shed has only been going for eight weeks but it has already attracted members from all walks of life, who are currently spending their Sundays creating their workshop and home-from-home space.
The project is led by Silverwood boss Jack Tyrrell, who is chairing the steering committee with help from secretary Barry Meade and treasurer Ray Cutbill, who got his first taste of Men’s Sheds while living in Perth, Australia.
Jack said: “At the end of June, we will have our first annual general meeting and I will be stepping down so someone else can take over.”
The idea is that members run the Men’s Shed themselves.
“We’ve only been going eight weeks and we’ve already got 22 members,” said Jack. “We seem to be getting two more each week.”
It was a special day on Friday as members welcomed their new patron, John Hayes, who was MP for South Holland before Parliament was dissolved for the General Election.
He spoke of the “great thrill” at being asked to become patron, about the members’ many skills and of the sense of purpose that the Men’s Shed would give to its members, especially those who live alone. “For some, it has been their life-line,” said John.