The Story So Far…
It's hard now to believe that it all started late 2016 with out first visit to the site only in January 2017. For a very long time we would often be saying to each other "what have we done!?", "this place it too big!" yet at the same time looking around and fearing the Shed would not be big enough for all the things we wanted to do!
We can't thank everyone enough for the selfless hours they have put into the renovation; years of back-breaking toil so that one day, men would have a place to come, hang out and play with all sorts of toys together. THANK YOU!
It started with Patrick Abrahams from the Frome Shed in Somerset speaking at a conference which inspired a few people to set up a Shed in Guernsey. There were meetings and excited dreams being shared then… picture a shed with decades of detritus piled up everywhere, windows smashed out and 'unauthorised openings' in the roof letting the outside grow inside!
We started by sorting the junk and dumping more than 40 tonnes of it over 8 months! It was an extremely hard and demoralising process.
The stripping back eventually slowed and we started adding to the building — most notably a roof!
We hosted a wonderful 'sharing' event with many other agencies and organisations who we thought would be interested to know what we were up to. Our aim: to leave them thinking about how their patrons, services users and clients would benefit from the Men's Shed and Makerspace.
Toilets got demolished. Toilets got built. Toilets got plumbed.
It was a massive leap forward in terms of 'comfort' and the general usability of the shed.
All the while, our merry band grew stronger and closer week by week. We were "Shedding"!
With the kitchen completed we moved our 'catering' facilites from the north shed to the south. Goodbye BBQ! ;(
Instead of just plastering the internal wall, Michael agreed to workshop the process. Over a few weeks more than a dozen guys and gals — aged 12 to 90yrs — had a go at 'not making too much of a mess on the floor'.
Along the way we had a huge boost from the Retro Fesitval which included Marcel jumping the harbour wearing a shed and a bunch of shedders making go-karts for the Retro weekend.
We finally opened to the public in November. There was still lots to do but it was time to spread the love!
Lockdown held us back us a bit of course but we took to the 'net hosting group hangouts and a weekly SHEDcast which connected us with shedders in the UK and beyond.
Our outreach group presented the market barrow they had made to the residents of Le Grand Courtil then got stuck into making a giant owl!
Our transformation stepped up a gear when the Shed got new ceiling trusses installed ready for the new ceiling.
Despite the second lockdown, huge progress was made on the Shed; inside and out. The metalworking workshop got some serious equipment, the walls got insulated, ceiling joists were installed, the ceiling began to be closed up. A big change was coming!
The outreach group at Le Grand Courtil ploughed on with the 'Wise Words Owl' and the many other jobs that always crop up.
We also took our stall to a number of high-profile events, having immense fun with the "Spinning Wheel of Insults™"!
A change of gear… the south shed ceiling was completed and insulated and the walls lined in insulated plasterboard. Immediately the warmth was noticeable!
Internal structures miraculously appeared — the 'inner sanctum' / 'retreat' / 'hide-hole' and a 'tech-room' — one with a wooden floor and the other with carpet!
All the while, our array of tools and machinery grew, allowing other projects, some personal and some for the Shed stall, to flourish.
We also got a new cooker — that required the reading of the manual! — so our resident chef, Neil, occasionally expanded our culinary offering to chilli, beanjar, cassoulet, macaroni cheese… :D
So far… the south ('clean and quiet') shed is looking tidier than it has in decades and it's most certainly warmer! The north ('noisy dirty') shed is being rearranged to make more precious bench space.
We've made preparations for a Public Access Defibrilator (not commissioned yet) and are about to host an Open Day, 10-4pm on Sat 1 Apr. Do please come along and bring your friends. We'd love to welcome you and show you around!