Men’s Sheds started in Australia, where there are now more than 900, and are spreading around the world. In the UK there are more than 400 sheds with over 10,000 members, several of them supported by AgeUK, and a UK Mens Shed Association has recently been formed.
Our premisesat St Vince nt College are not far from the centre of Gosport and have good transport links. The post code (for those with SatNav’s) is PO12 4QA.
We have refurbished our workshop and social rooms in this new venue. It is a wonderfully peaceful location, and we hope to have a lot of space for projects of all sorts.
The founding of the Gosport Shed
On 17th May 2013 we held an Open Meeting which was attended by about 35 people, including members of several local voluntary agencies, Gosport Borough Council, Hampshire County Council, the National Health Service, veterans organisations and our MP, Caroline Dinenage. The meeting unanimously supported the Shed, and eight men joined us on the spot.
THE DEVELOPME NT OF THE GOSPORT SHED
We started by looking at possible sites in the Gosport area which might be able to accommodate our requirements including:-
Browndown Ranges Camp, Institute of Naval Medicine, Haslar Hospital Estate. Royal Navy Submarine Museum, QINETIQ, Clarence Yard, Priddy’s Hard and Fort Brockhurst; it was the last which most nearly met our needs. With the help of English Heritage, and the support of the Curator, Pam Braddock, we were able to take over two of the casemates, numbers 35 and 36, which on inspection proved to be in remarkably good state. The facilities in the Fort Brockhurst workshop were gradually developed. After construction of several workbenches with vices and other tools, a quantity of power tools were donated to The Shed.
Unfortunately, after nearly a year there, English Heritage were unable to allow us to continue the use of their premises, so we had to set about looking for an alternative site.
SO WE MOVED…
Luckily, we were able to find suitable accommodation in the grounds of St Vincent College, Gosport, with the kind permission of the Principal. We moved there on 29 September 2014 and immediately began sorting out all the tools and materials we have acquired in the previous twelve months.
The new building provided the means to accommodate wheelchairs for those members needing them.
We purchased a portacabin and it was delivered and installed on 19 July 2015.
On 26 January 2016, through the generosity of AeroPark and WimpeyTaylor, our second portacabin arrived and was moved over to be alongside the existing cabin.
And as we grew we expanded into bigger accommodation
St Vincent College allowed us to occupy the Drill Hall – once used to train naval gun crews .
The Shedders undertook a massive refurbishment of the Drill Hall. Now complete, the Drill Hall provides lounge, kitchen, classroom, additional workshop, hobbies and artroom facilities, together with the charity’s administrsation office.