Future Proofing

In Norton Shed we look to the future. Looking forward with hope is part of life’s wellbeing protection. Not fearing but looking forward.

This will be the theme of things to be explained as this blog develops through the coming week.

For a start, here is a similar take for Whitby Sheds which does mention Norton.

For now, see what this linked blog says because some of it is starting here too


Off to the Shed now for Friday morning.

Back from Shed and a Saturday afternoon into the night (!) led to work on Whitby’s Library of Things (part of the Whitby Doing Place)


Work is starting on resources for a Norton Doing Place equivalent. With its own tweaks of course, Doing something about the worth of doing!

Scotty Dave is getting close to completing the Micro Shed

It is the prototype of a very local Shed suitable for a few men and operating on the same principles as a “normal” bigger Shed.  He has detailed accounts of what has been involved (design and cost) he is not releasing photos yet.

However we do have a photo of what it replaces!

Bit like a cattle shed!

Looking ahead with two funding applications

One size does not fit all, even for men and women needing some constructive camaraderie. There are two new projects spinning off from Norton Shed aimed at attracting/supporting other target groups of people,

The first target group is all those who would be Shedders but they don’t do DIY and woodwork. Remember Gary the painter who was into sound creation and video work? He had other interests. Many enjoy crafts and some are innovative with electronics.  We will be copying an idea from Whitby where non-Shed Shedders who enjoy “doing” still are catered for at a Doing Place. The headline links in this blog are pointers to  that.

Then there are people who like to get on with longer, more intricate and larger projects where they can focus attention on details of a wider challenge. It might be in a small team or it might be individual. An example is the Bayeux Tapestry! Some creative distraction in doing that.

These two ventures will complement the Shed but will not be a formal part of the Shed. We will help to launch the ideas but, as with Sheds, it will be for those who attend to take it forward in the future.

There is a related application to be submitted for Whitby district so the next two weeks will see a total of three funding applications going in to different funders.  There’s another unrelated to Sheds being negotiated for Whitby. Tiring even writing about it!

On a serious note

This is an excerpt from an email Graham received from The South.  But this applies to individuals in the North and other directions too.

What is CBT? How Positivity and Habits Change the Approach - Ladder

Mental Health – CBT Therapy is going well! 

I wanted to update you on my progress. I am getting better – little by little. I’m so grateful I reached out for help.

Many of you remember that I do cycle through depression and usually get through on my own. I couldn’t this time.

A lot of people have opinions on the NHS and healthcare for all. I am very grateful that a system exists here for healthcare.

It may not always work the way we want it to, but I’ve lived in places where such a system doesn’t exist – it’s not a pretty sight.

****  Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help you make sense of overwhelming problems by breaking them down into smaller parts.

In CBT, problems are broken down into 5 main areas:

  • situations
  • thoughts
  • emotions
  • physical feelings
  • actions

CBT is based on the concept of these 5 areas being interconnected and affecting each other.

For example, your thoughts about a certain situation can often affect how you feel both physically and emotionally, as well as how you act in response.

It’s about understanding yourself and the Shed indirectly (maybe even directly) can help with that.

Future proofing against the weather

At last the Portakabin roof is being felted to keep out the leaks! Unfortunately the rain came after the work had started and had to be halted. Then the suin came out in the afternoon and work restarted. Looks like two thirds will be done today (Monday) with the rest hopefully Tuesday.

Starting the work before the rain

Gas torch to melt tar backing on felt

The past went before my eyes . . . .

This is often said by someone who has been on the point of death!

Well, Graham had this feeling a few days ago but is still here! Graham had met a Norton local, Paula McMahon, at the monthly Norton Market. Quite by accident as she was chatting to Helen Deehan. With a few minutes Graham learnt a lot about Paula and it was his past running before his eyes . . . .

Paula is a Civil Engineer (as Graham  originally trained). Those with keen eyesight will see that Paula is a Trustee of the Institution of Civil Engineers situated in fantastic premises just off Parliament Square in Great George Street. Graham often visited there when he lived in the South and in his younger days.

Civil Engineering was that branch of engineering was not military (moats, battering rams, catapults . . . .). Other Institutions then branched out of that! There are only a dozen Trustees of the Institution so Graham doffed his cap! Paula also talks to schools (as Graham once did) to interest pupils in schools and explain the breadth of opportunity there is in the  construction industry. Graham took a very different path in that industry to Paula but you can imagine that their roots are very much in common.

Paula met Graham at The Shed on Sunday and they reminisced but also looked very much to the future and the societal challenges we are all probably aware of.

With the Festival of Thrift upon us, Paula agreed (great minds think alike) to send Norton Shed a greeting on behalf of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) North East branch but she has wider responsibilities too. She is not retired! Paula works for Sir Robert McAlpine but these days in a very interesting community focused role.

Many thanks to Paula for her interest in our works of engineering . . . . .

Water Proofed

The Portakabin raincoat was completed today between showers.

Plus Colin was back after his second cataract operation and Brian too.

Sanding off a teddy bear

Walter carries on with his new boat

Building for Norton 1st Scouts

Working with Norton 1st Scouts on a woodland shelter to double as a Santa’s Grotto for a Christmas woodland walk (lights, features etc).

Any shape, they said, but Lisa, Graham’s daughter-in-law, said hexagonal!

They have a pile of new wood of various sizes and lengths but it is helpful to start with a shape so a Robin Hood’s Bay Shedder was turned to (Lance) to end up with a 3D model on Sketchup.

It uses timber from their stock (so there are some interesting corner posts and an interestingly sized rectangular central column. You could not make this kind of challenge up but we have done.  Some could be done at the Shed (cutting) but the assembly and “adaptation” will be on site.

Dib. Dib. Dib. What comes next?

Everything is being labelled in Whitby, possibly including bar coded Shedders!

For the Library of Things.

There is a label printer that we can borrow in due course because it is hoped there can be a Norton Doing Place employing the same database and printer technology as used for Whitby Doing Place that has received an expansion grant (a Micro Grant) from NHS sources.

We are working towards that with a some local “consultants!

Paula McMahon of ICE (see above)

has published a note about her visit to Norton Men’s Shed. It is in their NE info stream.

Doing, Being and Belonging in Norton – Engineering Together

It’d good to share.

Ken Loach’s The Old Oak  film premiere showing tonight in Newcastle!

Just received a call that we came second in the UKMSA photo competition. We put a photo forward that had all the emotion but no technical brilliance whatsoever. It was of Monday Wheelchair Steve being transported into the Shed for the first time using the wheelchair lift.

The winners were in Wales which was a bit far to travel so Graham and Joan will attend to help promote the Men’s Shed Association. Now, where are the badges to wear!

The film was, for Graham, a vey moving 2 hours. Not a comfortable viewing since it dealt with many issues affecting our society and our communities. Multi layered examples of animosity between people groups and the behaviour of people in groups.

The film showed the potential for stirring up groups against each other but the way in which different factions can come together for their and other people’s common good. How very small but meaningful things can be agents for that happening. The solution the film proposes and illustrates is that we just need to get to know and understand a little about those who are simply different to us through race but also circumstance.

It is what a Shed does, sometimes bringing together the most unlikely of people! The banner to be used at the Festival of Thrift this weekend stresses the many organisations with whom we react in establishing and running any Shed. We need to know each other. At present the barrier to that being achieved is that “nobody has time” because in working life time for this (and time usually means money!) is nor budgeted for in what is done.

Guys, continue to look and work outwards and make what connections you can. We will all benefit from that and so will “They”.

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